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Killer Is Dead

Killer is Dead photo
Killer is Dead

Check out Killer is Dead's PC specs


I finally found a header after sifting through a thousand Jessica Nigri photos
May 02
// Brittany Vincent
Killer is Dead is coming to Steam on May 23, so ready your PC for some hot Suda51 action. As disappointing as Killer is Dead was overall (this coming from a massive fan of Suda's other games) I'd probably be down to purchase ...
Killer is Dead photo
Killer is Dead

Killer is Dead is heading to the PC in May


'The Nightmare Edition'
Feb 17
// Chris Carter
Deep Silver Europe has announced that Killer is Dead is coming to the PC on May 9th, in the form of a "Nightmare Edition." There's a new difficulty mode in tow which limits your moveset, and it also comes with existing DLC. ...

Contest: Win a copy of Killer is Dead signed by Suda 51!

Dec 19 // mrandydixon
Note: The prizes will be shipped directly from our friends at XSEED in early 2014.
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Five copies up for grabs
[Update: Contest over! Winners are Morty, Genki-JAM, GoofierBrute, ObsidianSpire, and rainbowWaterfall!] What a day! First, we brought you an exclusive interview with Suda 51 detailing his favorite moments in Killer is Dead, ...

Exclusive: Suda 51's top 7 Killer is Dead moments

Dec 19 // Jonathan Holmes
#7 Episode 01 The New Executioner Mondo flirting with Natalia in a bathroom, teamwork among the members of Bryan’s Execution Office, the former executioner Damon… This scene is the true start of the seductive and mysterious story this game has to tell. #6 Episode 51 Sebastian’s Transformation Like the Dragon Ball series, this scene completely ignores all concepts of time and space for comedic effect. You might find yourself thinking, “How the hell long is this table?!” or “How long is Mondo going to keep running?!” I also really like that Sebastian speaks with a British accent in the English version as we wanted to give him that little extra bit of authenticity. #5 Episode 09 The Request from Area 151 This is the funniest/most comical briefing scene in the game. You’ll see proof positive that Bryan stays true to his motto of never refusing any execution requests, no matter who his clients and targets may be. I’ll let you in on a little secret, too – this was inspired by a particular scene from a certain base in a certain sentai (Power Rangers-style) series… #4 Episode 08 Mondo’s Dream This is the scene where Mondo’s mother is shown being killed over and over again, and players are given their first clues (via the dinner table) that David is actually Mondo’s brother. Even though the game is rather complicated all the way through, you’ll get some hints in this episode that might help you find answers to some of the mysteries you’ve encountered, such as the scene where Mondo gets his arm cut off and is taken to Bryan’s office. #3 Episode 12 Battle with David By hiring and motion-capturing real actors who specialize in staged sword fighting, I tried really hard to make this long action scene as flashy and appealing as possible. Although Killer is Dead is a game full of action, this is the pinnacle in terms of action cinematics. #2 Episode 07 Hamada-Yama’s Hara-kiri Hamada-Yama and Mondo both work in the shadows of the world. At the end of their battle, they understand and respect one another, and the final scene where Mondo helps him commit hara-kiri as an executioner is practically overflowing with idealized aesthetics and themes of masculinity. #1 Episode 12 Dealing the Final Blow to David After winning his fierce battle against David, Mondo strikes the finishing blow. As Mondo sentences his brother to death, he says, “You talk too much.” This is the scene where it’s clear that Mondo understands everything there is to know about his bloodstained job.
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Just in time for the holidays
Killer is Dead was a day one purchase for me, though from what I hear from my peers, a lot of consumers didn't have the confidence to pick it up upon initial release. With the gift giving holidays just around the corner, and ...

Killer is Disappointed: Gigolo missions & token weirdism

Aug 27 // Steven Hansen
To recap: in Killer is Dead’s Gigolo missions you go on “dates” with various women, ogle them until you have enough guts to give them gifts, and then give them gifts until you win and you two have sex. It’s creepy (the women's measurements are on the mission screen), but it’s also mechanically broken, vapid, and irredeemably boring. I’m no prude. I like sexy things. This is masturbatory vapidity. The women you are “seducing” repeat the same lines of random dialogue slavishly as they sway in their seats. You stare at their tits while they aren’t looking. That’s it. It’s really, really boring. You’re invited to repeat the missions multiple times for slightly steamier softcore sex scenes and more in-game rewards. When you get the glasses that let you see their lingerie (and tell you what gifts they want), it’s a godsend not because you can see their lacey fashionwear, but because it lets Mondo’s “guts” fill quicker and lets you finish the missions faster. If I didn’t get a code for the glasses -- though they are otherwise acquired later in the game -- I wouldn’t have put up with the missions, which would have meant missing out on the alternate weapons for Mondo’s crazy gun arm. The Gigolo missions are not engaging. Not even a little bit. There are amateur erotic Flash games with more complex systems and backs of shampoo bottles more erotic and arousing. The problem, beyond the sexism, is that something so plainly banal and vacuous made it into the game at all. Killer is Dead is supposed to be weird and crazy, right? It’s a Suda51 game! (He is the writer and executive director, but not the actual game director.) The Gigolo missions start making me see other parts of the game in a different light. A fitting successor to Killer7 this is not. I was a bit disappointed that Lollipop Chainsaw wasn’t really weird. I liked it okay. It had some heart, some solid writing, but it wasn’t weird. Things have gotten less surreal since Killer7 and Killer is Dead, touted as a spiritual successor, feels torn between two paths. Sometimes it is delightfully bizarre, as with David, the self-styled ruler of the moon whose rippling muscles, pert butt cheeks, and golden codpiece still linger in my mind. Sometimes it feels a much more manufactured, “Internet weird” or “mainstream weird;” maybe "teenager on Tumblr weird." It’s a bit hard to class, so to use an example from the game, sometimes it’s, “LOL WTF TALKING UNICORN!” weird, which feels soulless and pointless. Which is ironic, because it’s a unicorn. While running about in Killer7’s surrealist setting you would occasionally stumble upon ghosts Travis and Iwazaru who would both aid you in puzzle solving and offer up puzzling, thought provoking, batshit insane lines of dialogue. In Killer is Dead’s stages, you can find the hidden Scarlett, a buxom nurse that looks colorfully out of place like an aesthetic holdover from Lollipop Chainsaw. She expresses surprise that you found her, unlocks a challenge mission, and leaves. She is not a character. She is an unlock. A very videogame-y thing dressed up as a sexy nurse because reasons. Banality like this starts to expose the biggest flaw of Killer is Dead, which is that its story and characters are all half told. There are kernels of interesting things at play, but the disjointed episodic nature struggles to come together in a satisfying way. It’s not that the ludicrous plot is unexplained and thus unsatisfying. It’s that the story tries to tie everything together with a blatantly telegraphed twist through dream sequences, which is rather emblematic of the mediocre narrative. I mean, one of the first missions takes place in an Alice in Wonderland world. Talk about passé and overdone! It’s ordinariness hiding behind a façade of quirkiness and insanity. Neither its plot nor it characters help. Whereas the manic, red-cheeked schoolgirl that lives with Mondo and helps him out could’ve been an endearing companion, she’s instead an empty trope novelty that takes on uninteresting plot significance late in the game. Good art and good voice acting are kind of just wasted. Bryan, Mondo’s boss, is never as cool or as interesting as a half cyborg with an infectious laugh wearing a Hawaiian shirt should be. Again, it’s style over substance, albeit a nice style. When you start to see token “weirdness,” like a random talking unicorn/dues ex machina, with no depth or mystery to perpetuate it, the allure fades quickly. The Gigolo missions are the start of things unraveling and you realize it’s just choppy, bad storytelling at play here with poorly written, empty characters featuring little more depth than the women in the Gigolo missions. Suddenly, the level wherein you have to fight a train (awesome!) takes on a different hue. Mondo and Bryan going back and forth about how trains, mechanics, and engineering are “a man’s passion” and “no place” for women loses any sense of quizzical irony that the scene could be read with. Instead, it reads like uncomfortable sexism delivered straight-faced. You can’t exactly divorce the Gigolo missions from everything else; you can’t just say, “oh, the game is great if you ignore the facile and creepy perv-em-up side missions" because they're so egregious that they start to inform on the rest of the game. It’s a little like Final Fantasy developers upping Lightning’s bust size, matter-of-factly discussing the new jiggle physics, and explaining the best method to view jiggling side boob. These things bleed into the overall tenor of a project. Killer is Dead is not near Killer7 levels of autership and surrealism. Whatever vestige of that is left has had a trashier and boringly ordinary “guilty-pleasure” experience medically stapled onto it. I like Killer is Dead a lot. I think it’s a good action game that I’m still having fun playing. It still has some great moments (particularly in its boss fights) and some oddities (like walking on the moon in a designer suit and space helmet). It’s just that there is little beyond its gorgeous visuals and one of the year’s best musical score. That’s perfectly okay. I just wanted a little more.
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Gigol-oh-no: What the creatively bankrupt, boring missions have to say about Killer is Dead
I really like Killer is Dead. I want to like it more, but I’m increasingly unsure if I should. Unfortunately, the awful Gigolo missions are a big part of planting the seed of distrust in my mind. Hah! I bet you thought...

This Killer is Dead cosplay sure is mondo

Aug 27 // Wesley Ruscher
Tifa Lockheart - Final Fantasy VII [Katyuska MoonFox]Photo by: John Pryke  Raiden - Metal Gear Rising [Andrew's Progress on Cool Stuff and Cosplay] Photo by: BlizzardTerrak  Coco Bandicoot - Crash Bandicoot 2 [Ryoko-demon]Photo by: Kifir Garrus Vakarian - Mass Effect [pink-fishy]Photo by: Shazzsteel  Navi - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Eve Beauregard Costumes]Photo by: WhatABigCamera Xiahou Ba - Dynasty Warriors 7 [maysatria]Photo by: NA  Lightning - Final Fantasy XIII [xwickedgames]Photo by: Belziir Photography Juri Han - Street Fighter IV [Taorich]Photo by: Svetlana Nekrasova  Scarlett - Killer is Dead [kasane]Photo by: ZAN
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I'm off to Dragoncon!
If there was ever an upcoming week for epic cosplay it would be this week. PAX Prime in Seattle and, from what I'm told, the mecca of all cosplay destinations Dragoncon in Atlanta are sure to provide some amazing displays for...

Review: Killer is Dead

Aug 27 // Chris Carter
Killer is Dead (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Grasshopper ManufacturePublisher: XSEED Games (NA) / Deep Silver (EU)Released: August 27, 2013 (NA) / August 30, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $59.99  In Killer is Dead's not-so-distant future, travel to the moon is readily available, cybernetic augmentations are commonplace, and monsters, demons, and those who seek to control the occult run rampant. The core conflict centers around an organization named the Bryan Execution firm who will kill anyone for a price, and a mysterious man on the moon named David -- a villain with a golden codpiece that would make David Bowie green with envy. It kind of just goes from there, often taking a few detours before veering back on course to the Mondo vs. David-centric tale. While this seems like a solid-gold setup, the mixture of all of the aforementioned themes on top of the assassin storyline, Mondo's internal struggle and past, and the James Bond-esque elements of an international man of mystery traveling the world result in a rather jumbled mess. Characters plant the seeds of intrigue, but never truly follow through, instead relegating themselves to a more ancillary role to Mondo's internal struggle. It wouldn't be a major issue if Mondo himself were a compelling character, but he's really not. All of this crescendos into a twist that isn't terribly exciting, a final level that plays out exactly like a previous stage in the game (but with a new enemy layout), and a conclusion that operates just as you'd expect. Unlike Suda's past work which really stands on its own, Killer is Dead almost requires a sequel just to flesh out the cast and make Mondo a bit more interesting. Whereas Shadows of the Damned or Lollipop would bust out the occasional Evil Dead or Ghostbusters reference here and there, Killer is Dead is more of an indirect homage, and it doesn't have quite the same endearing feel. It's not like Suda should be forced to constantly bust out reference after reference, but without any sense of intrigue, the "dark" thematic elements lose their luster. Thankfully, Mondo's combat capabilities make all of the above issues less of a deal-breaker, as it's one of Suda's best action achievements yet. At first, you'll only be able to use regular attacks, and you may feel disappointed in the mash-heavy feel of the game combined with the poor early enemy AI. But shortly into the game you'll earn the ability to guard break with your cybernetic arm, block, dodge, heal, morph your arm into a drill and arm cannon, and so on. Mondo may have the ability to block lesser attacks, but the vast majority of the time you're going to want to go for the more rewarding dodge ability. Dodging enacts a time-slowing effect similar to Bayonetta's Witch Time, allowing you to let loose for a few seconds by mashing the attack button. You can customize Mondo with in-game currency similar to the classic Devil May Cry series, granting him new moves and abilities. A "blood" meter functions similar to an MP gauge, and allows you to heal, use abilities, and also doubles as your sub-weapon ammo. You'll also be able to execute enemies while maintaining a high combo, which lets you choose which power-up you want to extract upon killing each enemy. On higher difficulty levels, all of these concepts must be used with surgical precision to get through some of the tougher areas, which can feel extremely rewarding. To be clear, combat isn't really that deep as attacks are primarily focused around one button and dodging, but it's fun all the same. You'll put these abilities to good use against the "Wires," -- the demon-like creatures that fill up the vast majority of the game's stages. Wires can vary from unarmored simpletons that can have their head blown clean off with one shot of your arm cannon, to ninjas and samurai, to giant armored ogres that must be decapitated. They get the job done in terms of offering up strategic diversity, but the designs themselves feel a bit too similar, to the point where you'll get sick of them about halfway through.The game's humanoid combat sessions are by far its best work, but sadly, the truly memorable fights are few and far between. Unlike No More Heroes, which has you constantly excited to find out who the newest assassination target is, Killer is Dead rarely feels that compelling. The tenuous "contract" setup strings together disjointed missions, many of which feature some of the exact same layouts within themselves, and generic Wires to beat up on. Additionally, a select few levels are mere minutes long, and spring you into combat with foes that aren't introduced, explained, or contextually relevant -- and irrelevant in the fun, comedic sort of way. In short, the mission structure isn't edited or planned particularly well. While Killer is Dead may not push the current generation of consoles visually, I'm a huge fan of the style itself. There's an almost ghastly, mystical element to the art design, often times accented with motion blurs, buckets of blood, and smooth, neon colors. While the characters themselves aren't usually interesting, their designs are unique and memorable. The musical arrangement is similarly excellent, and offers up a solid mix of rock and jazzy tunes that were stuck in my head hours afterwards. As you're playing through the story, "Gigolo Missions" occasionally appear on the level-select screen. To be blunt, you're basically going on virtual dates with the women Mondo encounters during his travels, and they operate similarly to the creepy camera levels in Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions. They're super easy, as all you have to do is stare into your date's eyes while they're watching, look elsewhere when they're not, and give them presents occasionally. The scenes themselves aren't explicit and don't show "the act," but some people may have a problem with the voyeuristic nature of them. While they are technically optional, they grant you huge bonuses like most of your sub-weapons, so it's in your best interest to do them. If you mess up and stare at them too often while they're watching, your date might spill coffee on your dick. No pressure. As a typical action game, Killer is Dead will last you anywhere from 5-10 hours, depending on how often you die and how many side missions you do (of which there are a fair amount). After you're finished with the very last mission you'll be able to go back and replay every level at will on any difficulty level -- including the new Very Hard mode -- which is a nice touch. If you're an action veteran you will want to start on Hard right away, as I only died three times during the course of the Normal campaign. In the end, you're left with a slightly quirky Japanese action game that felt like it could have come from any number of developers. The action isn't truly technical but it works, and the cast and narrative don't have that Suda quality charm, but they're interesting enough to compel you to keep playing. If you're a pure action fan, this is just another game to eat up -- for everyone else, there's not a whole lot for you to enjoy in Killer is Dead.
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Not quite mondo enough
What do an assassin with multiple personality disorder, an otaku warrior, a foul-mouthed demon hunter, and a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader have in common? Why they're all creations from the legendary Suda 51 of course! For qu...

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New releases

New releases: Killers everywhere


Plus, Final Fantasy XIV, Lost Planet 3, and your funny football-like game
Aug 26
// Fraser Brown
I'll be spending this week playing catch up, but there's no dearth of new releases. Killer is Dead is tempting me, because bloody hell it looks flashy, but I'll probably leave until I'm not drowning in games. Final Fant...
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Killer is Dead

Killer is Dead launches to tepid sales in Japan


Debuts at number five with 17,709 units sold on PS3
Aug 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Mainstream success has largely eluded Grasshopper Manufacture. Despite giving birth to beloved properties like No More Heroes, the studio has had trouble garnering much of an audience outside of a devout cult following all to...
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Okay Killer Is Dead, enough is enough


The whole game is going to be spoiled at this point
Jul 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hey Suda 51, you're great. I love your games. Killer Is Dead looks like it will be a lot of fun. But enough is enough! There's promotion, and then there's just spoiling every single little aspect of your game. We've seen so ...
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Killer is Dead

Launch-window copies of Killer is Dead include extras


Game releases in late August
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Ever since word got out about Killer is Dead from Famitsu or wherever those initial screenshots originated, I've been trying to keep my distance so as to avoid spoiling any more than is necessary. Almost there! Grasshopper Ma...
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Star Wars: Battlefront, Ellen Page, & Sexy Suda51


The Destructoid Show has a visit from Uncle Sessler
Jun 25
// Max Scoville
DICE is as excited about Star Wars: Battlefront as you are, Ellen Page is pissed about Ellie in The Last Of Us looking like her, Saints Row IV is too explicit for Australia, and Suda51 gives his stance on sexuality in Killer Is Dead. Adam Sessler fills in for Tara, and we talk about his fun panel with Jim Sterling, and how I'm a suicidal Pikachu.
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Killer Is Dead trailer shows fight with King Quasi-Naked


More mental stuff
Jun 24
// Jim Sterling
Here's a new trailer for Killer Is Dead. It's got some really good music, a load of talking in Japanese, and a boss battle showcase against a man who wears very little clothing and appears to wear a crown. Henceforth, I dub him King Quasi-Naked. For those who don't want to spoil the weirdness, I must urge once more that this video may give away too much for you. View with caution!
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Be crushed by this massive Killer Is Dead image gallery


Lots of pictures of a man doing a killing
Jun 17
// Jim Sterling
Here's a gigantic bucket of screenshots for Grasshopper Manufacture's Killer Is Dead. You get to see our hero on the Moon, a grinning king, a lady in a dress, and a whole bunch of character stills. There's loads to gawp at. T...
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Killer is Dead boss fight & Gigolo missions get shown off


Tiger tiger tiger!
May 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Finally, a good look at Killer is Dead's gameplay. The first video here shows off some of the fighting mechanics with your sword and robotic gun arm. Plus we also get to see a boss fight against Hamadayama that starts off wi...
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Killer Is Dead getting premium edition version


Includes DLC, costs no more than regular version
May 30
// Jim Sterling
Deep Silver has revealed Killer Is Dead will be getting a premium edition. It will include a bonus "Beauty & The Beast & The Lingerie" download, the "Temptation of Miss Vampire" gigolo mission, one extra epi...
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You will fight a tiger in Killer is Dead


And robot samurais too
May 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest barrage of screens for Killer is Dead focuses on two of the bosses you'll encounter in the game. First there's Hamadayama, who rides around on a freaking tiger. Yes, a tiger. How badass is that? Then there's Samura...
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Killer is Dead

Killer is Dead's curvy cosplayers chat cozily on a couch


What is this I don't even
Apr 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Jessica Nigri is reprising her role as a promotional model in Grasshopper Manufacture and Kadokawa Games' latest collaboration, Killer is Dead. After portraying Juliet Starling for Lollipop Chainsaw, Nigri takes on the ...
Killer Is Dead photo
Killer Is Dead

Shove these Killer Is Dead screens down your throat


Zappa, Mondo Zappa
Apr 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Last night we showed you Killer Is Dead's pervy Gigolo missions. A nice little diversion from all the killing you will be doing. Yes, there's killing! So much killing! So much blood! Just look at all these screenshots in our ...
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The Destructoid Show can see through your clothes
Hello boys and girls, here's today's Destructoid Show for you to rub your dirty little eyeballs all over. Mmmm. Yes, just like that. Bethesda is done with Skyrim, and they've now begun teasing their next exciting mystery pro...

Killer is Dead photo
Killer is Dead

Killer Is Dead's pervy Gigolo missions get detailed


See through women's clothing with special glasses
Apr 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Suda51 teased us Killer Is Dead's Gigolo mode not too long ago, and now we have some more info on just how you'll be pleasing the ladies thanks to Siliconera. One Gigolo missions sees main hero Mondo Zappa trying to seduce Na...
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Killer is Dead

Killer is Dead is pure Suda 51 insanity, as per usual


Giant aliens! Giant aliens! Bring it on! Yeah!
Apr 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Grasshopper Manufacture has released another trailer for Killer is Dead and, as you might expect, it's looking as bizarre as ever. Alongside cutthroat protagonist Mondo Zappa, the video features cyborgs questioning the meani...
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Suda 51

Did Suda 51 just unveil No More Heroes 3?


HNNNNNNNNG
Mar 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Killer is Dead hasn't even hit shelves and Grasshopper Manufacture is already teasing its next project. Speaking with Famitsu, studio boss Goichi Suda showcased some concept art for an unannounced action title that looks to f...
Killer Is Dead photo
Killer Is Dead

Become a gigolo in Killer Is Dead's side missions


Mondo Zappa likes the ladies
Mar 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Killer Is Dead is the next big game from Grasshopper Manufacture, and among the many things you can expect to do, one aspect specifically stuck out to me: Gigolo Mode. Simply put, players will see protagonist Mondo Zappa sedu...

Talking Killer Is Dead with Suda51

Mar 28 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]249818:47821:0[/embed] On the name Killer Is Dead "I'm a fan of [The Smiths], the band, and they have a song called The Queen Is Dead. This was just a tentative title and I just switched out the Queen with Killer. There was talk that let's change the title to something else [as] it was sort of vague that it really doesn't describe anything. And then grammatically it might be incorrect, but I thought it gave more uniqueness that really matched what the gameplay was about so we decided to leave it." On the soundtrack Suda51 confirmed that Akira Yamaoka is indeed heading up the soundtrack to Killer Is Dead. As for what we can expect out of the music, Suda51 doesn't even know. "In the very beginning I explained what the concept of this game is about and what I'm trying to do within the game. After that we came up with a few ideas of what to do, and did some idea exchanges. But other than that I just threw the whole thing at [Akira]. At this time he's still working in the Tokyo office, still chugging away." On the Flower, Sun, and Rain connection "There is some kind of similarity because Sumio Mondo was wearing a suit as well, and I just like that character. I don't know, they just look similar. And then I liked the name Mondo so I decided to make him in a more action game this time. Originally I was thinking about Mondo Smith, but it's a little close to Sumio Mondo so we decided to change it." Both Mondos are two totally different characters, but they do share influences. "Just think of them like long distant cousins, or relatives," Suda said. [embed]249818:47822:0[/embed] On the visuals matching Project Heroes (the concept video that would go on to become No More Heroes) "I'm surprised you'd remember that, I sort of forgot! That was something that I really liked, and I wanted to put that in a HD format and I think in Killer Is Dead I was able to achieve that." On the James Bond inspiration "For this title, there isn't specifically a Bond movie, it was just that 007 as a series. He's a British agent that goes into different places, different countries to solve something. That was the backbone of how we created this. "My personal favorite is probably Living Daylights. I really liked the theme song, that's my favorite Bond movie. I don't think that many people say that's their favorite [laughs]. It has that uniqueness that I really like." On any influences from Killer 7 I wasn't really specifically thinking about Killer 7 when I was doing [Killer is Dead], but I think it's just a compilation of all the stuff that I was creating. This theme of executioner and the Killer 7 kind of matches. There's a lot of stuff that I'm utilizing from the back catalog, and ideas that I had. Nothing really specific that connects those two together.  How the Samurai Champloo game changed Grasshopper's design approach When asked about why Grasshopper games continue to focus on melee combat action, Suda 51 said that he thinks it's a culture thing as Japan used to be a sword country. "I think it's in my DNA or genes," Suda51 told us. Yet before the success of No More Heroes, Grasshopper had another successful title on their hands with Killer 7, a game that was primarily shooting focused. So how did the design direction shift come about? "After Killer 7 we played around with a title called Samurai Champloo, and then from there the idea became No More Heroes. When we created No More Heroes and launched that it did really well in Japan, and abroad, and in the US [it was] highly recognized." "And like the culture thing, I think it sort of spread throughout our staff members and they got the know how of what to do. From there it's sort of based on that, it did well, we really liked the slash action, and it just sort of continued on from there." Suda specifically cited understanding the know how of going up close to an enemy and killing them while designing the Samurai Champloo game as being one of the major inspirations for No More Heroes, and pretty much everything else since.
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How past Grasshopper games influenced their latest title
XSEED Games and Grasshopper Manufacture's Suda51 showed us Killer Is Dead this past week during the Game Developers Conference here in San Francisco. Once we were done checking out the gameplay, XSEED opened up the meeting to...

Suda51 photo
GungHo merger lets Suda focus more on the creative side
I, along with many of you, was pretty surprised to learn that Grasshopper Manufacture merged with GungHo Online Entertainment earlier this year. Personally, I was worried that this would ultimately hurt Suda51's studio, but a...

Our first detailed look at Suda51's Killer Is Dead

Mar 28 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]249843:47820:0[/embed] Killer Is Dead (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Developer: Grasshopper ManufacturePublisher: XSEED GamesRelease: Summer 2013 Half the story involves Mondo hunting down terrorists, but the other half sees the hero trying to solve his own mysterious past. He's lost his memories, and as he struggles to piece his life back together he'll be taking on evil -- all the while, chasing after beautiful women. All this is presented in an episodic approach instead of the typical mission structure you're accustomed to by Suda51's other games. Episodes will have a beginning and end to them that will take you to various locations around the world. Suda51, through an XSEED translator, told me that the two concepts he had was "one, to be an executioner, and two, to have jobs in different parts of the world, and then to combine those two together." The episodic stories made the most sense. "I also had this darker image, or darker 007 James Bond in my mind. James Bond travels around the world to solve crime or stop a terrorist attack. That's one of the things I wanted to do. Like Shadow of the Damned or Lollipop Chainsaw, it's usually just one night that everything happens. I wanted to make it more of a daily thing [with Killer is Dead.]" In our hands-off demo, Suda51 showed us one of the game's first boss fights against a terrorist named Victor. Victor has the power to steal sounds preventing the victims from ever hearing again. Mondo was hired by a client that had her sound stolen from her, and after tracking down Victor, Mondo learns that he intends to use all the stolen sound he's collected to destroy the Earth. Once the typical protagonist versus boss insult exchange is over, Victor transforms and wields two giant arms that you have to cut off. The fight comes in three stages, with Mondo needing to empty Victor's health meter to zero three times. Once it's depleted, players will have to perform a couple of timed button prompt presses to cut an arm off. After repeating this for the other arm, Victor will then stumble around the room as the building collapses around you. You then have two minutes to finish off Victor, at which point Mondo ends it all by cutting off Victor's head. He's defeated, but not before he gets to launch a laser beam that strikes the moon, thus infecting it full of pure malice. Suda told us that there's something happening on the dark side of the moon that has a big purpose and theme to the overall story. What I saw of the combat was pretty straightforward and more or less what you'd expect out of a Suda51 game. The katana is your main weapon where you can perform all sorts of attacks and combos. Your robot arm, at least during this part of the game, will double as a gun that's more useful for keeping enemies off balance and stunning them so you can go in for finishers with the katana. Previously released screenshots showed off Mondo's robotic arm transforming into a giant drill. Did I mention that the visuals are just absolutely wonderful? Because they really are. It's one thing to look at screens or trailers, it's even better seeing it all in action in front of you. The motion style comic feel is just amazing and it's simply gorgeous watching the action live. "So the graphics [are] one of the things we really concentrated on," Suda51 told us. "As you can tell the shading is really different and unique. Not only in the cutscenes but just overall the gameplay too. We just wanted to make something that's memorable and just people taking a glance at it they'll tell right away that it's Killer Is Dead." There was a moment where it was kind of hard to keep track of all the action, but I have to see more than just 10 minutes of gameplay to know whether this could harm the overall experience. A very short hands-off demo is hard to judge, but I can at least say that the visuals are damn impressive in Killer Is Dead. The gameplay looked great, and really I've enjoyed every past Suda51 title and I'd be shocked if I don't end up getting lost in yet another one of his worlds.
Killer Is Dead photo
Zappa, Mondo Zappa
Killer Is Dead is the next big game from developer Grasshopper Manufacture and the mind of Suda51. The basic idea echoes many past Suda games where you become a highly skilled badass taking on overpowered enemies by means of ...

Bond, psychos, and gigolos: Suda51 talks Killer is Dead

Mar 13 // Raz Rauf
The return of the "Killer Series" Yasuda recalls KID [Killer Is Dead] coming about at the end of 2009, during the development of Lollipop Chainsaw where Suda51 came up to him to present ideas on what to work on next together. Being a huge fan of Suda's "Killer Series" [Killer 7, No More Heroes, and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle], he really wanted to work on such a game, so it was an easy choice for him. For Suda, the idea of those games had been on his mind for a while previously, namely the desire to improve on them. Upon showing the idea to Yasuda, he realized that he wanted to compliment Lollipop Chainsaw's "sunny" and joyful existence by making a dark, "shadowy" contrasting piece. As with Lollipop Chainsaw, there's a natural allocation and division of roles between the two guys, with Suda taking command of game planning, and Yasuda quality management. Regarding game content, Suda usually handles the game design and visuals, and Yasuda deals with the battle systems and event scenes. As you are probably aware by now, the protagonist of the game, Mondo Zappa, is not your conventional professional killer. He's an executioner -- a man whose manner in which he kills his enemies has a nuance of someone waiting for their execution. In Suda's words, he's a "big-AAA international criminal-obliterating-businessman-type hero." He goes on to state he's a big fan of the Japanese TV institution, the Hissatsu period drama series, and Hiroshi Hirata's manga series 'Kubidai Hikiukenin.' Add the modernistic influences gained from being in a theater establishment called "America," and that is how he was able to create the hero, Mondo Zappa. Famitsu asked about whether Suda was conscious and concerned about the Western market, and whether it affected his decision making, such as trying to make macho protagonist that Western gamers would accept. Suda wondered why that machismo didn't come about in Mondo's character. He instead left that role to Mondo's boss, the half-cyborg Brian Roses.  Suda says that Mondo is a smart guy who's uncomfortable about killing but has an on switch in his head that allows him to change instantaneously to do his job. He likens Mondo's character to a one Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, particularly the separation of work and life, resulting in a man of emotional restraint. Not just your average hard-boiled affair Moving onto the nature of the story, the tone from the trailer suggests that KID might be a hard-boiled existence. Suda does agree that it has a serious tone, but Mondo is not a solitary hero here. Though he has an air of superiority and arrogance about him, he does have people who support him. Suda says the story thus becomes one of how Mondo grows as a professional, and hopes for not only a hard-boiled tale, but also a tale about an executioner's solitude together with a glimpse into the bonds between comrades. When Suda first announced the game back in April 2012, he teased that the game incorporates the "dark side of 007." He finally elaborated here by saying that though Bond is a secret government agent and goes deep underground to solve incidents, those incidents are typically public. Suda feels that there is a deep-seeded underworld that is separate and not at all visible to the public living on the surface, "like a red-light district." Never bringing themselves to the surface, Suda feels there are men who fight night and day within these confines, and him wanting to show that is what he meant by KID portraying the "dark side of 007." Mondo Zappa -- Japanese gigolo Suda has portrayed romance in intriguing ways in his games, and KID is no different with "Gigolo Mode." Keeping with the Bond theme, all Suda could say for now is that it's a mode where Mondo emulates the secret agent, having the opportunity to charm ladies of the world. He also jokes and deduces that the girls will probably come across as "Mondo Girls" due to the reference. Famitsu asked if this curious mode was a version of one of Suda's hobbies to which he laughed and denied. He insisted was a decision made by everyone. It had small beginnings, but much like the stress felt by the development team as deadlines encroached closer and closer, they realized that this could be a mode where through its ridiculously wacky system of "light and easy bartering for women," you and Mondo can relax and enjoy yourselves here after each long, arduous fight to the death. With women being from all over the world, this also means that you'll also be fighting all over the world. But sadly it won't be as much as you think, as though Bond has been to many parts of the world in his 23 films, the game had to be more limited and it just wasn't possible. However, regarding the vast array of women on offer, Suda does advise players to be careful. Mess around too much then there can be some undesirable consequences, particularly from the two female leads, Vivian and Mika. The first female lead Vivian is 25, and Mondo is 35, leading to an impression that she's like his little sister. Suda heartily revealed that initially she was to be a 68-year-old plastic-surgery-laden "beautiful witch." Instead, she has a calm wisdom about her, and it is Mika who is in fact the contrasting junior character here, being the "charming pet" younger sister Mondo never had. Suda teased you would have to play to find out to see whether anything happens between Mondo and the two women, though he did say that it was never good to get involved with a co-worker and laughed, as if he was talking from experience. He did confirm that if Mondo's the hero, then Vivian and Mika are definitely the heroines of KID. Lights, camera, action From the trailer, many of you will have seen that Suda's distinct visual style is back in full force. Suda was proud to introduce their new and unique tone shader, dubbed "High Contrast Shading." It has enabled him to make some damn pretty pictures, and ones he feels are the best they've been able to achieve so far, and will allow people to be immediately able to say "that's KID." As you also may have noticed, KID does look visually reminiscent of Killer 7, and feels like a significant improvement. "With Killer 7, I feel what we produced was the best we could achieve at the time. However, upon looking back on it, no matter how you look at it, it does feel outdated," Suda reflects. However, this is what gave him the motivation to improve and arrive with the new visual techniques today. Yasuda claims the development has resulted in really picturesque images. However, though realistic, Yasuda says they "strove more for stylistic beauty with the visuals." He goes on to say that they are the most extraordinary feature of the game, and even claim that "it will express the delicate touch characteristic of Japan, in showing a world where the intent to kill and love is bared so." Onto the action, swords and guns are both present in this game, but the sword will always be the main weapon. Yasuda explains the gun in the left hand can be used to, among other things, to "break the enemy's posture and eradicate the core parts of the enemy." Furthermore, you can exchange parts of your left hand weapon, which "will change its effects and prove useful, particularly in boss battles." It will also change the way you fight depending on the situation, and help expand the battle system. This idea of weapon exchange was always part of the plan according to Suda, who wanted the left hand to be able to do numerous things, such as "becoming a fork for mealtime, or a drill to dismantle large, heavy mechanical enemies." When it comes to romancing, however, Suda laughs by saying it is only then you can't turn your arm into a drill. So no luck for sadists. Furthermore, Mondo's left arm also has the ability to steal and absorb enemy's blood, which is inspired by magical powers seen in RPGs. The blood is called "Dark Matter" and upon fusing with humans, "it embraces the evil within them and gives them energy" to slay your enemies. There's also a growth system for Mondo, which by doing things such as using the same moves often, is pretty orthodox at its core. "For example, when you're about to deliver the final blow to an enemy, you have a choice of various arts to perform, and depending on that choice the skills and abilities of the character will change," Suda explains. Thus there's an emphasis on growth through action. Moreover, upon defeating an enemy, mineral items are dropped and can be collected to power up your weapons. The amount you get per enemy depends on how effectively you kill them, and that's another fun factor Suda wanted to add in. But rather than button mashing, Suda hopes you will enjoy playing the game with the thought of how you wish to see Mondo grow. And now for something completely different Another unique characteristic of a Suda51 game is presenting us with some crazy, extraordinary moments that we can never realistically experience. Famitsu asked if there would be any more of that in this game, and Suda initially laughs, saying that there were many ideas that he wasn't able to include. One thing he was able to put in the game is the "Fight the tiger-riding yakuza" situation. "Within the traditional scenery of Kyoto, a bike-riding Mondo fights a tiger-riding yakuza!" Sadly there's currently no image showing this ridiculously awesome moment. Instead, Suda points out that in fact there are other games that are fully loaded with moments we can never experience, but for him with KID, he just always had a "marvelous image" of fighting in Kyoto. He guesses that it must've meant that he just wants to show foreign players the grandeur of Kyoto. Right now, the game is around 70 percent complete, with a summer release scheduled. In the meantime, they are hard at work fine-tuning the balance and brushing up the game. In his final comments, Suda hopes that players will be able to appreciate KID's beauty from just one frame and button press, and be able to say "that's Japanese action!" Yasuda reflects on a long and eventful journey the two have traveled together, and asks us to look forward to some exciting promotions that will be in the similar vein of the Lollipop Chainsaw's ones. So all in all, expect a fun time killing bad guys and their tigers, sexing women all over the world, and battling with your deep-seeded conscience. Only in a Suda51 game, eh? 新たな"殺し屋"シリーズ、『KILLER IS DEAD(キラー イズ デッド)』! 開発のキーマンを直撃!! [Famitsu]
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Suda51 dishes the dirt on his upcoming game
2013 is the year of Suda51's next production, Killer Is Dead. In January, the game began its PR train with a cool, stylishly seductive trailer that oh teased us so. However, Famitsu was able to get a detailed interview out of him and his partner-in-crime from Kadokawa Games, Yoshimi Yasuda, in which they discuss everything from American Psycho and Bond, to gigolos and tiger-riding yakuza!

XSEED photo
XSEED

XSEED localizing every Japanese game ever


Localization firm announces four more games for 2013
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Killer is Dead isn't the only bun in XSEED's oven. The publisher has a whole lot more in store for those with a predilection for all that is obscure and Japanese in the world. First on the docket is Ys I & II Ch...






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