So Shadows of the Damned…

…I’d be lying if I didn’t say I did not have a crazy fucking time because I truly did. It was a wonderful game, overall, and I’m in fact considering it as one of the best games I’ve played this year. Odd that the latter sounds a bit too prestigious because, quite frankly, it’s more of a solid rental than say “worth the MSRP”.

Yes, one of the best games I have experienced in 2011 is nothing more… than a solid rental?!

OK hear me out first: There are at least 2 notable issues in this so-dubbed “Suda 51 Trip” that I, personally, believe diminishes its true potential.

First off would be the replay value, which is clearly a negative 1 by any means. Once you’re done trotting the underworld as Garcia F. Hotspur along with those wacky –yet clever– dick jokes; then that’s pretty much it. Unless you count multiple playthroughs (make that 2) just to nab those shiny trophies and numeric achievements, which are clearly just bread crumbs and not full second servings. A little something extra or incentive after beating the game would’ve been extremely nice. New weapons, unlockables, a new game plus– anything!

And then there’s the fact that it’s akin more to a Gears of War or even Vanquish “shoot-room-item-shoot” linear fashion oppose to something meatier; like say Resident Evil 4 or the Dead Space games. In short: A straight-forward, action shooter that just feels formulaic. The action wasn’t by any means tedious or repetitive personally, but explorations in-general would’ve been interesting. Not to mention more weapons and gratifying upgrades.

Notice that I didn’t complain on the game’s length (finished it in less than 9 hours), which I reckon was just right for an action game. More shooting and dick jokes would’ve been grating if you think about it. Hence, a “solid rental” because paying the full $60 price tag feels like… well not really a ripoff because the experience itself is truly bizarre, in a unique-postive fashion of course. But if you and a bunch of your Suda 51/Mikami/Yamaoka geeks can share the game and split the costs– then why not?

Unless you really are one of those dweebs who can’t fucking wait to get their hands on it as soon as possible, sure go ahead. Just make sure the tag replayability isn’t plastered in your heard. 60’s too much and I personally would pay for 40-45 or heck P2000 (if I’m not mistaken, that’s the standard asking Php price since it’s an EA published game).

With clever and witty writing, solid-ish game design, and probably one of the craziest cast of characters I have ever seen in a video game: Grasshopper Manufacture could’ve had a champion here. Too bad yet nevertheless– I had a good time and those 9 hours were not totally wasted by any means.


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