So, what do you suppose you get when you cross Resident Evil 4, Shenmue, and Twin Peaks?
The answer took the form of a game released in February of 2010; a low budget survival horror game from a small Japanese studio. Originally known as Rainy Woods in 2007, and given the name Red Seeds Profile upon release in Japan, the version of the game released in America was called Deadly Premonition. Developed by Access Games, and headed up by game director Hidetaka Suehiro (better known as SWERY), Deadly Premonition was only their second game. Their first game, Spy Fiction, was a stealth action game for the Playstation 2 released in 2004. Reviews of Spy Fiction were generally low. It seemed that the same would follow for Deadly Premonition, with one of the first reviews (from IGN) giving it a 2.0. However, a number of positive reviews followed, and the game started to gain attention from the wildly divergent scores it was getting.
The reason for the divergent scores is fairly clear once the game has been played through. The gameplay feels like something one would find in a last generation game, something like Resident Evil 4, but stiffer and bit awkward. The story may not appeal to those looking for a straight-laced murder mystery, as their is a lot of odd humor that probably won't be for everyone. The graphics look like they'd be entirely possible on an original XBox (720p aside). Add these things up together, and you have a package that many people dismiss at first glance.
So considering all this, what makes the game worth playing? One thing, really. This guy.
Francis York Morgan is the main character of the game; an FBI agent that is sent to a small town to investigate a strange murder. York is the main attraction of this game; finding the identity of the murderer takes a back seat to the player finding out about York himself. He's the source of the odd humor of the game; his interactions with the townspeople as they struggle to react to him are one the main things that makes this game great. Really, the entire town plays the straight man to York's bizarre behavior. I'd say that Deadly Premonition has a character-driven story more than any other game I can think of. This becomes pronounced in the game's end, when the player realizes that the game really was more about York than any murder mystery.
That being said, I don't mean to imply that the gameplay itself is poor. This is something that was stated by many reviewers, and I'm not really sure why. The controls in combat are a bit stiff, but nothing that can't be adapted to. The open world, while a bit too empty, is intereting in drive around in and look at, and has additional entertainment value of its own, as York likes to talk about his favorite old movies and songs as we drive around with him.
I mentioned that Deadly Premonition has aspects of Shenmue in it. Between combat sections, gameplay consists of traveling around town talking to people and inspecting locations. The game tells you where to go, but it's up to you whether you travel along the path the game lays out, or if you're going to go exploring on your own and see what you can find. If you only go where the game tells you to go, then you're actually going to miss out on a large portion of the game. Exploration is encouraged and rewarded in the form of 50 optional sidequests. In fact, not doing any of the sidequests will only make the game harder for the player.
This run-through will be a 100% run. Every sidequest will be completed, and every optional item will be collected. I will be trying to do this as efficiently as possible, but not too quickly as to lose the plot.
*Note - The videos on Youtube are split up to fit in the 15 min. time limit. If you click a Youtube link, there is more than one embedded video in the page that comes up; watch them from top to bottom.
|p. 1 - Agent Smug||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 2 - Ditching the Cops||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 3 - The Milk Barn||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 4 - Becky & Quint||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 5 - Swery 65'||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 6 - Cause of Death||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 7 - Other Hospital||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 8 - Backroads||Blip||Download|
|p. 9 - Crime Scene||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 10 - Lumber Mill||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 11 - Spiritual Map A||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 12 - Town Meeting||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 13 - New Guest||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 14 - Rainy Day||Blip||Download|
|p. 15 - Galaxy of Terror||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 16 - Muses Gallery||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 17 - Magic Murder Guitar||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 18 - Becky's House||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 19 - Lost Children||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 20 - Found Children||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 21 - Low Speed Chase||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 22 - Other Gallery||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 23 - Heart-To-Heart||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 24 - Favor For Nick||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 25 - One Fine Day||Blip||Download|
|p. 26 - Hurry to Harry||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 27 - Greenvale Graveyard||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 28 - Spiritual Map B||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 29 - Finding Files||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 30 - History Lesson||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 31 - Thomas||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 32 - Where's York?||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 33 - Sheriff's Department||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 34 - The Raincoat Killer||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 35 - York & Zach||Blip||Youtube||Download|
|p. 36 - Goodbye Greenvale||Blip||Youtube||Download A,|