so the bulk of my stoned time lately has been spent going through my huge-ass ps3 library to replay old favorites or try things i’d never fucked w/ before cuz now it’s all so fuckin’ cheap that there’s no more barriers and aaaaa it’s been fun but i think my single favorite experience so far has been the KILLER IS DEAD press start screen

like every fuckin’ grasshopper manufacture game is an viciously esoteric and clunky mess w/ like, v v sterile mechanics under all the zaniness, but also in its way that’s so charming??? like they’re the truest any videogames have come to aping genre cinema, like goichi suda and his crew fucking live the gimmick, every game is just a big dumb homage either to a specific film (no more heroes and el topo) or a culty subgenre (shadows of the damned and “gritty roadtrip movies”, lollipop chainsaw and “teen horror flicks of the prom night ilk”) and even when they blow the story or the gameplay ends up actually shitty rather than just kinda stilted, there’s something that holds my attention all the way through

KILLER IS DEAD is like, the most torn i’ve been to date on one of these, cuz like the shit i don’t like i actually am like “yo, fuck this, tho”, but the shit i do like i’m like *takes a huge hit* “oh my goddddd i’ve wanted this my whole life”. it def feels in a lot of aesthetic terms (the wildly varied soundtracking, the blocky architecture, the obsessive and bizarre toying w/ animation styles and radically stylized lighting) like a return to killer7 but it’s also so unquestionably post-no more heroes; it’s blade combat again but now the gimmick conceit is “one attack button, speed is a major factor but so is control, you get a gun arm”, but it’s still the same formula of “show up to place, pull out sword, walk a bit to drink in the scenery, a group of dudes jump you, you murder them, repeat for a bit, long cutscene w/ absurd dialogue, boss fight”. but like, it doesn’t feel like it has a sense of humor about it anymore, and the sleazy sex stuff always hiding in the margins of his other games rockets to the forefront as like some kind of limp bond deconstruction or whatever the fuck and also for once the tech problems actually affect the gameplay cuz the screen-tearing and bad camera and inconsistent framerate clash so so badly w/ the timing-oriented and super fast-paced fights (the lack of a meaningful lock-on also a huge problem, cuz a lot of animations are hard to cancel so if you aren’t quite facing the right way, you could very well just attack towards nothing out of frame and then have to fuck w/ the camera to figure out how to reposition yrself and hope you don’t get bum-rushed while doing that)

ANYWAY, for all its problems/missteps etc. the music is amaaaaaazing; typical grasshopper manufacture “a billion composers” joint, but like w/ all their recent efforts, heading up this army is AKIRA FUCKIN’ YAMAOKA and he’s in top form


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