CGR Undertow – KILLER IS DEAD review for PlayStation 3


This thing doesn’t have just a little bit. It has
everything. Everything that made Killer7 a GameCube classic. Everything your friends didn’t believe until
you showed them, in No More Heroes. It’s violent. It’s sexy. It’s sexist. It’s…utterly ridiculous. It’s everything
you love—or everything you hate—about Suda 51. But…that means it’s predictable. And that’s one thing you’d never predict from
Suda. Now, now…it’s not a loser, by any means.
On the contrary, Killer Is Dead is one of the year’s most stylish, entertaining and…irreverent video games.
Another patch on the vest of gaming’s most notorious punk rocker and closest answer to Quentin Tarantino. If you
like your games as gorgeous as they are f*cked up, you’ll love Killer Is Dead. But if you’re familiar with Suda’s work, be
aware that…this one kind of feels like a greatest hits. And most of the time, a “greatest hits” never has the same
impact. Most of the time. In fact, if there’s one thing that makes Killer
Is Dead stand apart from games like No More Heroes, it’s that…this is kind of a dark game. I mean, it has all
the potty humor you would expect from Suda, but the tone is far more sinister this time. Even uncomfortable, at
times. In fact, while the gameplay is basically just No More Heroes 3, the game is actually closer to Killer7 in tone…and
its balance between fear and funny. And…with a little extra foxy. Actually, it’s more than a little. And that’s
another thing that stands out with Killer Is Dead. I mean, Suda’s games always sexualize women, but…this takes it
to a level that even surprised me. I mean, there’s actually a minigame where…you have to stare at a woman’s “parts,”
when she’s not looking. Do it enough times, and you can give her expensive gifts. Like flowers. Do that enough
times, and…well, you know. And the crazy thing is that…that’s how you
get new weapons, and upgrades. From sleeping with women. Who then give you these things, in return. And honestly,
if that’s something you find offensive…you’ll find a thousand other things offensive, in Killer Is Dead. This
game is just…unremittingly misogynistic, even for Suda 51. So that’s definitely something to consider. One way or the other. As for the gameplay, well…that’s familiar
ground, too. And actually, that’s where the game disappoints the most. Killer Is Dead is almost identical to No More
Heroes, the same counter-based sword game that exhilarated Wii owners…about half a decade earlier. And
that’s fine, because it’s fun. Killer Is Dead is fun. But it does give the experience this overwhelming feeling of “been
there, done that.” And again, you just don’t expect that from
a Suda game. Now, there is one new gameplay element that
separates Killer Is Dead from No More Heroes. And this one feels like Shadows of the Damned. In addition to your
sword, you also have this…arm cannon, which lets you do some third-person shooting if you have enough blood. It’s a
fun change, but…you use the sword like, 90 percent of the time. Which means…it’s really not much of a change. Fortunately, though, it is fun. I mean, if
you like No More Heroes—and you should like No More Heroes—you’re going to love Killer Is Dead. Dodge, attack, rinse
the blood off, repeat. It’s fast, it’s frantic, it’s awesome. And for the most part, it looks amazing. It has Suda’s
unmistakable style…but even that’s held back by some technical issues.
So it’s, like…one step forward, two exploding torsos back. Suda 51 has always taken this…off-road approach,
to game design. But the thing is, when you go off the road enough times in the same place? That becomes a road.
Worn down, visible…predictable. If you like the way Suda drives, like I do, you’re going to love Killer Is Dead.
But if you’re hoping for an unexpected turn? For a new route? That’s a route Killer Is Dead doesn’t seem
interested in taking.

87 comments

  1. this game is everything good about suda's style, and everything bad about the reuse of their no more heroes mechanics wrapped up into a game.

    killer 7 was both mechanically innovative and carried that incredibly creative horror-comedy style that they just writhe in every single release. they should really focus on inventing another mechanically creative game like that, because killer 7 is one of my favorite games of all time, and i know they could do me one better.

  2. In the sense that they're not really "characters" so much as they are "missions", yeah, it's pretty misogynistic. I think the ogling you have to do is hilarious, though — if you think about it from outside of Mondo's point of view, you just have this supposedly suave guy, not saying ANYTHING and just.. STARING. It seems like a veiled commentary on players in the way that Travis Touchdown was a not-so-veiled commentary.

  3. Good review. If you like grasshoppers past console games (shadows of the damned, no more heroes) you will probably like killer is dead.

  4. Still, the word misogynistic is a bit harsh to throw it around like that.
    Also, at the end of the day this is Suda we're talking about, pretty much everything he makes is a parody or reference to something so im not really expecting political correctness (and neither should anybody in gaming).

  5. I love killer is dead I think the story is cool and the gameplay is cool that's just me though. im a sucker for Japanese games

  6. The talk of misogyny surrounding this game is ridiculous. Everyone will be quick to point out how the women give Mondo gifts for sleeping with them, but, conveniently, it's never brought up how Mondo gives them many more gifts than that to even get to that point. And it's not like he's a big bad wolf preying on innocent maidens, they CALL HIM DURING MISSIONS TO COME SEE THEM. It's a dance between mature adults with a physical interest in each other, if anything it's degrading to BOTH sexes.

  7. The worst part about all this, though, is that it shouldn't be an issue in the first place. For some reason, people have to apply the treatment and characteristics of individual characters as being representative of the creator's opinion on their entire gender, race, etc. If you're going to be that obsessed with looking for things to get offended by, how about the fact that these are called GIGOLO MISSIONS, implying that Mondo is a male prostitute? You wouldn't say that's misandry now would you?

  8. Okay, yeah, "sexist", then. And you're right — there are far more meaningful platforms to communicate a political agenda than a goddamned videogame. That's not what makes games games, and it shouldn't weigh in as heavily as it is these days.

  9. "Been there, done that"? Dude you love Mario games. Mario games are the poster child of "Been there, done that"

    Beyond that, the game does look interesting. Definitely going on my GameFly list.

  10. Well that is the complaint, with mario you know what you get before hand. With Suda it's you get a game where everything can happen but this time you'd get more of the same. (not to mention different levels and power ups benefit far more then any suda game does as Suda's games are more focused on the interactions mario games are more focused on getting though the enviroment)

  11. He said if you liked Suda 51s other games then you are going to like this one. I for one saw this review and have now added it to my list but he is also saying that is it very similar to his other games and if have played all of his games all of them are really different he is saying it is fun but don't expect it to be different from the others. Mario is the same everytime but with different power ups but it doesn't mean it is not enjoyable thus same can be said with this game.

  12. Not really, dude. You are referring to the meaning of "hate towards woman" that the word misogynistic have, I believe. But it can also means "mistreatment". Which is kinda correctly in the case.

  13. I guess hatred of women can cover mistreatment. Why does admiring certain aspects of women have to be deemed misogynistic? By that respect, focusing only on certain attributes of men in Suda games could be deemed misandry. Sex sells and boiling men and women down to one trait is easy for the masses to absorb, sigh.

  14. if this game offends you you need to fuck off and bitch about female genital mutilation, honor killing and other horror shit from the muslim world

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  16. This review made me question if i really should pick the game. I hated no more heroes, not because of the style or the tone but because the gameplay. NMH controls were awful.

  17. Thanks for the honest review, everything else I've seen is people bashing on it because they aren't sure what it is. Sure there's sexism and other, weirder shit, but that doesn't make it automatic shit.

  18. I don't mind misogyny in games as long as it has a point. Previous Suda51 games had tonnes of sexualized women, but they were usually super powerful and made up for it by being a lot more characterized than the game's protagonists. Hell, Speed Buster from No More Heroes seems to be a parody of Suda51's own misogynistic attitudes. In Killer is Dead, there is only one level that really plays off of the misogyny (choo choo). It sort of feels like objectification for style's sake, which might be okay, if it had a point. Sadly it doesn't, but it's a good game otherwise. 

  19. Isn't the Main Characters Voice actor for this game the voice actor for Space Dandy? lol correct me if i am wrong? :3

  20. The people that complain about this game being sexist are the people who don't realize that those aspects are satire of the media's portrayal of women, as well as James Bond-style womanizing. Complaining about it is redundant, and those that do should realize that this game is poking fun at them. Thanks for the laughs, Suda.

  21. "Sexist" in this coward/feminist society, that shit can mean anything
    So i dont give a shit anytime they use that word to describe something

  22. looking at females "parts" "teeeheee"  i dont think this lil kid is old enough to even play this game. Yet even see lady "parts" in life

  23. The only real problem I had with this game was that there was constant screen tearing and the gigolo mode just felt clunky and almost pointless. Aside from that, it was a crap load of fun!

  24. Got the special edition for 19.99 yesterday beat it today loved it and I'm getting No More Heroes later. (ON A SUDA 51 BINGE)

  25. Give women enough gifts and they'll eventually sleep with you. Just like in real life.

    Only poor people would find this offensive or unrealistic, this is exactly how it works in the pampered, vapid, upper class purgatory that I grew up in.

  26. You know, I was almost bought in the clarity and detail of this review. That was untill he starts going on about it being "sexist" and "mysogynistic". That's when it began to sound like the ramblings of an sjw whom loves to bitch about how video gaming's "oppression" against women influences real life.

    And you know what, he'd have perhaps a shred of a point, if he had not of told us about how over the top and down right silly the game prior to "sexism" speech. Because in a game where you go to the moon, infiltrate the moon palace and have a boss battle there is going to be so influencial on people in society. People are oh so used to this kind of thing that by condoning it, their condoning misogyny. Christ, sometimes I hate the internet.

  27. Thanks to reviewers that don't seem to care about anything other than multiplayer fps I bought a new sealed copy of this game for 9 bucks last week.obviously I'm nit talking about the people at cgr,I happen to respect and value their opinions. This is one of those games that's primed to be highly sort after and valuable in a few years.

  28. It bluntly plays on sexuality but how is that sexist let alone being "unremittingly misogynistic" (the hatred of all women)? For example if a sexy nurse is sexist tell that to the woman who freely choose to dress like that at party's/Halloween.

  29. Wait a sec, did that last scene at 5.28 seriously have troy baker doing the voice of both characters in that scene?
    And I just watched an episode of full metal alchemist brotherhood (Amazing anime by the way, EVERYONE should watch it!) which had troy baker doing the voice of the character greed.
    And I recently finished metal gear solid 5 which had the character ocelot being voiced by……you guessed it, troy baker.
    Is there seriously anything that this guy hasn't done any voice acting in?!?!?
    HES FUCKING EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

  30. Killer is dead and no more hero's are awesome, they are entered around sex and blood like Shadows of the damned is all occult themed.

  31. Hmmm,…it was 6 months ago I watched this review. Finally ended up playing this a week ago and finishing it. I agree 100% with this review. Its dead on. I also played No More Heroes. It does has a rinse and repeat factor in it. I don't like that (trying to kill the unicorn black man sneak quick reference in there aimed towards,……anyways),…but the game is fun. Too bad that "fun" dies quickly if you've played the heck out of No More Heroes for hours on end. Its a bit of loose insanity with a simple one button hack n slash, counter, and FPS (over the shoulder) gun shooter. I've played al ot of these "martial arts" styled games, and I just feel the fighting systems need to be upgraded. If you tell the character to move in a certain direction and you know the placement in your mind (moving in that direction), the computer just decides where to through the character themselves. I hate that. I just don't feel these games are that responsive or as quick as I am able to respond. Maybe people just don't respond or move as fast as I do when concerning these games,…IDK. But I've played games like these for years…..Shinobi (Genesis to PS2), Devil May Cry (series), Eve of Extinction, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and 3: Razor's Edge, Heavenly Sword, God Hand, Double Dragon, Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) series, Tekken, Soul Calibur…I mean. If it had this type of quality in it, I was on it. I have had as much experience as these guys who review it and maybe more, ever since Atari and have seen games revolutionize in every genre, system, and style. It just seems to me, they need to upgrade, but they can't find where else to go. Anywho, the game is fun right up until you finish it. Its short, but the fun kind of dies after that and the title is only temporarily remembered. Even so, it still has the deeper meanings in it (besides the silly stuff and insanity in it) that everyone overlooks:
    EX:
    Mondo was once a kid and had a mother before he became a dark assassin that engaged with multiple women in sex. The scene was darkened out as if it were a memory.
    Walking down a narrow dark path that he first embarked upon in which he had no way out of it, to where he had to keep going.
    The second Enemy assassin that Mondo kills actually has time to reflect upon his life, have a last moment's conversation in luxury before he dies (wondering if it was all worth it.)
    (I hate the UNICORN reference in it. I took offense to that.)

  32. Objectifying women is what us men do and we love to do it, and women love having it done to them, finally its in a video game.

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