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Alternative Games

Yahtzee remembers Suda51's Killer 7.

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As always, very interesting to read your opinion on way-old games that were actually pretty damn good, and how games in the modern world will never measure up to them.

*cough*silenthill2*cough*

This game is in my top five... probably forever

I liked No More Heroes more than Killer 7. I agree that K7 probably was more original than NMH but NMH was just more fun. But yes, gaming certainly needs more people like Goichi Suda.

Can we have a game based on Warren Ellis' Planetary series? Where the Tories sent out civil servant ghosts to assassinate pregnant prostitutes?

Things are so mediocre these days...

And let's not forget the carpark gunfight against a super speedy teenage girl armed with SMGs that drives a bus and kidnaps kids for her pedophile master, who is also an old acquaintance of one of the Smiths.

TAKE THAT, SENSE!

But yeah, one of the very best games ever, for me. Unforgetable.

Never played it but sounds... interesting.

My favorite non-Zelda video game of all time. That game was truly fucking SOMETHING.

I'm glad Suda's on the rise with his less abstract games of late, but I do hope he gets huge enough - Kojima-huge, ideally, or even Atlus-huge - that he can do something like Killer7 again.

I'd kill for an HD rerelease with "A Suda51 Trip" as the tagline.

NinjaDuckie:
As always, very interesting to read your opinion on way-old games that were actually pretty damn good...

Way old? It was only six years ago!

And you seem to imply that "way old" games being good is something odd.

Johnson didn't explain *everything*. He just provided little snippets of trivia in the world. Heck, even he didn't know everything about the world, if the story books are any indication. He was the Iwazaru of the game (or Iwazaru's established role, not getting too deep in HIS character). Only he spoke in a pleasant British accent instead of distorted Engrish.

Anyway, I may be unpopular for suggesting this, and believe me, I LOVE Killer7, but I honestly don't believe that Suda51 had a grand plotline of interweaving excellence and conspiracy that he's "holding back" while we try to make guesses analyzing and interconnecting all the various minutae. To be frank, I feel that he had a lot of ideas he smashed together and by some miracle, many of them could be successfully strung together given the proper liberties.

In short, I feel it's disjointed and ambiguous by design or due to constraints (time, budget), and any grand scheme we can put together out of the whole mess even on the most minute details was completely coincidental.

That said, it could just be the cynic in me (wow, me being more cynical than Yahtzee).

To that end, I feel that we shouldn't view Suda51 as a visionary mind screwer. I've always felt the best mind screws happen by accident or over-analysis and anyone purposely trying to do so in their writing will fail or show their hand too early.

We should instead see Suda51 for his design style, and what he obviously loves. Lovable characters, breaking gameplay conventions, pop culture, retro gameplay toss-ins, luchador of course, and pushing content limits.

EDIT: God, y'know even as I read over this, I'm reminded of Flower, Sun, and Rain, and the Silver Case, and both of those games were attempts to be mind screws, so maybe Suda really does fancy himself as a mind screwer and has just been reeling it in now that he's actually making money. Ah, who knows.

Fronzel:
Way old? It was only six years ago!

And you seem to imply that "way old" games being good is something odd.

I think my wording got a little away from me. I meant in the context of older, maybe more overlooked games being better than games in the mainstream floodlights of the modern day - Beyond Good & Evil, for example. Or if I'm going to really go 'way old' I'd say Commander Keen (episodes 4 & 6 specifically).

However, I don't think it applies to games being made right now possibly being seen as a triumph in the far future. *cough*kane&lynch2*cough* I think we've already passed through the Silver Age of gaming and have maybe caught a glimpse of the Golden Age, but we're not quite there yet.

...just be glad I didn't yell the word 'first' in all caps with nothing else to add. It was tempting, seeing as this is my first ninja-speed-article-reading-post on the Escapist.

I really like K7 and I LOVE NMH. I think Suda can give us great experiences through his games!

My only complaint regarding your article is PN 03... How dare you call it a piece of shit?
It was an unappreciated gem that needed a bit more work! It was not perfect but surely had potential.
I hope Suda won't go the mainstream way and continue giving us more weird game experiences!

I do not recommend Killer7 except in very specific circumstances. I love it and I think it's great, but it's polarizing for a reason and really, as a game, it's very very lacking indeed. It's definitely not something I'd point someone towards if they were a non-gamer and I was seeking an argument for games being really good and fun and immersive and whatever else. It'd be more likely to alienate them further.

I can say the same about P.N.03. I know it's lacking, but I love it. And not only for the bum.

I loved playing Killer 7 and Chpcheezum did a hilarious let's play of it.
I would have played it through a few more times, but the controls on the PS2 version are pretty frustrating. I've heard the Gamecube version is better, is it worth getting as well?

Give the blood to the doctor inside the television!

I love it. It's a trip like no other.

But I disagree that P.N.03 is shit. It's just a trip to the extremely other side. A game so focused in it own eccentric gameplay that not let anything between it and the player. No story, no "graphics", very weird but still cool.

I loved both the story and gameplay of "Killer7". On a technical level its gameplay is quite basic in its nature, but its atmosphere is what really seals the deal (just like SH2, which had weaker gameplay than this one in my opinion). It's a mixture between an on-rail shooter and an adventure game more or less and I cannot fathom why it didn't have lightgun support, it would've made "Killer7" a lot more fun (not that it wasn't fun, but it could be improved on some levels).

The personal story of the game's protagonist is actually quite simple, straightforward and I might even say a bit of a cliche. However the thing with its plot is that it has so many layers of narrative compressed into one complete storyline that the former fact hardly matters. On the other hand that is where most of the obscurentism resides.

A very good plot analysis (I shall warn you though: a lot of it is speculative, as such a thing is common with subtle and/or obscure fiction)

Yahtzee Croshaw:
If a normal game like, say, Call of Duty is a Superman comic, then Killer7 is Tank Girl, or one of those comics written by schizophrenics you find photocopied and hand-stapled together on a shelf in a youth community centre.

So what game best represents the comic genius of Steve Purcell's "Sam & Max"?

CrawlingPastaHellion:
I loved both the story and gameplay of "Killer7". On a technical level its gameplay is quite basic in its nature, but its atmosphere is what really seals the deal. It's an on-rail shooter more or less and I cannot fathom why it didn't have lightgun support, it would've made "Killer7" a lot more fun (not that it wasn't fun, but it could be improved on some levels).

The personal story of the game's protagonist is actually quite simple, straightforward and I might even say a bit of a cliche. However the thing with its plot is that it has so many layers of narrative compressed into one complete storyline that the former fact hardly matters.

A very good plot analysis (I shall warn you though: a lot of it is speculative, as such a thing is common with subtle and/or obscure fiction)

I think I know the plot analysis you're talking about (gamefaq is refusing to allow your link to work) and I think it's a testament to the game itself that it's narrative is so insane, yet so involved, that if you can't entirely dismiss it... you MUST know more.

Killer7 remains the ONLY game I continued to read about for nearly a month after I finished the game. The irony surrounding so much of the game's ending was so.... hell I can't even describe it.... it's a paradox (in that it's as confusing as you can possibly imagine and yet it somehow makes perfect sense in it's own f**ked up logic). I could barely stand to leave my questions unresolved and even still, I don't know what to make of it. The only thing I didn't quite have the patience for was reading up on all of the very involved political history between the US and Japan but then I suppose if you had bothered to do the research for a fictional version of the future, you'd want to make it as noticeable as possible.

Wow. You explained the game far better than I ever could. I think the main appeal of the game, at least to me, was the fact that it was just so weird and different from everything else out there. In what other game can you see slutty 20-something rape the comatose, wheelchair-bound, old man she is supposed to be taking care of, then see that exact same character dressed up as a maid, turning on a nearby television so you can save the game, hmm?

Damn fine game. Damn fine.

im a huge fan of anything different and over the top

"Now, let me make one thing clear straight away: I do not recommend Killer7 except in very specific circumstances. I love it and I think it's great, but it's polarizing for a reason and really, as a game, it's very very lacking indeed. It's definitely not something I'd point someone towards if they were a non-gamer and I was seeking an argument for games being really good and fun and immersive and whatever else. It'd be more likely to alienate them further."

Pretty much exactly how I'd 'recommend' Pathologic and The Void. Both fascinating games, but if you're looking for fun then probably not for you. Killer7 is agame I've been meaning to replay for a while now too, to try and understand it better. Knowing that Yahtzee still doesn't get it after several playthroughs makes me feel less dumb, so thanks Yahtzee! :P

Killer7 strikes me as a kind of throwback to even earlier video game logic. Take some of the games from the early 80's, like Pac-man. What the hell was that supposed to be? A yellow dot with a mouth eating smaller dots while avoiding colorful monsters that look like ghosts? Then if you eat the flashing dots in the corner, this gives the yellow dot special powers, so naturally it changes the enemies, making them turn blue and run away. But the dot can eat them now and only their eyeballs remain, zipping back to the center to be reborn.

What. The. Hell?

None of that makes any sense. So, Suda51 is just applying this same moon logic to more modern-style games. Stuff like areas being inside things they could not possibly fit was almost standard on the Atari VCS.

I'm not sure if I've got it entirely figured out. Probably not. But it just seems like this sort of thing used to be standard in video games, with things like a plumber fighting a giant fire-breathing turtle or maybe a paint roller trying to avoid pigs. Just crazy shit which in the early days was useful if it helped your game stand out from the crowd. It's something kind of lacking in games today, which is a darn shame.

also, the Mexican wrestler apparently trained Travis touchdown despite not really being a person.
the best parts of K7 probably were the ones that had no connection whatsoever to the main plot (the one with the cult and the power rangers) because those made more sense than everything else.

I agree with K7 and NMH having no need to explain the floor they stepped in, and how that gave them certain charm, but I also think that what makes Shadows of the Damned so engaging is having such background. we rarely see a game with demons or non human creatures with a world as depth as ours, a place they can call home, a place they can use to hang out, what do they do for fun, besides eating human flesh and moan non-stop.
What got me most interested in this game was that, and in replace, we got characters without explanation. Paula/Garcia/Johnson have little to no background. Some stuff is told, but nothing that makes you think "it explains everything." Just glimpses of background to fill some blanks and nothing else, I'm not mentioning any to prevent spoil the game to those who haven't played it, but in a nutshell, I think that having such background of the demon world, made the game that good for me.

Interesting... The games of this Suda 51 person seem a lot like the films Seijun Suzuki. All flash and technique that breaks rules for no real reason but that can be broken. Creating stories with not much substance but intriguing, perplexing, and ultimately endearing.

I'm still not buying a console though.

Spot on.

I sometimes just boot it up to go through that whole hotel section near the end.

Then feel like I have to go back to see if any of the bit in the school makes sense.

Then go investigate some bizzare cult.

Then wonder why I didn't just play it through in order.

Love it.

I don't know, Johnson did try to explain things to you throughout the game, but it was obvious even he was unsure now. It had been a loooong time since he was in the Underworld, and as he said lots of things changed.

The most I even remember of him explaining anything was the story of the Huntress. Well that... and the little rap he does at the end, but that doesn't explain anything really I think so...

Two most awesome parts of the game: the Russian roulette scene, and the scene where you see inside Garcia's case...

I started to watch a walkthrough of Killer 7 on Youtube because I've never played it. Aww man, I only made to part 2 before I gave up. It was giving me a headache, and that was just from watching someone else play it.

Really good article though. You can tell when Yahtzee is being serious when there aren't any swear words.

Raiyan 1.0:
Can we have a game based on Warren Ellis' Planetary series? Where the Tories sent out civil servant ghosts to assassinate pregnant prostitutes?

Yeah, crazy-ness for the sake of crazyness does not really appeal to me at all. Just fit a bunch of random arbitrary garbage together and you get a good-no, interesting at least game? I don't think so.

Insanity is awesome when it is used as an artistic choice. Meaning that there IS a clear coherent message hidden beneath the chaos, which is just trying to obscure it from you. I'm thinking of Psychonauts or Sam and Max or Amnesia or The Void.

In fact, compare The Void with Ice-Pick's most recent game Cargo: The quest for Gravity which was, as far as I could tell, a game about "kickick lil' mutant babies around for fun(literally).
Why?
WHY NOT!"

Yeah that's nonsense. Maybe they explain it, or hint at the explanation, later on... Dunno, couldn't watch it for too long in fear of a brain hemorrage. On the other hand, I watched a LOT of videos for The Void.... and yeah, it makes sense, in spite of how crazy it seems; and it's a cool game.

I tried playing killer 7 a long time ago. I made it past the first boss monster and then gave up. I think if the game was a third or first person shooter and there was not a wierd guy in a gimp suit I would have played more of it.

I've been waiting for Killer 9 to show up in one of Suda's other releases, but haven't seen anything yet. Thinking back on the game, I don't remember much of it making sense, but I loved every minute of it. What a good trip!

Killer7 is so strange that I can't help being fascinated by it. I really liked watching other people play it and trying to figure out what in the world was going on and reading other people's interpretations of it. As far as the gameplay goes, though, it's borderline unplayable, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think I even made it halfway through on my own before I couldn't take it anymore. Of course, I'm one of those weirdos who found P.N.03 the most satisfying out of the Capcom 5 from a gameplay perspective...

In my opinion Killer7 was, for lack of a better word, a heavy experience. Contrary to many other games I've played Killer7 doesn't hold you by the hand while it leads you from plotpoint to plotpoint, just so that you can feel that you are smart when you know what will happen next. And, most imoportantly, it doesn't apologize for anything (something that I dislike about modern films and TV-series, and also games, when there is no real sense of mystery in the story [because the viewer/player might feel dumb for not immediately knowing what was going on and therefore consider the experiene to be a bad one]). Sorry about that overly long sentence...

There are a few games, often slightly older ones, that have left me thinking after the end credits have rolled. Glass Rose was such a game. And, just a few days ago I played through the Born from a wish - scenario for Silent Hill 2 Director's Cut for the first time. And it was one of the most intense game-experiences that I've had for a long time (a feeling that most of the new games that I've played have missed completely). Killer7 provided me with a similar feeling, and for that I give all credits to it and the creative minds that stand behind it.

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