The last Suda51 game I played was Liberation Maiden, a short but terribly enjoyable 3DS game with an absurd premise and a little cheesecake. It was fun, but it wasn’t really what I expected from something with the Grasshopper Manufacture logo on it.
Killer is Dead, on the other hand, is everything I would expect and unicorns besides.
The main character is an impeccably-dressed assassin with memory issues, a robotic arm and a taste for soft-boiled eggs, and most of the game revolves around taking assassination contracts, romancing women via a bizarre mini-game, and occasionally breaking the fourth wall. When you’re not telling the ruler of the moon that you can’t possibly join him to rule the world because that would disappoint all the players expecting an action game, you’re fighting 240-foot-tall mutated scientists on the behalf of Alien Colonel Sanders or trying to kill an enraged sentient steam locomotive.
Or fighting a boss when the perspective suddenly changes to the boss’s point of view, making this possibly the first Second-person action game I’ve ever seen.
Or, you know, fighting Alice of Wonderland fame in her lesser-known aspect as a giant centipede-like bug.
And, as mentioned, unicorns. And buxom nurses in revealing uniforms with giant syringes. And Yakuza bosses riding tigers, as one does.
This was the first time in a while that I’ve cranked the difficulty down to “Easy” and just let myself button-mash through an action game, and I don’t feel any shame about it. While the swordplay IS terrific fun, I was really in it for the story, and I was not disappointed.
I suspect that the difficulty setting mostly affects enemy damage and how forgiving the timing is on blocks and evades, because I was having a fantastic time pulling off really impressive-looking combo strings and – let’s be frank – I’m generally awful at that sort of thing and I don’t think this represented me suddenly developing skills.
I picked this up for the PS3 not too many months back; it was the special edition with soundtrack and artbook and set me back all of twenty bucks. I actually don’t know if there was ever a non-special edition, come to think of it.
It took about 8 hours to play through, including a couple of side missions and the DLC chapter included with the special edition. That was 8 hours very enjoyably spent.
One warning, or a pair of warnings: this game has an awful lot of blood and a minigame which consists of ogling women and giving them presents to get them into bed. I won’t try to defend either the gore or the juvenile attitude towards women, just pointing then out so as not to misrepresent the game.