The first few hours of... DEADLY PREMONITION.

   04/11/2010 at 19:15       Michael Stephenson       5 COMMENTS.
 - Deadly Premonition, Hideo Kojima, Ignition Entertainment

Me and Hideo Kojima?

Like that.

He’s always calling me up – usually in the middle of the fucking night – and shouting (because he thinks I’ll understand him better that way) his latest crazy ideas down the line at me:

“Hey, dude!”
“I… what time is it?”
“This is a great one… trust me.”
“Kojima? Fucks sake. I… I told you before… For fu -”
“How about I bring back Snake, only this time, he’s really strapped for work, you know? So he has to, I dunno, get a job in McDonalds, or something.”
“Jesus Shitting Christ – it’s FUCKING 3 O BASTARD CLOCK, YOU CUN -”
“Stay with me… or maybe as one of those dudes who have to stand around on the corner of busy shopping areas dressed up as a big power drill to advertise the DIY store that’s down a side street?”
“,,,”
“Yeah. You so with me. I can tell.”
“Shit.”
“You get me.”
Fuck.”
“I know.”
“This one isn’t actually that bad…”

I almost bought Castlevania recently… but then I read that my good friend Hideo was involved somehow. I love the guy, but – man – does he ever know just exactly how to fuck a good game right the very fuck up. Seeing his name involved is like initially being really interested in a film and then finding out the Key Grip’s brother in law is M. Night Shazamalam; i.e. fucking close enough to put me the fuck off.
(I think I actually said all that when I gave my Best Man speech at Hideo’s wedding, incidentally – tough room, by the way.)

So it was with some concern that I placed the recently acquired Deadly Premonition into the DVD tray of my 360; I had it on good authority, see, that the cut-scenes contained within were a bit “lengthy”. (Consider: I STILL try to skip the five second cut-scenes in Gradius V... STILL.) Oh, AND batshit mental holy good fuck crazy. Also: the graphics are shit.

So I read, remember.
I read that the graphics were -

Okay, let’s just cut to the chase here: they are. I can’t pretend otherwise any longer. They’re functional in places, downright painful in others. I had to check I hadn’t accidentally tripped and swapped over the 360 for an old xbox. Again. Or maybe learnt some 1337 coding skillz, wrote an Xboxen emulator for 360, then spent weeks tweaking it for optimum framerate.
In my sleep, maybe. It happens.

Lost count of the number of times, if I’m honest.

Not this time though. This time those shit visuals were for the monkeyfunstin REALZ. With a Z. Yes, I’m aware what I just went and did there, thanks.

The opening cut-scene (yeah, already – I know) is like being hit in the face by A WHOLE OTHER DECADE. And that’s just the good stuff: the bad stuff is like having a 2 by 4 wrapped around the back of the skull by a 20th-Century-powered Mr. T. Yes, now you ask, I did mean powered by THE ENTIRE DAMN CENTURY.

Imagine you’re Dale Winton and you invented a time machine, but the first time you start it up Larry Grayson steps out and tells you he wants his fucking schtick back, you schtick-stealing, orange cunt, you – that’s just how I felt watching this.

Slack-jawed in total amazement that people can actually get away with this shit nowadays, I sat dumbfounded in silent awe at the textures that, essentially, shouldn’t even be forced on high-security life-threatening inmates – we don’t even need the Human Rights Act for this shit, frankly: it just cast-fucking-iron shouldn’t be allowed to enter human (or otherwise) eyeballs.

Did I do enough with the lowering of your expectations yet? Good.

Because, get this, NO TEARING. So actually, the graphics… they fucking rock. In an entirely rubbish way. They rocbish.
[Insert obligatory “see how fucking easy I am to please Ubisoft? While I’m on: FUCK YOU”.]

How.
About.
That.

They are, in fact, the very definition of my own soon-to-be-officially-acknowledged word: shitsome. Or aweshit, if you prefer. (You crazy loon, you.)
Either way, I’ll be really fucking ticked off if neither of those words make it into the dictionary this year – and if one does, it better just say: “SEE DEADLY PREMONITION. Or Ninja Terminator – either works.”

All this is as maybe: I mean, I can fuck on about how shit the graphics are and how awkward the cut-scenes are all day, but nothing – not even the power of my own super-awesome words – can compete with the grainy tiny footage of a youtube clip, right?


Aside from the physically-exhaustingly-bad graphics… the awkward pauses, the grunted chortles, the fact that the fat dude didn’t notice the chick hanging provocatively from a tree till he was, like, right fucking under her… well, look, basically, I don’t know about anybody else, but this game had me at: “Dude. Sup. Hey, wanna buy a box of frogs?”

And that was just with the introductory movie. I say that, because when you eventually get to play the game? It has seemingly got fuck all to do with anything. (I have only played the first few hours, remember – do keep the fuck up.)

Jumping between some surreal netherworld (a living room set in a forest of blood, of course), and a near-fatal car crash your fruitloop (“Am I a fruitloop, Zach? Am I?”) FBI investigator shrugs off with yet another drag of his “Police” brand (seriously, not joking) cigarettes, it’s all rather too much to take in. It’s a bit like the first time you watch Strictly Come Dancing.

Stay with me.

See, if you take into account all the really shit stuff – the public voting, the dancing, Brucie’s “jokes”, the fact it’s about 5 hours long – it really should be one of the worst things on television, and it should result in your brain melting so fast that gravity itself goes, “the fuck?” because it couldn’t keep up with how fast your body subsequently collapsed.

But then something clicks. In your brain.

It might be the shutdown switch, thinking about it. Anyway, so – makes sense, I guess – your brain shuts down, and you find yourself enjoying how shit it is despite yourself. Yeah, it’s all clear to me now. A shutdown switch. Huh. Should have seen that. Someone needs to figure that shit the fuck out, pronto. That’s my next “project” sorted, I guess.

Anyway, coming back to Deadly Premonition, you go from wanting to punch the annoying netherworld child-angels right in their annoying netherworld nethers till nether nether something nether something, through some weird gameplay section where you can happily pump five bullets into some backwards zombies without them dropping – or, you know, just hit them a couple of times with a steel pipe (this does make sense, honest) – to suddenly having to run HALF A FUCKING MILE to get to a bridge where the next cutscene happens, for apparently no good reason whatsoever.

Seriously? Why not just have me come out of the woods, like, a bit closer to that bridge?

“I have to run all the way down there? You do realise I already mastered holding down the run button, right, Mr. Developer?” goes your already battered and bemused brain, as it flounders for anything remotely logical, floating in a sea of nonsense.

It’s a school of thinking that didn’t require any schooling, or, for that matter, a great deal of thinking: throw enough shit at you so that it distracts you from the shit you just seen in a, “did that just actually fucking happen?” kinda way.

Again, like Strictly.

You’re just trying to work out Brucie’s last gag when suddenly – BAM – your eyes and brain are having to process Ann Fucking Widdecome attempting a latin salsa.

Did you manage to even read that? Ann Fucking Widdecome.
Latin… salsa?


Then Bruno What’s-a-his-face starts with his grinding, thrusting analysis of what the salsa is about, and Brucie comes in with some adlib that actually physically hurts – it’s that bad – and suddenly you realise: your brain’s Shit Overload Switch has kicked in. (I’m so all over this brain shutdown switch shit – so all over it.)

So it was at the point where I realised that one of the main plusses for this game (Deadly Premonition, remember) was that your character regularly talks to himself – it was at that point where I thought, “huh, when was the last time my brain hit the SOS switch this fucking quickly?”

Despite my memory trying desperately to persuade me I was mistaken – and that the reason the memories of it were hazy were because it never actually happened (seriously, it got REALLY desperate and threw back shit I swear I’ve never even considered doing to throw me off the scent) – I remembered.

And here is just about as much of a sample of it as I think you can handle:

Seriously, it’s like that the whole the way through. You think you have a decent handle on what makes a good film? Oh yeah? Seen Ninja Terminator yet? No?
OPINION INVALIDATED.
Jesus – it’s a bit like claiming you “know” what life is about when you’ve never been forced to eat your own excrement.
You don’t know shit unless you’ve had to eat your own shit, shithead.

And this game? It’s close. It’s close to that level. Take the handling of the cars. Oh god, but the handling of the cars. Driving a car actually scares me more on this fucking game than riding a 600cc supersports at 120 mph does IN REAL FUCKING GOD DAMN LIFE.

And do not – do not – make the mistake of assuming this is due to the hyper realism Deadly Premonition manages to somehow fit into its driving model. Believe me, this won’t fill the GT5 fix you need till the next release date is announced and inevitably slips.
Seriously: have you just joined us, or what?

It gets to the point where glitches actually fit into the attempt at a gameworld. It’s all so fucking Twin Peaks that when you see something weird happen, you think, “huh, entirely normal” – even when it’s patently obvious it’s actually a bug.

Zombie stuck in a fence? Probably intentional.
Levitating crate? Probably part of some puzzle.
Dog stuck because it can’t figure out where to go? Hang around and it’ll probably speak to us – give us clues, like.

The trick here is: enough shit is being thrown at your overloaded brain that the SOS switch stays permanently closed. Your brain shrugs and goes, “well, that’s me, fucko – you’re on your own with this bollocks.”

Just like Strictly.

It’s scaring me just how much this review is all falling into place, you know.

So yeah, the graphics are shitsome (or aweshit), and the gameplay is clunky (not-letting-me-move-while-aiming-oh-really?), and it does things that even my dog knows is retarded (and she licks pavements), but… well, here’s the deal:

Yeah, I know you have better games to play. I know you have prettier games to play. Hell, I know you have games to play that sort of make some fucking sense.

And yeah, looking at it that way, this game is a bit like sneaking a wank in when you have a gorgeous girlfriend, as in: you know you got a way better looking woman to fuck, but there’s just something about the solitary wank that satisfies something deep down that you’re actually pretty ashamed of.

But…

Yeah... not sure where I was going with that, to be honest.

Did I mention it’s really, really cheap?

Truth is: I didn’t really need to write this “review”. Seriously, I didn’t. All you have to do to decide if you’re going to get along with this game is WATCH A BIT OF NINJA TERMINATOR. If you’re the type of person who “puts up with” the (to the average human) “shit” that typically surrounds the actual fights in your average Ninja flick then this game is still probably worth a try.

If, however, you’re the kind of person who thinks those bits are what Ninja films are all about, then - woah – hey there, is this ever the motherfucking game for you.

Is it so shit it’s good? No. It’s way, way better than that, while being way, way worse. It’s so shit it’s shit.
Yeah. It’s that good.

In conclusion: hey, Hideo? THIS IS HOW YOU DO BATSHIT CRAZY, MY FRIEND.


Stevas doesn’t do scores – ignore any stupid star rating this site forces upon him below – you only need know this: Deadly Premonition is almost as good as Ninja Terminator, while being not quite as bad.

Yeah, you go figure that out.

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