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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
-Stylish visuals
-Very strong character designs
-Good soundtrack
-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.
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on August 28, 2013
I love this game, being a fan of Suda51's previous games. That being said there have been many mediocre reviews I've seen so I'll point out the flaws in this game first:
The game is short, I beat it in 7-8 hours. I enjoyed it enough to play it some more after beating it but besides score chasing there isn't too much re-playability here.
The game is not for the people that like to see realistic graphics (obviously I would think) and environmental destruction. It has Suda's signature flair to the visuals and sounds/music, but if you haven't played any of his games you should watch a couple gameplay videos first.
Apparently the fact that you have to look at women's breasts is a downside to some critics, but I had absolutely no problem with it.
Now for the good stuff:
The combat seemed smoother and more polished than any other Suda game. Hacking apart enemies with the stylized blood spatter is very fun.
The story was pure Suda and was nice and dark.
The visual style is very different, and I found it very refreshing and reminiscent of some anime I've seen. I planned on getting this game eventually, but watching the trailers is what made me preorder.
So I guess to conclude:
Suda51 fans - buy this game
People looking for something different visually and storywise - watch some trailers, then buy this game
People that don't like quirky Japanese games - You don't exist
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on August 27, 2013
If you're familiar with Suda51 you've probably already made up your mind on if you'd like this game or not. Dreamlike, sophisticated and cool as hell this is probably his best work to date.

It improves on one of the only real flaws with his previous games other than being incredibly polarizing, the gameplay. Instead of an extremely limited combat system in Suda51's previous action games Killer is Dead delivers a very satisfying gameplay experience. If you thought Metal Gear Rising was one of the best releases of 2013 and have a taste for the dark and strange then you can't go wrong with Killer Is Dead.
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on September 19, 2013
As many have already said, a lot of "reviews" bashed this game solely because of a few optional missions where you ogle a female body. I read one where the review was basically about women's rights, and at the end he added something about all enemies being damage sponges and how to win all the player had to do was mash the attack button.

This may be true on easy or normal, but I can't say for sure, because my first play-through was on hard, and I found that this was the perfect setting for any seasoned veteran of action games (not just SUDA51 titles). What I quickly found that was this game punishes you for button mashing: strong enemies will actually parry your attacks, while others won't flinch once they've begun their attack animation, forcing you to guard or dodge. Furthermore, since the camera is completely manual, the player will have to be constantly aware of his/her surroundings either by moving the camera or Mondo himself; if one is button mashing, one will fail to see attacks coming from behind or even off-screen. The combat is deceptively simple, with a system that rivals the style and challenge offered in the infamous ps2 title "Shinobi." The player will even need to rack up combos through attacks and dodges in order to do more damage (those who have played shinobi will understand).

That being said, I know the reviewers who claimed the combat was too repetitive only played on an easier difficulty, therefore leading to a watered down game experience and overall unprofessional critique: it's near impossible to give an accurate report on a game after one quick play-through, but it's apparent this is what so many people have done.
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on January 25, 2015
Killer Is Dead

A review.

I HATED this game when I first played it. HATED IT. The first couple of levels really had me saying that this game was a typical example of style over substance. This thought stayed with me till right around the fourth episode, where typical button mashing would no longer do the trick and strategy had to come into play.

Killer is Dead takes place sometime in the very distant future. You are an executioner who has just teamed up with a new agency. As the work starts to pile up, you start to realize that all the jobs are interrelated. The executioner you play as also has a pension for drinking & hot women.

Gameplay is hack n’ slash until it starts getting good. Combo’s and upgrades are necessary to keep your executioner fighting fit, while new and cool weapons are only given once you sweet talk a sexy woman into the sack. The main characters weapon of choice is a sword, while he also has a cybernetic arm that will accept different projectile attachments, and in a rather odd homage to Bioshock- a drill.

The seduction parts (or “gigolo missions” as they are called in-game) are a very small part of the Killer is Dead experience, yet it stirred up a ton of controversy amongst the more uptight reviewers and gamers- so I feel I should touch on it. The idea is to pick up a girl at a bar by staring at her private parts at just the right time. As the mini-game continues your character begins to fill a confidence meter. When said meter is filled, it’s time to give her a present. She’ll either reject the present, or accept it. If she rejects the present, time to try to fill the meter again and give her another gift! If she accepts it, an animation begins, followed immediately by a “thumbs up” from your character. Later on, the cutscene’s are slightly extended showing a tad bit more PG-13 style bedroom action, immediately followed by this hilarious guttural yell from our very satisfied main character. AHAHA! This reviewer would not consider this mini-game sexist, although there is a definite creepiness to it making the entire endeavor akin to being uncomfortable (exception being the thumbs up and the guttural yell- that was just hilarious).

Overall, I really enjoyed Killer is Dead. The game is total cell-shaded awesomeness, gore-filled combat, sprinkled with intentionally laugh out loud humor (something that tends to get lost in translation with most Japanese games). If there was anything I really did not like about the game, it was less the gigolo mini-games, and more the occasional times the characters intentionally break the third wall. Designer/Director Suda51 is no stranger to the controversial, creating games such as Lollipop Chainsaw, Killer 7, and No More Heroes, his games are very much in his own very self-indulgent style, and tend to have a huge cult-like following while alienating the masses fed on more “conventional” games.


Controls- TIGHT (once you learn the rhythm in combat by slashing and dodging and occasionally blasting away with your cyber arm)

Story- DECENT (i attribute this to the fact that this is a Japanese game first, so much of the intent and translation does get lost. from what i did take away, the dialog was hit or miss, more times a hit, even more times more coherent in overall plot then most imported games.)

Voice Acting- DECENT. (again, hit or miss here for reasons explained above.)

Graphics/Style- INCREDIBLE. (just look at some of the screenshots! Perfectly immerses you in a trashy, cyber/noir, B-movie world.)

Killer is Dead is definitely not a game I will trade-off anytime soon. I love the ridiculousness of the content, the humor, most of the missions, the gameplay, and most of all the awesome style. I recommend as long as you are willing to push-through the first couple of missions & are not easily offended in this extremely politically correct age of shaking our fingers and making a big deal out of just about anything before our friends and neighbors do.

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on December 3, 2013
I'm not sure if this was a mistake, but I got a limited edition of this game, which makes me really happy!
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on January 26, 2015
Looks beautiful, that's about it. Nonsensical, boring storyline. I understand "weird" but this is plugging stuff for the sake of being weird. It's almost as if a marketing team of middle aged men sat around a table thinking up ridiculous ideas to try and sell it as best as possible to be "hip" and "edgy." Outdated controls, one dimensional combat, don't waste your money.
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on April 9, 2014
The Good: Fantastic are style, combat is fast paced and flashy, fun boss fights, varied levels

The Bad: Story makes no sense at all, shallow combat, repetitive enemies, short campaign, useless upgrade system, visuals are ugly on a technical level, characters aren't developed at all, the entire game is weird in a bad way

Suda 51 is known for his crazy art style and weird games. He's pretty much the Quintin Tarantino of the video game industry. You may know his other games such as Killer 7, No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Shadows of the Damned. His latest work isn't his best, or his weirdest. Honestly, the game is very short and lacks in every department. Let's start with the story, you play as a hitman named Mondo who works for a hire-to-kill agency and takes on different people. The goal for this is never explained, and honestly, the story makes zero sense. There's no wrap-up, no climax, no real anything. You just run around killing things for people with no real purpose. There's something about a guy named David and he killed Mondo's mom and then something about taking back the moon from him. I can't tell you anymore than that because there isn't anything else, the story could have been interesting but it seriously sucks.

Suda 51 is known for having fun and flashy combat. The combat here is very flashy but very shallow and dull. You just mash square and dodge around a lot to hopefully trigger a slow-mo event where you mash the attack button and can do extra damage. Mondo also has a gun arm called the Musselback. There are 4 different weapons you can unlock through gigolo missions (more on that later) but I honestly never used any of them except the default machine gun attachment. Your arm works off of blood which you gain from killing things and this also fuels your blood drive. Holding R1 and pressing square allows you to instantly kill enemies that aren't immortal or shielded. All of this sounds fun and dandy, and it may look awesome, but there's nothing else to it. Upgrades are bare bones and only let you auto-heal and manual heal while giving you only 5 new attacks which end up being useless. The combat is seriously flawed and simple.

Outside of that there's nothing else to do. The missions are varied and the best part about the game are the boss fights and the visuals. The game has Suda 51's signature art style similar to Killer 7, but it's technically dated like all his other games. The textures are blurry and ugly and it just lacks any technical flair. Other than the main 12 chapter story you can unlock side missions that are timed with various objectives or gigolo missions. These basically are dating mini-games where you have to stare down a woman's body without her noticing. Once your "guts" are full you can offer gifts to win her heart over. Before you cry foul there is a purpose: to unlock the Musselback attachments. However, doing these side missions that you unlock will feel pointless because after you beat the short 5 hour story you won't want to come back. The enemies repeat often, there are very few set pieces in the game, you won't care about the characters, and the story is confusing and non-existent.

Overall, Killer is Dead is Suda 51's weakest game. Is has the sexual spice, the visual flair, and the weirdness, but not in the good way that is has been put to use before. The combat is bland and shallow, the story sucks, the characters are lame, and there's not reason to go back. That's not to say it isn't worth playing though. Only fans of Suda 51 will really get the game's concept or general design and appreciate it from an artistic standpoint, but the average gamer will think it's a load of garbage.
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on April 19, 2014
But game play is short and story line is just ok. Buy only when it is on sale.
* the dating part is fun tho
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on September 13, 2013
This game is very difficult to describe, but in a nutshell I would call it a cross between Suda 51's previous games, having the art style and atmosphere of Killer 7, with the gameplay and assassin motif of No More Heroes. Great characters and world, albeit with a somewhat convoluted plot. There is a ton of content and things to do, especially if you want that platinum trophy. Also, the first print comes with an amazing value, the beautiful artbook and soundtrack CD packaging. A great purchase for Suda 51 fans.
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