The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, is the second installment to The Coma franchise, following from the first game ‘Cutting Class’. Specialising in pulse raising, tense, side scrolling horror, Vicious Sisters is ideal for any horror fanatic. The game can be approached without any experience with the previous title. There is no story to follow from the first game, the only thing similar is the structure and play style. Initially based in Sehwa High, you are tasked with utilising the city’s map to run from a bloodthirsty, possessed teacher.
The survival horror game scatters items across the entire map, making you really trek to find them. With several locations locked until you find certain things, you are tasked with exploration whilst fleeing. The tension is kept high throughout the game since you never know when you might be vulnerable for attack. The constant back and forth whilst searching for items is grating and can quickly shatter the tension and replace it with frustration. But areas hold so much to discover there is more than enough to keep you engaged. There is also a wide number of side quests across the whole map to provide more than just a ‘run from evil’ challenge. These side quests can aid your characters escape, so it is vital to complete them when you can.
Dumb and defenceless
The protagonist, Mina, is initially defenceless against any threat. You know three simple controls. Walk, run and hide. Items across different areas will be picked up by you to help the chase. This is why exploring every aspect is so important. But you have limited inventory space, which is extremely frustrating. It’s important you bear in mind which items you have at all times. You never know when you’re going to need mace. Your stamina and health aren’t unlimited either, and letting them deplete usually ends up with a terrifying conclusion. For a game with such a simple concept, a lot goes into guaranteeing your survival.
When the fear sets in
Despite the game being tense from the beginning, since you’re not sure what to expect, the real ‘fun’ begins when you encounter a twisted version of Ms. Song. Her and her long-limbed cohort are walking disasters. With one simple slash Ms. Song threatens you with death, which is extremely annoying to recover from. With no guarantee of health items being near it’s important to keep them on you regardless of inventory space. When the great chase begins, you probably wont know your way around the map so don’t know the best way to hide. This repetition is what lets the game down a little, since being killed means going back to a previous save point and doing the same thing time and time again.
On the frequent occasion she is near, or hunting you down, you must complete a series of timed events to avoid being spotted. These are fairly simple and don’t require any Konami code style patterns, but certainly add to the hair raising gameplay. The majority of tension within the game is from the music and background. Although at first the monster encounter is scary, you get used to it fairly quickly. The sound design and haunting artstyle is what keeps you on your toes.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is an ideal game to play in short bursts, and is a wonderful slice of survival horror. To anyone searching for a short, engaging horror to play, I’d definitely suggest this. Since you don’t need any previous experience with the franchise it can easily be picked up as a standalone, and you might end up like me and want to revisit its roots after completing Vicious Sisters.