Review - Killer is Dead
It's pretty well known that Suda51 likes to do things his own way when it comes to creating games. You can go back through titles like Killer Seven, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and Lollipop Chainsaw and see that his games all have their own quirks and things that stand out. They usually work together in some way, even if one of them is a hillbilly demon who runs the game's store. Suda51's latest title, Killer is Dead, continues on Suda's love of getting out there with his characters and plots. It's just that Killer is Dead has gone a little too far and doesn't have the gameplay to make up for that.
So the initial premise for Killer is Dead puts players in the nicely tailored suit of Mondo, a man whose occupation involves executing the evildoers of the world. He likes to begin each mission with the phrase “killer is dead,” and repeat it right before delivering the final blow to the “killer.” Then, after completing a ghost's request to kill Alice in Wonderland’s Alice (because she was basically the queen of an ant farm and killing her neighbors), the story shifts to the moon. Evidently a man dressed like a cross between Marvel Comic's Loki and Soul Calibur's Voldo is kicking rich people off the moon and looking to start some trouble with the Earth. Part of his dastardly plot includes unleashing the evil version of Thomas the Tank Engine on Moscow. Go figure that one out.
The information that makes sense of KiD's disjointed plot has either been left out of the game or it's been stuck in loading screens which move too quickly to read the small font paragraphs that are being redacted as you try to read them. Why did Mondo wake up one morning with a robotic left arm, from then on employed by someone that is half cyborg, half Samuel L. Jackson, and all lover of Hawaiian shirts? Did Mondo's co-worker, Vivienne, get permission before she borrowed Vishnu's arms? Could Mondo have a sidekick who is helpful for more than resuscitations and less prone to being mind-controlled by bad guys? They could still be the kind of squeaky voiced girl that the Japanese find endearing but is grating on the rest of the world. Really, if she could be a little more like Elizabeth in Bioshock: Infinite, that would be fantastic. OR, if the girl who got kicked off the moon by Loki/Voldo (Loldo?) WAS the KiD dimension's Elizabeth? Yeah.
For seemingly no other reason than “why the hell not,” Killer is Dead just decides to periodically break the fourth wall. Doesn't fit Mondo's character, doesn't make sense in the context of the story; but since Suda51 was already being “whacky,” he must have decided why the hell not? It was pretty cool fighting the Yakuza boss whose massive back tattoo of a tiger came to life, but as far as everything else is concerned? You could run multiple stories through a paper shredder at the same time, then try to put everything back in order, fail at it, and you'd probably get something more cohesive than Killer is Dead.
While Mondo's robo-arm does put more weapons at players' disposal than just a sword, the standard and repetitive gameplay that make up the majority the Killer is Dead experience makes it pointless to even have those weapons. You'll shoot the occasional bad guy because they're at a distance, but you probably won't need the freezing bullets. The drill might be great in one-on-one situations, but becomes an afterthought when facing enemies in bunches. Mondo's most effective technique in a fight is the Just Guard, where evading an attack at the right moment allows for a devastating counterattack from the player. There's little need for specialized weapons when enemies will leave themselves open for their undoing. What will get your attention about these weapons is how they're acquired in the first place: from the ladies.
Again, this could be something that is just cultural differences, but Mondo gets his upgrades by going on Gigolo Missions. It seems that in the land of the rising sun, the strong silent type that knows when to stare down a blouse and makes it rain presents, gets the girl and the gun. The missions these guns join you on don't really deviate from the formula of enter room, kill everything, smash whatever could have loot, move on, and continue. There are no uber-phallic shotgun turrets, no running over zombies with a thresher, nothing to really take you away from swinging a sword at demon terrorists from the moon.
There are time trial versions of each level after you complete them, and the challenge rooms that can be unlocked, but neither gives you something new to do. There will be hacking, slashing, and some well-timed evades, shoot some stuff, and that's about it. You'll ride a motorcycle at one point, but it's mostly the slicing and dicing of moon people sent to kill you. To pile on the disappointment, the general pacing of Killer is Dead is poor as well. Nick Cramer as my witness, KiD tested my patience with its cutscenes more than any game has in recent memory. It felt like they had been sliced together by someone just starting to learn how to edit videos or film. They gave me nothing, and it took everything I had to push on and complete this game.
Killer is Dead's only redeeming feature is its art style, which does look really cool, but is far from capable of salvaging this Suda51 game. This is something that, had I not been supplied with a review copy, I would trade in immediately or find a way to get a full refund. They couldn't offer enough costumes and unlock-able ability upgrades to make this steaming pile of wasted time worth playing any more. There is simply no way. Nope, not at all. There's games you're disappointed by, and then there's the games you just want to sit the developer down and ask why they, in God's name and all that is holy, thought it was a good idea. I just can't think of a game in recent memory that deserves an “'F' it!” as much as Killer is Dead.
3/10 - Bad
sorry but after seeing the last few review and then seeing the out of the box does not seem to match and there is usually some one different doing it so in that regard i dont really trust the screw attack ratings but i do trust the community ratings, but it usually an enjoyable review to read or watch .
Why do they keep making this guy review games? If anything the review read like something that kept backtracking. Why the hell would you compare one of the character of your games to Elizabeth? That other game barely had a good story too.
But his games DO do well over seas. Not COD numbers but he does have a loyal fanbase outside of japan.
I have nothing against Suda 51, but I honestly have no clue as to why people are still calling him the Quentin Tarantino of video games.
I hate to sound rude, but what's the point of nationalizing a game if the developer knows it's not going to do any business over seas, they might as well keep it in Japan where they know it'll make money.
People care just like they do any other game. There are Suda51 fans out there who actually GET what Suda 51 does with his games (fans such as myself) and then there are those on the outskirts who are just like WTF is this shyt. The controvery with the reviews is that those who get the game are irritated with people who are basically complaining the story is weird and there is a sexual mini-game (when this game doesn't even show nudity in those games but others like GTA5 and God of War show full frontal nudity and treat females worse)
Wow, as of now, this is one of the biggest margins I've ever seen on a ScrewAttack review, 4.1 point difference. That is just crazy, it's like Suda51 is involved or something.
Ok can some explain me the controversy with almost all reviews of this game? Now with Bryan's review it lacked the core gameplay; it's not truly a complete review in my view. But other sites it's usually a 5, 6, or 7. And man oh man did they get negative feedback. Why is that, when in certain parts it's true! There's is that stupid peripheral mini game, and random stuff happening all over the game. Sure this game doesn't deserve a 3, but it certainly as hell doesn't deserve an 8 or higher. I just want to know what's the bid deal about this game, why do so many people care? Is it because the creators are Suda51?
Loving the Dio reference.
I'm sorry but I see a major problem with this review and that is you never talk about the core gameplay. Its a character action game and you never go into how it controls or the moves you can upgrade and obtain. You only mention the gun and secondary weapons. Also you got too hung up on the story. Yes you're correct that the story does feel disjointed but so does this review. Plus its a Suda51 game, are you that surprised by the crazy plot? If you don't like action games then you won't enjoy this, but you'll have absolutely no idea what genre the games fits in just by this review alone.
Have disagree with you here Bryan, while the "Story" is confusing and the "Gigolo Mode" is pretty annoying after the first few times, i have to say its still very fun and has interesting level design, it seems to be meant for multiple playthroughs, i can recommend this for any fan fan of the hacknslay genre. No way deservinng of a 3 - more of a 7,5
This review is as disjointed as you make out the game to be. Its all over the place.
but judging from Bryans review, does that mean the japaneese demographic likes disjointed messes of games?
Which explains Dead or Alive, apparently
I honestly don't think Suda games are made with the Western audiences much in mind. In fact, I HIGHLY doubt many games made in Japan consider the West when in development.
Another garbage review.
shit, forgot about this game.