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For the love of God, stop listening to game journalists
on August 29, 2013
Most of this will be about the much derided Gigolo Missions, but I'll give a general product review in bullet points first.
-Combat is simple, but contains enough depth for experimentation, and the timing for some maneuvers is pretty strict
-Very strong character designs
-Hard mode is actually hard, and the easy mode is apparently easy enough that even modern game reviewers find it too easy, which amazes me
-Boss battles are all unique, with one of them being a sentient train that happens to be a very clever reference
-The setting is Suda51 all over, very bizarre
-The writing can be very clever
-The voices are all fitting and generally pretty good, aside from one main character
-The first print run is very meaty, containing a small hardback art book, a soundtrack CD clocking in at over an hour, and DLC in every copy
-There is a soft-boiled egg recipe on the back of the DLC slip, and it's a pretty good one
-Lengthy install for the PS3 version, but that's really nothing new
-Some screen tearing
-Some of the missions are very slow
-The minigames all feel more like a hassle than a fun aside. I would have preferred odd jobs, like in No More Heroes
-While bizarre, it is definitely less so than Suda's previous similar efforts, about as far from NMH as NMH was from Killer 7
-The screen can get very busy later in the game, and the visuals can hamper you in certain situations
-While occasionally clever, the writing lacks the charm of the earlier "Assassin" games
-The Gigolo missions are good for a laugh, and give you game critical items, but at the end of the day it's just a simple minigame that isn't all that interesting
It's no secret that internet feminism has sunk its claws into the gaming industry in the last two years, creating problems where there are none and doing nothing to fix the problems that actually exist. They are largely irrelevant to this review, my beef is with the reviewers straining to please them, instantly and unanimously decrying the Gigolo missions as hateful, misogynistic garbage, with IGN's typewriter monkey going so far as to describe them as "gross". It's nothing of the sort, it was even thought up by a woman. They are intended as a parody of Bond girls, being called "Mondo Girls" after the main character Mondo Zappa. The two even sound the same when spoken in Japanese. That aside, Mondo is given the Travis Touchdown treatment, and comes across as a dork who has to stare at a girl's boobs when she isn't looking to work up the courage(or Guts, as the game calls it) to give her a present, anything from a stick of gum to a diamond ring, all given in a ridiculous generic wrapped box with an equally ridiculous pose. Should you "win," Mondo and the lady leave arm in arm, with Mondo giving the player a sly thumbs up. As for afterwards, a little bit more happens each time you do it, but nothing too racy, in fact it's normally pretty dumb and obviously being played for laughs. And, as if to illustrate the obvious stupidity of the minigame to anyone who somehow doesn't get it, once the screen fades to black you hear Mondo yell an exaggerated YEEEEAAAAAHH before the ranking screen appears. One more thing, if they catch you staring too many times, you get a cutscene where Mondo has his face six inches away from the girl's boobs, and he gets slapped, thus losing the challenge. In short, it's a joke minigame meant to play off of Mondo's Bond-cool image.
Final verdict: If you liked Suda51 games before, you'll like this one, and if you didn't, you still won't. It's not perfect, nowhere near it, but it doesn't deserve the hammering it's been getting and certainly not for the reasons they're giving.