Have you heard of video game developer Goichi Suda, better known to fans as Suda51? If that's the case, you probably know his brand of strange games, from Western cult classics Killer 7 and More heroes definitely Japanese visual novels like The Silver case.
But Suda51 focused on the western gaming industry, in part because its biggest games have not attracted huge audiences here. One of the main reasons is that its best price on the GameCube and Wii targeted the older players, who were probably too busy playing PlayStation and Xbox consoles during these times to realize it. And his resolutely Western followings, The shadows of the damned and Chainsaw lollipop, suffered from development problems and botched gameplay.
This week, Suda51 will have a rare moment of top-notch attention thanks to a comfortable January Nintendo Switch silent calendar. Between the usual india dump and a six-year-old child New Super Mario Bros. U re-release is the latest game from the Grasshopper Manufacture studio: Travis strikes again: more heroes. "Hey, I heard about More heroes, and this guy from Suda-fifty-something, "you can think of yourself by flipping through the list of" latest games "of the Switch." I could go for some of this weird and bizarre Japanese action of which he is everything. "
If you dive into Travis strikes again with this attitude, be warned: you do not know what you are going to do. By that, I do not mean that you must have already played games of the hack-and-slash series. I mean rather than TSA is an absolutely weird action game that has little interest in meeting anyone's expectations.
Serious potential, but …
Before your first mission begins, Travis must have at least one self-destruct line.
An example of battle. Waves of enemies will appear and you will have to use a mix of simple and refillable attacks. (The left and right sides of the screen are always dedicated to information about your characters, whether or not you play a two-player game.)
Here, Travis throws his shot into the line of sight.
A fun tip: hold down the "fast" attack button, and Travis will swiftly swing his sword, instead of requiring you to repeatedly press the button.
However, the game has an unpleasant reporting of Wii games: you must move your joystick to reload (or use the right joystick, if necessary).
Take a look at the "chip" system, which allows you to install four chips at a time; access their skills by holding down the L button, then press the corresponding face button.
One of the game's enemies, zoomed in for his introduction.
The first mission includes some cool shots, like this race to a factory.
Or this battle against a shimmering neon town.
Although this boss fight seems blurry, it has a cinematic look much more beautiful.
The second mission is not as pretty as it, because it revolves around this view from top to bottom of simple buildings.
And then there are these ugly and generic sequences of city-platforming. Blech.
A brief look down before a bunch of dialogue.
Here is the dialogue.
No more jokes.
And more self-disparaging humor.
What is this world?
It's the "seventh" level of the game, but I do not count it when I say that the game has six levels. It's a very short and pleasant affair (with a twist "arcade" too long at the end).
Whenever you save your game, you do it by sitting and peeing. Whatever you say, Suda51.
There is a lot of ramen to TSA. Travis eats a lot (to heal mid-mission) and talks a lot about it. As a fan of ramen, it suits me.
For a, TSA was loudly announced as More heroes spin-off, as opposed to a real sequel. Although it features some of the characters from the previous game, including Travis Touchdown, leader of the sword drummer, TSA sees this character jump into a block frozen in time and in continuity with the universe of the series. Travis has discovered a rare video game console, so he slips into a trailer in Texas to try to play video games that he has only heard of. The problem is that his first game session is interrupted by an enemy he's never met – and a fight leads them to accidentally warp inside the console. games.
Of the, TSA offers two types of missions. The former are hack-and-slash battles across six separate game worlds, each based on a completely fictitious game world. Suda51 has confused the fans of games when he announced TSA explaining how the game would include allusions to large independent video games, but Travis does not enter the universe of independent games you've heard of. (Not even Hotline Miami, although this game gets a ton of name checks here, due to Suda51's very public appreciation for this indie classic.)
Instead, Travis's action scenes alternately alternate top-down and side-scrolls against a group of about eight types of enemies, plus a few bosses. They all run with the same controls. Some of these levels are divided into slight twists, like a puzzle in which you have to rotate the roads of a level to create a path, or a mini-game of drag that requires keystrokes to the button to handle the manual transmission of your car (which does not even have to lead). But for the most part, Travis runs forwards, cuts off deformed skeletons and jumps or sometimes points in the corners to find hidden collectibles.
I found that only six of the more than 12 collection tokens deserved to be outfitted
The fight begins with a serious potential. Travis and his optional partner, Bad Man, begin with a series of quick attacks, "ferocious" attacks, dodging and skipping, but these are soon completed. through a series of "smart" upgrades. Each fighter can equip up to four of these chips at a time, allowing lightning strikes, turret locations, healing zones and other special moves. these must all recharge for a while before they can be reused. But in my experiences, I found that only six of the more than twelve collection tokens were worth being equipped, in terms of controlling the waves of enemies.
The good news is that combat sequences usually have a clear and fast appearance, thanks to a subtle cartoon effect drawn on enemies and enemies and at a refresh rate largely locked at 60 fps. But when TSA misses its fps rating, the results are painful and the game has clearly sacrificed the number of polygons and other effects to maintain its high rates. Moments in the game are absolutely breathtaking, especially a sequence in a sequence of cities where the floor reflects all the nearby neons, but most of the game's surroundings are constantly repeating the same details or, in the case of less a sequence outside, it looks like they are full of fictional art.
And the main control system that players must support is surprisingly complex and unresponsive, especially in the heat of a foolish fight against an enemy swarm. TSA will buffer all the frantic pushes on the buttons, which means that you will probably lose control of Travis by accidentally causing two slower "ferocious" attacks in a row or two consecutive throws of dodging, while you you really only need to do one or the other. The lack of enemy variety does not solve the problem, any more than TSAThe propensity of man to reach his levels with repetitive combat after repetitive combat after repetitive combat. Even the first level of "tutorial" takes about an hour to erase, while the aforementioned level of rotation-puzzle features eight pieces of an odious length that repeat the same concepts.
"Let's play a game … of death"
So, why do we even talk about this game? Because Suda51 has clearly smoked powerful stuff, and for her fans, that may be enough to stay.
This gallery focuses on the movie sequences, as well as moments taken from the new moments of the game between the missions. (Those that include curse words, are later in the gallery, if you do not want their details to be spoiled.)
Here we see an overview of Hotline Miami, which Suda51 went on record saying inspired this game.
But most of the independent games referenced in this game appear only in the form of T-shirts, which you can put on your characters. Stupidly, however, these jerseys can not be seen during the game, because of camera angles used in combat.
This is the only time you will actually see the shirts of your characters.
A series of increasingly bizarre fax messages explain the origins of the game's "Death Drive Mk II" game console.
A series of magazine clippings and game instruction manuals adds context to the fictional fictional games of a game inside the game.
Zoom in on one of these game manuals.
One of the games in the TSA begins with a sequence of horror movies resembling those of the 70s.
Things do not end well for this player here.
Not the game this kid is registered for.
Another game opens with a decidedly pseudo-CGI sequence of the PS1 era. It's deliciously absurd.
And now you have made dad crazy.
And now, take a look at the visual novel parts of the game.
You will have to imagine the MIDI soundtrack surprisingly good during these games.
The settings change quickly. (These are not in order, we skip a ton of text here.)
Welcome to the part of the talking cat. (I've censored this f-bomb.The game is totally uncensored.)
"There is not enough budget," you do not say?
Back on the road and discuss urgent issues.
If Suda51 reads this: we do not make comments at Ars Technica.
TSA Suda51 sees unveiling its very specific vision of the look and feel of a video game world. The result is a meta-verse of ruptures of the fourth wall and sneaky references full of vulgarity. Suda51's previous games are often mentioned in a subtle or blatant way. Other game franchises make surprise appearances. The tropes of the general game appear regularly (including self-repugnant critics of TSAthe worst attributes). Heck, even Unreal Engine 4 is mentioned, including some surprising revelations behind the veil that explain the operation of the game's engine.
Travis Strikes Back, a regular feature that asks players to initialize themselves in a classic monochrome computer interface and exploit page after page a visual novel dialogue. These sequences do not include anything in the choices; Instead, they include a series of attractive monochrome comic panels, a surprisingly robust MIDI soundtrack, and a worldwide story full of revenge, suspense and talking cats. It's strange, but it's cute.
And each combat mission includes its own pauses to chat with the gonzo, including long exchanges between Travis and his enemies or phantom advice snippets (which primarily encourages players to stop eating fast and look for no more ramen). Between these pieces of text and the big instruction manuals for each game in the game, Suda51 wants his players to have a text world so big that they can swim there. But this is not necessarily a hot bath. My biggest beef with the text is that it gives priority to ethics and attitude, as opposed to the characters. TSA is fiercely outside of More heroes& # 39; canon, and the result is a story whose characters are all whackadoodle archetypes, all trying to adhere to an ideal of French or new film production of Tarantino.
Eight hours, with an asterisk
Some of the game's action errors could have been forgivable if the cooperative game had felt tighter, but TSA does not fit well for a second player. More enemies will appear, but the way they move and try makes their increased numbers debatable; a second player inclines the scales too far in an "easy" territory. Unless you want the extended combat of the game to be too simple, stay solo (and enjoy it in portable mode, where the refresh at 60 fps and the bright colors of the game give the impression to hide some of the visuals the simplest ones).
More heroes: trailer of the TSA.
This does not mean that the game is a total failure, but his most impressive fight is diluted by so much padding, and his unsatisfactory bosses, seen-these-before, do not help. And while designing multiple games in a game includes hilarious JVM sequences and dialogs, it's hard not to be disappointed that the ideas they refer to are futile. Contrablasting or resident Evilhouse style mansion. These are just slim gadgets over almost identical battles.
If the game's eight hours of playing (who do not expect to return to levels to find secrets) had been cut in half, I would be more likely to recommend to a random passerby to flick through pages of text, confused laughter, and then Enjoy some sensational and memorable battles. Instead, I urge occasional action fans to argue for an unhealthy text, a disappointing cooperation and a surprisingly fun text. If Suda51's singular sense of humor is your cup of tea (or, in the case of this game, your bowl of ramen), you'll probably forget those shortcomings TSAis more crazy reveals.
Otherwise, consider following the example of Suda51 and simply playing Hotline Miami again.
The ugly one
VerdictIf you like Suda51, there is enough for you to stay hooked. Otherwise, walk carefully.