Review by JimSensei

"Heads talking with smiley faces, Mexican wrestlers, and tons of cussing; my kind of game"

Killer7 is perfect.

I may be blinded, biased, or a Capcom fanboy, but hear me out on this. What Killer7 does is what games are still trying to do today. Provoking thoughts of disgust and confusion from the player while giving them a unique story with cool characters, easy to get into game-play, and a perfect control scheme.

Killer7 is a game from the dark, crazy mind of Suda Goichi. Also known as, Suda 51. Although no one here in the states know who this guy is, he is a cult icon in the Japanese gaming world. His resume of games includes one where you head off to Michigan state with a reporter and film reports, with the interesting twist, being you must get shots of her panties to raise your score. Another has you as an agent who lives the same day over and over. The reason why we have yet to get these games is because they are just too strange for America.

Killer7 takes place in 2011, where a new threat called the Heaven Smile have begun attacking America. They take the place of normal human beings, and bomb rush people like mad bombs, blowing up with contact. The Killer7, a group of 7 assasins residing inside the mind of Harman Smith, a well-chair-bound old man, take on this threat.

Basic game-play is like this. You are stuck on invinsible rails. Press the X button to move forward, and the Triangle button to do a quick 180 turn. When you come to doors or other hallways, you tilt the analog stick in the direction shown on the screen to move into them. As you run around, you'll hear laughs. From there, you press down the R1 button, and tap the L1 button to scan. Enemies will then appear. From there, you must shoot them, kind of like in the First-Person segments of Metal Gear Solid 2.

After killing an enemy, he or it will fall down and just blow up in a fountain of blood. From there, you collect this blood to upgrade or heal your character on a special TV, where you can also save your game and change characters aswell. As you progress, you can learn new moves, such as a counter-attack and the ability to blow off limbs in one shot. And speaking about the assasins.

A few assasins, such as The Hellion Dan and lock-picking Coyote, use a few of their skills for fighting, while others like wrist-slicing Kaede and power house Mask De Smith use their talents for solving puzzles. There are a few others, such as the Speedy Con and Albino knive master Kevin, but I'll leave it to you to learn about them and their own unique talents. You can swap these characters on the forementioned TV, or on the fly through the main menu.

The game progress with you tracking down 6 targets, begining at Target 0. From there on, you progress through each level, and learn more about the story here and there. But what makes the game so amusing is the stories that lay within these targets. Sometimes through anime cutscenes or in-game renders, you will learn more and more about each unique character. The narrative is like that of an anime. Cowboy Bebop comes to mind.

As far as in-game gameplay goes, you will be killing alot of Heaven Smiles and solving alot of puzzles. One good thing about Killer7, is that the only time you ever need to go into the menu screen is to change characters or to heal. Items are use automatically when you approach the place where you need to use them. They are also picked up just as fast.

Control wise, this game is just really simple and easy to get in to. You will never have Camera problems on either version of the game. You are limited to how you can move the camera to only two positions, but other then that, it feels just like you are free-roaming. If you ever have control problems, it is possibly because you are on the Ps2 version of the game. On the Ps2 version, for some reason, you must press really hard on the R1 button to stay in aim mode. I beleive this problem is fixed in the Game-Cube version.

Presentation is just unique. Everything is done in a special style of cell shading. There are no textures, aside from couches, enemies, and grass. All the characters are shapes thrown together with strong shadowing laid out on them. But it looks amazing. You just have to see it in motion to get it. Technically, it isn't amazing, but just the style of it will put you in awe. And the sound-track? So good, they are charging 50 American skins to pre-order it! Techno is the main draw here with some Rave touches. There are some orchestra pieces, but they are few and far in-between.

If you own both a Ps2 and a Game-Cube, you may be wondering which version to get. The Ps2 version has several frame-rate issues, aswell as loading times slightly longer and control issues, as I mentioned before, so if you can, get the Cube version, but otherwise, they are both outstanding.

I really can't say more about this game. I can only add that this game has the best ending in a video game ever, and I've played all the big ones, so I know what I'm talking about here. Sweet style, easy-to-get into controls. It does what other games are trying to do. Do yourself a favor and pick this soon-to-be cult classic up.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/13/05

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