The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters Review(PS4)
Beware of the blood moon!
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a exploration puzzle solving survival horror game published by HeadUp Games and developed by Devespresso. It is once again time to step into the arena of shadowy nightmares as you fight to stay alive and to try to keep your sanity in check. What happens when the blood moon shines full?
Coma 2 picks up right where the original game left off, with a student going into a coma and being hospitalized for his condition,leaving his friend Mina Park feeling like something is incredibly wrong. Fighting through her thoughts,she keeps wondering why she is having very strange and dark dreams about him. Little does she know that later that night,due to the blood moon,her life and the lives for her friends will change forever.
Coma 2 is a direct sequel that takes much of what the original game did, but amps it up by ten. You now follow a young girl named Mina Park,who'm you'd recognize right away if you have played the original game. While she was not part of the first game heavily, she was still featured enough to warrant this game using her as the new lead character, due to her rooted connection to the previous games leading manm,Youngho. Stepping back into the halls Sehwa High, the game takes you on a journey to find out what happened to Youngho and figure out the meaning of the mysterious dreams you've been having.
For those of who you have never played the first game, I'll run it down for you real quick. Both Coma and Coma 2 are survival horror games at heart with the emphasis on exploring your environment and investigating everything you find,floor by floor. Coma 2 offers you once again the familiar school setting, but with a lot more atmospheric elements that play out way better due to the significantly better art style and design. With the game now being way more sleek looking,more polished and more smooth, the developers have given the users the best possible atmosphere for a horror game that you could ask for,which makes this game even scarier than the previous entry.
The game starts off normal and peaceful until Mina pokes her head into room that she's not supposed to be in. A room where it looks like some secret and dark rituals have taken place, but suddenly she falls ill and collapses as two shady figures hover over her and talk about their ''plans''. Upon awakening,Mina Park realizes things are a lot different now than shes used to and it all relates the blood moon that night. She is no longer in the 'normal' world as she knows, but somewhere far more scarier and way more terrifying. Once you get this set up, from here on out you never get the feeling of being secure because the game after this point, always keeps you on your toes at all times.
In Coma 2, you go through multiple locations such as high school or a market place and each location you go to all feel both similar,yet completely different. What I mean by this is that each area follows the same basic principal, lots of locked doors,multiple floors and areas to explore, but each different area you go to has a completely different design and atmosphere than that of the previous environment. This gives you a sense of not knowing what's around the corner or what to expect. But at the same time, doesn't leave you confused as to what you have to do next. It never gets too confusing to figure out and most of the levels are pretty straight forward, unless you go for optional items,such as tasers. That requires quite a bit of backtracking.
As stated before, this game wants you to explore around your environments and check every single room to find clues or items that you need to advance past a door or to get you to a certain section of the game. But it's not all smooth sailing because you'll be hunted by multiple enemies, or the enemies themselves will be hazards in the environment and part of the scenery. The first hours of the game, you'll be encountering your teacher,turned murderer, who will actively pursue you in order to kill you. This is absolutely terrifying as not only is she quick on her toes but her slashing arm reach is super long and she can do some major damage with her claws if she catches you. The bad news is you can't attack her in any traditional sense of the word, you can only stop her on a temporary basis by using mace or a taser you can make by picking up an optional side quest. However,if any of that fails, then you must find the nearest locker,desk or bathroom stall to hide in to avoid detection.
Phew, you're safe right? well actually no, you are not. If you manage to find a safe hiding spot away from danger, this does not guarantee that you're not going to get caught,not by a long shot. Most of the time you will know if Ms. Song,your demon possessed teacher, or another nearby enemy is coming to get you by listening for their footsteps and upon hiding,if you find them getting near you,it will then activate a QTE sequence. This will require a quick reaction on your part to complete, and should you fail, it will leave you severely damaged or dead, no in between. Luckily this can remedied if you manage to get away hurt or severely injured by finding one of the many vending machines located through the high school or any other area you are in. These will be your life lines to stay alive longer and to stop any bleeding.
Vending machines,ahh good ol vending machines, speaking for myself, I couldn't live without them. Well I mean I could, that was an exaggeration, but Mina Park? she literally couldn't live without them. Throughout the game you're going to get poisoned by sacks of poisonous plants that explode sending a green mist into the air, getting swiped by decayed bodies from the ceiling,grabbed and sliced by demonic bodies on the floor or sliced by some meat cleavers. You will take a lot of punishment, thus the need for vending machines, all of which offer you candy bars and medical supplies that will help you regain health,regain stamina via drinking a water bottle and yes even cure poison status by drinking some medicine that you find in the machine. All of these have to managed very carefully because you have an extremely limited inventory. Pick and choose which are of the most priority for your then and now situation.
The vending machine items can be bought or found randomly if you're lucky enough to come across them in your exploration. But this is where you have to be careful because in order to get money without purchasing, you must search around the building to look for lockers,desks,bags and other places to find any money you possibly can. However,some items are not seen to the naked eye just by casually looking around, nope, hard to see stuff will require you to bring out your lighter in order to illuminate the room. But beware, the more light you make when searching for items, the higher the chance of you being caught by one of the many roaming enemies in your area. Always keep an eye on your location and environment and never stop listening to the sounds going on in the background, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Completing the game and searching every nook and cranny that you can find during your exploration will make your overall experience with this game last a good 8-10 hours long,all depending of course on how well you find everything,how many times you die or how slow you take your adventure. For me personally, I preferred the calm and steady slow approach because the games atmosphere and ambiance is super freaky. I can't count how many times I had legit jumped at certain scenes that played out. One negative I have though with the game being 8-10 hours is that the number might feel somewhat cheap depending on how you view this games difficulty curve. Its not just something that gradually starts you off on easy street then slowly builds you up to getting harder,nope. Coma 2 decides to make you very complacent the early part of the game with it making you feel like, ''hey this is easy '' to ''ok this isn't bad'',but then out of nowhere the game flips a switch and most people will not be prepared for the difficulty spike. It makes it both frustrating and great at the same time because you do not get to relax. Luckily, there is a solution to help you.
Fear not my friends because even with the games abrupt difficulty spike, the developers compensated for this by setting up save points at multiple sections of each area and all are fairly easy to gain access to. Once you have encountered a spot to save, it acts as your ''safe space'', a place where you can not be attacked or harmed,as long as you stay there,even if you hear a nearby enemy. This both helps with the difficulty spike, but also somewhat hinders the overall experience because it takes away the sense of dread and anxiety you feel. Seeing a save point on nearly every floor makes the game lose some of its fear factor and that is a pretty disheartening feeling. I get why they did it and it makes sense, but maybe one or two less of them spread out would've made things way more interesting.
Compared to the original, Coma 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of it in art,characters and world design,and overall production. Each scene looks very smooth,crisp,sharp and the in game cutscenes done like a comic book/manga style, along with voice acting to go along with it, is an absolute delight,completely top notch. Only real way I can describe the leap is like saying look at a late ps2 game and compare it to the jump to HD quality, that's the type of production quality Devespresso has achieved here. I'm not saying the first game looked bad, far from it, it's just that they've achieved such a good quality bump that you can't help but feel impressed!
Scary. As. Hell. That's what it comes down to. After my time with Coma 2 I can say this is one of the creepiest games,atmospheric wise, that I've played in years. I had enjoyed Coma,the original, when I originally played and reviewed it, but had no idea I'd come out of Coma 2 loving it even more than that. Devespresso has given me everything I could ask for in a survival horror, spooky atmosphere,eerie music,terrifying enemies, the feeling of anxiety of not knowing what to expect around the next corner. Sure there are some things I'd like changed like taking out a few save points that kinda hinder the feeling of being scared at times, but other than that I can't find too much to legit complain about. I'm definitely looking forward to any future titles in this series or what Devespresso has planned for us in the future. Please give this one a look!
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is out now on Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch
*Review code provided by Devespresso
Interesting in purchasing? Find it here! - https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0825-CUSA18816_00-THECOMA2SIEA0000