Killer Is Dead

According to the credits, Suda51 had as much to do with this game as Steven Spielberg did with The Dig.  So I apologize for sarcastically complimenting him on twitter.  It is probably not at all his fault that the cutscenes in this game have second long pauses between every line of dialog.  Before you try to claim this game has the famous Suda 51 style, please look at the first sentence in this review.  Poor pacing, dull characters, and ultimately unsatisfying mechanics aren’t the mark of a style.  They are the mark of not a very good game.  To this game and all video games that do it, it is never ever cute when a game says it has to do something because it’s a video game.

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Did you play Max Payne 2?  Do you remember how you went through the same areas multiple times?  Probably, the developers ran out of money.  They did their best to contextualize it at least.  This is going to happen in Killer Is Dead.  It has zero emotional weight when it does.

We’re asked to care about what’s happening when we are cutting dudes with one button.  Mondo Zappa only eats soft-boiled eggs.  And his inappropriately perky assistant is really good at making those eggs.  That’s like why she’s his assistant even if she isn’t good at anything else.  She failed to become an executioner.  Which is like a job where you get told to kill people on the behalf of “the state” or something?  Your boss is a big dude smoking cigars.  That’s the extent of his character development.

Two separate times you are told your boss is lying to you by different people.  This is never addressed.

At the end of the game you’re running through a level you’ve already run through.  The layout is the same, and they stopped introducing new enemies half-way through the game.  You meet the same boss and fight him again.  Then there is a second and a third form.

On hard difficulty The enemies are not more numerous or more aggressive.  They only deal more damage and take less.  Your one button attack system (which isn’t nearly as nuanced as the also more gorgeous El Shaddai) is getting tiresome.  HIt attack 2-3 times, press the dodge button, if you do not go into MASH THE BUTTON mode, dodge again from the enemies and wait and hope one of them decides to be aggressive.

Or play on Easy and everything dies so fast.

Playing on Hard I think gives you more money to spend on gifts to give 3D computer girls in “gigolo” mode.  Being a ???male prostitute??? involves sneaking peaks at cleavage.  If you got the DLC code, you got glasses to go straight to staring at some 3D modeled underwear.  If the girl catches you she gets super angry and the game ends.  If you look at their hot-bits enough you give them a gift to fill the heart bar  Then you gotta sneak more peaks to give another gift.  Eventually the love you and it implies you have sex.  If you want more visible implying you gotta do the whole thing multiple times for just a tiny bit more foreplay.  It’s like an 8 year old describing what his 16 year old brother does with his girlfriend.

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The “benefit” for the game part of this asinine interactive slideshow is sub-weapons you never need.  See they take “hearts”.  You want those hearts to re-charge your life or shoot your gun.

By the way the gun never feels satisfying.  It feels incredibly dinky even at full-strength.

Did you play Kingdom Hearts?  Will you play Kingdom Hearts HD?  This game also has an Alice in Wonderland level and it is worse than the one in Kingdom Hearts.  It’s still just some boxes.  And you fight some things and then Alice spreads her legs and becomes a weird spider monster.

I audibly called this game a nerd multiple times.  I’ll let you make commentary on this game’s view of women.  I think it’s too harmlessly not doing anything to be offensive.  The trophies are probably overstepping that line though.

I think at somepoint in this bland trainwreck they were going to pull a Shadow of the Collosus.  After each fight stuff flows out of the dead thing into your robot arm.  Then the moon changes color.  That also has no payoff and just makes you go “um…okay.”  See that’s the Grasshopper style, a bunch of crazy stuff with no explanation.  Here though it’s just some stuff happening.  None of it is interesting on it’s own.

Here, I’ll give you an example, you tell me how cool it is.  Your perky assistant is hypnotized by a woman who lives in dreams to cause a snowball to roll down a hill and get big and hit your boss.  He maybe dies.  The next chapter he has gold robot parts where he has silver robot parts.  He spent all of the money from the last job on these replacement parts.  He’s black by the way.  Maybe you want to say that it’s commentary or social ignorance or racist on the part of the developer?

I guess it does turn out your character has amnesia.  I know was surprised when he got his memory back, because I didn’t know he lost it!

About 15% of the time, the game looks amazing.  The contrast is jacked sky high and the colors of world bleed on to the avatar and other objects.  It looks wonderful and tone setting.  The rest of the time it looks low-budget and uninspired.  I started thinking about all the cool things I saw in Ashura’s Wrath.  And then went further back and back to Grasshopper and how everything in Killer7 is amazing.

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Jeez and I was trying to end this positive.  I’ll try again.

This is the worst Akira Yamanoaka soundtrack.  Worse than when he was phoning in the later Silent Hill games.  At least there we’d get a pretty good pop song out of the deal.  Here it is just as unfocused as the game.  A pile of different songs with no strong identity or mood.  Shadows of the Damned was carried for me by his soundtrack.  Hoping for a good soundtrack was what got me to even have this game and be really melancholic about it.

I also had bought it hoping Grasshopper would capture a small portion of the everything that is Killer7.  They could have at least gave the enemies an as iconic sound as Heaven’s Smile’s laughter.  Or kept that weird visual effect on all the time.  Or established the characters as instantly (and made the characters almost as good.)

One of the chapters has you chasing down a moon ghost possessed train.  There are lots of lines talking about how men are obsessed with trains.  That it is a man’s thing.  Your assistant (as a woman) just doesn’t understand. Between this line and every line in the game there is a second pause, like this is the new medium of CD Interactive media.  It gave me plenty of pauses to call everyone involved a dweeb.

Dang I screwed up again.  Okay here’s an actual positive about the game that is as damning with faint praise as a review about a game can be.  I originally wrote the loading screen, but even that it as bland as the rest.

THE CHAPTER INTRODUCTION SCREEN IS PRETTY COOL.

HP 10 10 space small

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