If Anime or Asian horror flicks have taught me anything, it’s that the hot teacher will always turn into a sociopathic killer. Originally appearing as The Coma: Cutting Class on Steam, Devespresso Games have remastered and added new features for its new release, renaming it The Coma Recut.
It’s final exams day at Sehwa High. The lead, Youngho, has pulled an all nighter, frantically trying to cram as much revision as he can before next day exams. This plan completely backfires as he drifts asleep during his first exam, but everything is not as it seems as he jolts himself awake. Deserted, surrounded in darkness, Youngho starts to explore the school to figure out just what is happening. Venturing through the corridors, equipped with a flash light and looking for answers, you stumble across Ms Song, the teacher that you have a huge crush on. Turning to her for help, you realised she has turned from a sympathetic, adorable lecturer, into a ravenous psychopathic killer.
She stalks the halls as you try to unearth the answers as to why Sehwa High has turned into the epicentre of the underworld. While creeping through the darkened corridors, you encounter a ghost vigilante, fully dressed in a different school’s uniform, who has managed to infiltrate her way in. Whilst you question where she has appeared from, she is there to aid you through. The Coma Recut never really develops into a great horror game, with underlying problems apparent both in the story and the gameplay itself.
Because its primarily just Ms Song who treks the hallways waiting to pounce and slash you to pieces, the level of the game never really changes in difficulty, instead it increases the amount of encounters you have with her. It’s quite thrilling to begin with as you frantically search for a hiding place to escape from her grasp, but as time progresses, the story becomes less engaging, because you’re constantly running away from your crush-turned-sociopath. In the end, it felt like you were stuck in a constant montage of Scooby Doo, as I ran from door to door to just get away. It can still be scary, and that is purely down to the audio. As she gets closer the music will become more tense, your palms will start to sweat, you hear the footstep begin to get louder and louder, as she gets closer and closer. You start frantically trying to tell in which direction she will spring from, with the score continuing its tense tone until you find your hiding place, and she disappears, creating a great correlation between your heart rate and Younghos.
Youngho maybe a geek at heart, but he really should think about track and field after The Coma. Stamina plays a vital role, and using it correctly is the difference between survival or Ms Song next dinner. A student can never be without a back pack, with Youngho’s providing enough room to store some vital items that will aid him. Even though the halls and classrooms are shrouded in darkness, with the help of a trusty flash light you are able to illuminate areas to find various items that have been abandon by the vanished pupils. Water bottles and chocolate bars are all items that you can store in your backpack, which when used, gives Youngho a temporary boost. Coins can also be obtained (or looted) which can be inserted in the vending machine located in the cafeteria. The coin system didn’t really feel that necessary and it created a more disjointed game, because you had to venture all the way back to the cafeteria.
Ever had to forward roll away from from an attacker advancing on you with a knife? No? … Well play The Coma Recut and that will all change. Animation is extremely limited, to just running and rolling. While evading is your only real option, there are certain moments where it just doesn’t respond fast enough, leaving you in a heap on the floor because of it. Bathroom Stalls are the biggest culprit. I can’t remember how many times I was unsure if it had responded to my button press. It had. It certainly doesn’t pride itself on looking pretty, but with its simplicity, it doesn’t really have to. Cutscenes aren’t fully animated, choosing dialogue boxes instead. It can still appear creepy. With the flashlight turned off, the high school has an eery aura about it. Ms Song herself poses an ominous figure as she hunts you down, but with the animation being so limited, she never became that scary.