Terrifying, trying, and emotionally wrecking, The Coma 2: Vicious sisters is an exemplary title when it comes to psychological horror, which puts it above many of today’s modern horror games.
+Visiuals absolutely pop, regardless of the platform played on
+Audio designs are hauntingly beautiful
+Handles extremely well on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One
+Exploring the many zones in the game is nerve-wracking
-Enemies can be rather frustrating
-Inventory management can be quite frustrating
Editor’s note: Some screenshots used in this review are from the Nintendo Switch version to depict graphic fidelity between console and Switch handheld mode.
Let me be honest: I didn’t plan on buying a copy of the game outside of the one provided to us by the publisher for this review. To be honest: I was having too much fun with it on my Xbox One, which is rare to say, especially since I do prefer Nintendo Switch as my console of choice when playing most of today’s sleeper hit indie titles.
Having cleared the game on Xbox, I began to wonder if I should put my review on hold, give myself a chane to dive into the Nintendo Switch, and give The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters another review. After all, this would put me throught he game for a fourth time in total, allowing me to find any blemishes I could before my review, which to be honest, is a few weeks behind.
But there’s a good reason: The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a best-of-class title. It is one that will truly make you leap from your seat, your pulse pound in your ears, and shake you to your core thanks to its addictive gameplay loop.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is an amazing take on the 2D survival horror-experience
When it comes to import titles, I tend to be particulary picky. Not because I don’t think many of the games are lore, but more due to the cultural elements used, which for me, is an important understanding to have with one such experience.
Korean horror games, to be honest, don’t always scare, they don’t always draw you in, at least not the way The Coma franchise does. It takes a lot to take one such title that’s cram-packed full of references to Ancient Korean shamanism and spirituality.
Having played the original game, The Coma: Cutting Class, I had some idea of what to expect, which put me right back into the shoes of another unfortunate student, which would once again begin to survive another blood-filled, nightmare-inducing experience. This time, we experience it in a similar fashion at the Sehwa High in control of protagonist Mina Park.
Ms. Song, are you okay?
Just like most horror titles, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters doesn’t waste any time cutting to the chase. It revs everything up to a twenty out of a ten within seconds, shortly after your protagonist, Mina Park, is thrust into a nightmare-induced experience.
She witnesses a small, but somehow, not so innocent shady interaction between Ms. Song and a fellow student of Sehwa High. Minutes later, she wakes up, finding herself stuck in an alternate reality of her world known as The Coma.
Within minutes of awakening in this world, Mina finds things aren’t as they seem as Ms. Song has become inhabited by an entity known as the Vicious Sister who has begun to hunt her down with the help of its minions. In order to survive, Mina must escape her school, a police department, and work her way through other puzzle-like settings.
The Vicious Sister will kill Mina every chance she gets
Now, the core gameplay loop consists of two constant factors: Exploration and survival. Unlike games within the genre such as Silent Hill or Resident Evil, you won’t have a chance to fight back as much as one would hope. While you explore each of the 2D planes, you’ll go in and out of rooms, utilizing bathroom stalls, desks, and tables in order to hide from Vicious Sister or her minions as you need.
Each encounter, whether it’s opening a room or hiding, you will find that puzzles are a constant. Directional buttons will be a constant, often doing combinations such as up, left, and right, to ensure your safety from an enemy force, which sometimes, can’t be avoided.
Your tasks are often simple: Find an item, deliver it to a friendly character, or unlike a door you need to get through to complete your task. Unfortunately, just as it did in Dead Space, you may grow tired of the repetition as it arises when you aren’t saving so that you don’t start completely over due to the lack of an auto-save system.
Side quests are extremely important and can even the odds of survival
Just as the genre implies, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, is a horror survival title, which will require players to work as hard as they can in order to survive against all odds.Items such as the taser will help you do this as you fight back against the vile creatures that hunt you.
Whatever would you need a taser for? Well, you may have forgotten that this is a survival horror game. Where’s the survival and horror come in? Right about the time you pick up the quest to make that taser. Until then, Mina is defenseless against any of the dangers in her way: falling bodies, poison clouds, ghosts that reach out to scratch you, and all that fun stuff. You can sprint around to avoid some of these things, but you need to watch your stamina and health points. Neither are unlimited, and letting them run out spells doom in some cases.
Just like your chances of survival, your items you will carry with you come in limited quantities. You have extremely limited inventory space from beginning to the end. It’s hard to work with, but, if you can do what you need, you can survive, and you have a chance to do so rather well. It’s just all about that situational awareness you will have.
It is worth noting: You will want items to stop your bleeding, cure your poisoning, restore your stamina, and lastly, restore your health points. Let me make this clear: The game is going to kill you a plethora of times. It doesn’t make the game bad by any means, it just puts you in a tough spot from time to time.
Just find what works for you, find a rhythm, and stick with it.
The key element to survival is to not be afraid of the dark
Now one thing that might get you, is the fact you will have to trust the things that go bump in the night. You’ll work alongside Ghost vigilanties, spirits, shamans, and the living, which the latter can be deadlier than the rest.
Anyone and everyone in this game, can have something for you to do. Each one will offer unique lore, information, or even quests. It’s still worth noting that everything you do, can help you with your chances of survival, moving forward.
Plus, you will want to take time to appreciate the game’s sound design, the beautifully detailed world, that just happens to be waiting for you around every corner.
Unfortunately, I went into The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters with an idea of what to expect. I already k now some of what the game would have to offer having spent dozens of hours in its predecessor title. It’s a beautiful little piece of Korean horror that you SHOULD absolutely try whether or not you like survival horror titles.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
Developer: Devespresso Games
Publisher: Devespresso Games
Release Date: Available Now
If you end up playing it before you play The Coma: Cutting Class (Recut on Switch), you won’t want to skip its predessecors, as this is a series that can easily go the extra mile with even more potential and as equally as horrific stories to tell than we are already seeing.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.