Killer is Dead 'can fuck off into space' - Matt Lees talks about "Gigolo mode"

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#1
Uh wow...

So this game sounds like a disaster.

UPDATE: XSeed staffer claims the video is full of rich creamy shit.

I watched the video, and here’s my reply. I haven’t read the entirely of the thread yet, so please excuse my if I’ve missed something already written here! Also keep in mind this is my personal opinion, and is in no way reflective of XSEED Games, my employer.

- "You seduce women in a bar using X-Ray glasses."
Untrue. Mondo is modeled after James Bond ("Mondo" and "Bond" sound the same in Japanese), and his escapades with women were meant to be a reflection of the "man every woman wants" thing. Basically, as you progress through the game, women will call Mondo and beg for a date. You can go on these dates in locations that vary depending on the girl, not just bars, and yeah, you do what a dude who has only one thing on his mind does (not saying every dude, just that kind of dude) and stare at her a hell of a lot. The glasses are not used to seduce; they're used in a couple of ways, including as 'x-ray' glasses and to also look inside of her heart and figure out her likes and dislikes so you can give her gifts that she likes. It’s worth noting you can get by just fine without them.

- "She's referred to as a 'target'"
This is a half-truth. This is not a game where Mondo finds a chick and literally beelines towards her and relentlessly hits on her. The entire game is presented on a world map of sorts, and you scroll through various locations where you choose your missions. 'Targets' are the character you are directly interacting with for said mission, and it is used to describe both the girls in Gigolo Mode as well as your targets of execution in story mode. It's not exclusively to the women as the video makes it sound and shouldn’t be interpreted in a negative light.

- "By look at her breasts and crotch, she will, of course, like you more."
Worded incorrectly. It's true that you're basically ogling your date while she isn't looking, but if she catches you, she'll be hella pissed off. There's a meter on the right that's indicative of her mood, and if you stare too much, you obviously won't be having a very good date by the end. Some of these endings are pretty hilarious, and if you’re not into this whole Gigolo Mode thing, you might find them to be sweet justice.

- "If you are successful at checking out her nips, you gain the ability to use gigolo glasses."
Incorrect. Again, the glasses are unlockable or available as pre-order DLC.

- "ludicrously proportioned"
As a female, I'll say that's actually wrong as well. I actually changed the measurements myself in the English version to be a more accruate and proportionate reflection of their character models, since I know a thing or two about female measurements.

- "The more you stare at this woman's bosoms, the more you learn what her favorite things are"
Incorrect. The gigolo glasses DO tell you the things that she likes whether you decide to stare at her lingerie or not (hell, you can look to the side if you're uncomfortable for that part). You can also get a good idea of what each girl likes based on, well, them. Obviously a girl like Koharu, who is presented as very demure, is probably not going to like a flashy watch, and obviously a go-getter like Natalia isn't going to have any interest in a cute baby doll as a gift. Gift-giving is so ridiculously over-the-top like the rest of the game, and it's silly as all get-out. Don’t take it seriously, have fun with it.

- "But the selection of things that these women like is downright offensive."
Flowers - Not sure about how offensive giving a single red rose to a girl is. Cliche, yes, but hardly offensive.
Booze - You buy her a drink, it’s presented in the same manner as other gifts. You can give a Schnapps bottle as a gift though, but I don’t know, booze is a pretty sweet gift.
Money- INCORRECT, COMPLETELY INCORRECT. You can give a commemorative gold coin, and it does not translate to cash. You DO NOT giving cash to your dates as gifts. I cannot believe how inaccurate this is.
Worth noting that other gifts are like a Japanese fan, chewing gum, or a necklace. This video pulls pulls out the ones he finds offensive and sort of abstracts them.

- "They give you a present"
True, but he's making it sound like a trade, like, “Hey, thanks for the sex, here’s something in exchange.” The girls declare that they made a gift exclusively for you, which can be pretty interesting items. It's silly, but I interpreted Natalia as one badass chick when she made me a Drill Arm. Like, a complex device you attatch to your mechanical arm to bust walls and fight enemies. Coooooool.


- "Not about waving a flag of gender equality"
I have to admit, I hate this kind of card being pulled. Not every damn game has to be politically correct. This game actually does have characterized women outside of Gigolo Mode, including your boss whom you respect because she's business-smart and no-nonsense, your upbeat assistant, an elegant, mysterious woman, as well as targets for execution and clients who hire you to do the executing during story mode. In fact, more women are in story mode than in Gigolo Mode.

This is also Mondo’s story, a guy designed to be charismatic who cuts off heads and travels the world (and the moon, the freaking moon) for a living and meets beautiful women in the process. It’s not meant to be a politically correct game and doesn’t even try to pretend it is, which, I think, is far more offensive. And since I’ve played quite a few SUDA 51 games, I can say he’s never the type to be that politically correct in any of his work anyway- this game is, completely, a SUDA title. Is it kind of stupid? Yeah, it definitely is. You’ll either laugh at it or feel slightly uncomfortable; I was the former, as, like with anything else in a game that has tiger tattoos coming to life and unicorns and a Hansel and Gretel/Alice in Wonderland house, I noticed it was completely ridiculous. Purposefully so.

This video also doesn’t note that these missions, while a chance to gather unique and useful gifts, is completely optional. If you don’t like it and just want to play through the story? You can do that, it’s no problem. The story itself is high action, fast and furious, and full of unlockable abilities and twists and turns that do not ever require you to go on dates or try to ‘get lucky’.

I’m not going to say it’s wrong to be offended by it, but I also think he was giving misinformation and also taking it way too seriously, especially when he had some of the context of the game to go off of.
UPDATE #2: Matt Lees responds to the XSeed allegations.

Hello, Matt Lees here - thought I'd come and post a response to the XSEED employee.

Apparently I am incorrect about some specific elements of the mini-game, particularly in terms of the X-ray glasses. The glasses are unlocked during the game or purchased as a pre-order bonus.

As with most of the other points made, the aim here seems to be to try and discredit me by pointing out things that don't change the reality of what the mini-game *is*. True, your assassination targets within the game are also called 'targets'. Does that make it cool to do the same for women you're trying to shag?

This point in particular glosses over something fairly major:
"By look at her breasts and crotch, she will, of course, like you more."
Worded incorrectly. It's true that you're basically ogling your date while she isn't looking, but if she catches you, she'll be hella pissed off.

This isn't worded incorrectly at all: It's a direct case of cause and effect. Aside from presenting the woman with gifts - which you can only do at certain intervals - the *entire* mini-game revolves around staring at her crotch and breasts while the game occasionally pumps out up-beat music overlaid with female orgasm sounds. As it's the only thing that you actually in this mini-game, I don't think my tongue-in-cheek correlation is unfair.

The gift stuff being offensive is an interesting one, and I'll admit that in the video I perhaps got some of the emphasis wrong. I was aiming to convey how weird it was that you simply win their favor by buying them gifts, and never even seem to actually talk to them. People keep comparing it to James Bond, but fuck that - at least he's a pretty smooth talker.

The money thing is a cause of confusion, but frankly I'm not the one to blame: Three or four people in the office saw the mini-game, and everyone thought that one of the items you could give the girl was cash. As a translator for the game you may have had documentation that explained otherwise, but from the perspective of a player this wasn't made clear, as we were pretty certain about it. If we were wrong I'd put that down to a lack of clarity on the development side.

The points made by the XSEED translator are valid, but they still don't justify the nature of this mini-game. The specifics aren't the meat of the pudding - it's the overall gist that feels creepy as fuck: It's a mini-game where you pick up women by staring at their tits and buying them stuff while orgasmic moaning noises play. The fact that the X-ray glasses are 'optional DLC' doesn't mean everything is A-OK.

The point I wanted to make with this video is simple: Suda 51 has been respected as an auteur for many years, but the nature of his recent work no longer earns him that kind of status. You might argue that this stuff is knowingly subversive, but that doesn't escape the reality of the situation: His games primarily pander to an audience of fap-happy teens. The fact that X-ray glasses are pre-order DLC makes this situation abundantly clear.

It's not a matter of censorship, it's a matter of retracting respect. I've given him the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but now it's clear that he's compromised his own art for the sake of easy sales to a male teen market. There's a term for that in the world of art: Selling out. I think there's a place for games like this, in the same way that I wouldn't want pornography outlawed - I just think that people who treat games like this as 'art' rather than being a guilty pleasure have traveled about sixteen feet up their own arse.

I'd like to make a couple of final points here, simply because Neogaf seems slightly more sane than most of the other places on the internet.

First of all, the response to the video has amazed me. I suspected that calling out Suda 51 for selling out might be slightly controversial, but I didn't feel that way about the rest of the video. Expressing distaste at a creepy perv-em 'up mini-game is apparently equated with being a 'sensationalist' journalist. The fact that this opinion is seen as controversial makes me unbelievably sad - detractors can feel free to consider that a win.

An element you won't control, however, is putting words into my mouth. This was never about dulling down games by making them less overtly weird about women (although I've yet to see compelling evidence that this would be the case) and it was never about 'censorship'. There seems to be a strong belief that harshly criticizing art equates to trying to enforce censorship. To be blunt, it doesn't. No matter how high you hold it in regard, nothing is above critique. Many have aggressively suggested that I should stop making videos of this nature because I am censoring someone else. Obviously, the irony of this point must be lost.

There's an implicit suggestion that I created this video either to stir up faux controversy for hits, or because I'm looking to use videogame journalism to fuel some kind of wider agenda. Neither of these suggestions are true.

First up, let's talk about hits: I don't want them. I don't want a big community, I want a great one. If I could retract every click from the 4chan monstrosities who descended on my video, I certainly would. There's a belief on the internet that every click is vital - that journalism will stoop to any level required simply to drive people to comment and click. It may be a model that some websites use, but I find it to be a despicable and worthless mindset. If you've followed my work before this week, you'll hopefully be aware of that. If you hate me for this video though, I actively implore you: Don't watch another VideoGamer video ever again. I will do my best to clearly label them for you.

Lastly, let's talk about agendas. My agenda is simple: Let's make games better. Mostly that involves pointing the finger at giant publishers being fuckwits, but sometimes the issues are more complex than that. This video features me expressing fairly mild opinions in a fashion that I assumed would be universally reasonable - the real agendas at play here come from an entirely different angle. There's a strange beast that storms into town whenever anything related to gender gets mentioned, and the horrifically unpleasant nature of this cyclone makes reasoned conversation impossible.

'Trendy feminism' isn't the problem here - it's the deeply vicious and aggressive response that any notion of equality is met with: A weird fear that somehow games are being forced to change to meet the needs of a wacko liberal minority. Looking at how beautifully niche the PC games I'm playing right now are, I'm not sure where the seeds of this fear come from, but I'm fascinated by it to say the least.

I never intended to step into the firing line of this strangely delusional group of campaigners, but feeling the impact of that much hate has given me a huge respect for the bravery of those who repeatedly face it - standing up to express your beliefs knowing damn well you're going to take a beating takes guts. Calling someone a faggot and telling them you hope they die in YouTube comment, to be blunt, doesn't.

Apologies for the tl;dr, but I'll leave you with a final point: I didn't create this video with an agenda, but I've definitely got one now. I won't back down, and I won't admit that my opinions are "wrong", as so many halfwits have hilariously demanded. My video content will not become a crusade, and I will continue to make the same stuff as always - but I won't hold back because of this when it comes to dealing with games in the future. Those who claim I am a censor of art aim to bludgeon me into silence with slurs, but that is something they can never achieve - in the same way that pissy blacklisting publishers will never make me keep my mouth shut either. Videogames journalism has lost its way, and brutal honesty is the only way forward - no matter what the cost.

If what you've just read makes me your enemy, I'm fucking proud to wear that badge.
 
#3
So he's calling the game shit because of an optional mode about mondo wanting to have sex with women. A mode that mirrors what takes place in real life bars where people regularly go to meet people of the opposite sex and have indiscriminate sex afterwards.
I don't fucking understand this dude.
 
#4
I definitely agree. It's one of the main things that completely put me off playing this game. It's juvenile trash meant to jerk the player's dick (or pussy if you're into that sort of thing) in the most primitively way.

It's creepy and it reproduces the fucked up notions some people have when talking with other people they are interested in (when clubbing, bars, pick-up places, etc.).
 
#5
Suda's schtick is getting old. All of his games that I've played are terrible, and his perverted humor isn't even funny in an ironic sense.

I never played Killer 7 or No More Heroes so don't slander me based on those games.
 
#7
So he's calling the game shit because of an optional mode about mondo wanting to have sex with women. A mode that mirrors what takes place in real life bars where people regularly go to meet people of the opposite sex and have indiscriminate sex afterwards.
I don't fucking understand this dude.
Watch the video. Also if you think this mode is reflective of real life practices, you must go to some creepy bars.
 
#12
I'll hold off any real judgements until I can actually see the part of the game for myself.

For now I think this guy is kind of making a big deal about nothing.
 
#14
Suda's schtick is getting old. All of his games are terrible, and his perverted humor isn't even funny in an ironic sense.

I never played Killer 7 or No More Heroes so don't slander me based on those games.
See, you not having played killer 7 or flower sun and rain puts your opinion of 'all his games are terrible and perverted' straight to shit. What the hell is up with male feminists and social justice brigades?
 
#18
I'm not even angry about the blatant sexism, but more so that his games rely on stupid shock value and they still don't sell well. Terrible games with a false sense of style and outdated, boring gameplay. Mainly referring to Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw.

See, you not having played killer 7 or flower sun and rain puts your opinion of 'all his games are terrible and perverted' straight to shit. What the hell is up with male feminists and social justice brigades?
I don't have to play all of his works to criticize him.
 
#21
So he's calling the game shit because of an optional mode about mondo wanting to have sex with women. A mode that mirrors what takes place in real life bars where people regularly go to meet people of the opposite sex and have indiscriminate sex afterwards.
I don't fucking understand this dude.
Oh wise one, tell me how you attract ye woman at bars without any words just by oggling. I have much to learn from you. Can I be your apprentice?
 
#22
Suda's schtick is getting old. All of his games are terrible, and his perverted humor isn't even funny in an ironic sense.

I never played Killer 7 or No More Heroes so don't slander me based on those games.
Are you kidding me? It was the only games (along with some more obscure ones such as Flower Sun Rain and The Silver Case) he actually had full creative reigns on and those were phenomenal games in contrast to everything else he ended up being involved in. This looks to be his return to the proper directorial chair. Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes 2 and Lollipop Chainsaw were influenced quite a deal by other people and weren't directed by him.
 
#24
Watch the video. Also if you think this mode is reflective of real life practices, you must go to some creepy bars.
Bars have their own fair share of shallow men and women who are looking for nothing but things that are skin deep. On the other spectrum are people looking to have a drink with friends and people looking for actual relationships, but people looking for flings do exist. Like mondo.
 
#27
I'm not even angry about the blatant sexism, but more so that his games rely on stupid shock value and they still don't sell well. Terrible games with a false sense of style and outdated, boring gameplay. Mainly referring to Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw.



I don't have to play all of his works to criticize him.
neither of those are really suda 51 games. Neither is this one if i remember correctly.
 
#29
Are you kidding me? It was the only games he actually had full creative reigns on and those were phenomenal games in contrast to everything else he ended up being involved in. This looks to be his return to the proper directorial chair. Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes 2 and Lollipop Chainsaw were influenced quite a deal by other people and weren't directed by him.
That I didn't know, but based on modes like this I don't see how it's any different from what he did in Lollipop Chainsaw.
 
#31
So he's calling the game shit because of an optional mode about mondo wanting to have sex with women. A mode that mirrors what takes place in real life bars where people regularly go to meet people of the opposite sex and have indiscriminate sex afterwards.
I don't fucking understand this dude.
Great, more male feminist dribble. It's just getting sad at this point.
You don't see how one person might have an issue with a game wherein you trick women to have sex with you by a) staring at their boobs without getting caught, b) staring at their boobs again, this time with X-ray glasses, and c) giving them gifts of money or liquor?
 
#33
Everything I've seen and heard about the gigolo mode makes it sound like childish, sophomoric embarrassment. And I'm a guy who's looking forward to Saints Row 4, who usually has some great comedic timing or wit to it's puerile elements.

This is just banal garbage thrown in another janky style over substance Suda51 game. It's not funny, or clever, or satire, or subverting any tropes in a fun way. It's just fuckin' stupid.
 
#36
I'm not even angry about the blatant sexism, but more so that his games rely on stupid shock value and they still don't sell well. Terrible games with a false sense of style and outdated, boring gameplay. Mainly referring to Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw.



I don't have to play all of his works to criticize him.
So you attack games that aren't even DIRECTED by suda. Games that are just released from his studio with only the most minor of input from suda. I don't get it.
 
#37
Everything I've seen and heard about the gigolo mode makes it sound like childish, sophomoric embarrassment. And I'm a guy who's looking forward to Saints Row 4, who usually has some great comedic timing or wit to it's puerile elements.

This is just banal garbage thrown in another janky style over substance Suda51 game. It's not funny, or clever, or satire, or subverting any tropes in a fun way. It's just fuckin' stupid.
my man

So you attack games that aren't even DIRECTED by suda. Games that are just released from his studio with only the most minor of input from suda. I don't get it.
Well then I'm criticizing the studio he works for and not solely him. I know those games because of his name thrown around everywhere, so don't blame me for thinking otherwise.
 
#40
Bars have their own fair share of shallow men and women who are looking for nothing but things that are skin deep. On the other spectrum are people looking to have a drink with friends and people looking for actual relationships, but people looking for flings do exist. Like mondo.
If you think the way Killer is Dead handles "looking for flings" depicts real-life flirtation, I have some news for you. There are other ways to communicate with and perceive other people, you know :)

Everything I've seen and heard about the gigolo mode makes it sound like childish, sophomoric embarrassment. And I'm a guy who's looking forward to Saints Row 4, who usually has some great comedic timing or wit to it's puerile elements.

This is just banal garbage thrown in another janky style over substance Suda51 game. It's not funny, or clever, or satire, or subverting any tropes in a fun way. It's just fuckin' stupid.
Exactly
 

Data West

coaches in the WNBA
#42
I'm just amazed that anyone's a fan of Suda's since Killer 7.

All his shlock has been just that, shlock, since. I kind of wonder if Killer 7 was just a fluke. Instead, his publishers spend his marketing budget advertising a cosplayer instead of the game itself.

Even Dragon's Crown's porny pictures are all fanart. Anything with the sorceress also shows gameplay rather than just slow panning shots with nothing going on.
 
#44
Ugh the dumbest shit i've ever heard. First off his voice and the way he talks is just annoying and then this faux outrage is just pathetic.

Going to bar to pick up chicks something this guy apparently has never been able to do.
 
#45
So he's calling the game shit because of an optional mode about mondo wanting to have sex with women. A mode that mirrors what takes place in real life bars where people regularly go to meet people of the opposite sex and have indiscriminate sex afterwards.
I don't fucking understand this dude.
Yes, all those times I have met ladies in bars and stared at their ladyparts covertly until I figure out whether they want my money, alcohol or just some flowers before having sex with me. Please, don't be so stupid. This does not reflect "real life bars" and if you think it does I presume you live in your mothers basement and have barely seen daylight nevermind a bar.
 
#47
I'll admit, this sounds def a bit on the off side, then again, can't see how it really is so it's a bit out of context. That being said, when someone get's this up in arms about a game, I have to wonder if they felt similar ways about say GTA 3 and the hookers, or... more recently Saints Row The Third, when they actually had a naked voice box man pulling your get away carraige?

I'm not saying this is always the case, but people sure love to cherry pick what games they put this kind of pressure on more then others.
 
#49
Since this is sort of relevant, here's an interview with Suda where he's asked about possible controversy about the mode.
http://www.edge-online.com/news/sud...ienating-female-players-with-gigolo-missions/

Suda told us that he originally wanted to include the ‘Gigolo mode’ in Shadows Of The Damned, but it didn’t make the cut. When asked whether he is aware how the missions could be perceived by many game players, Suda responded: “We try to create a world that doesn’t really trace or depict what is considered ‘real’, but what I like to consider a ‘hyper-real’ world. And when you take examples in other pop-culture media… James Bond, especially, which is a big inspiration for Mondo girls – ‘Mondo girl’ is a play on the Japanese pronunciation of Bond girl, in fact.”

“James Bond, after he does a mission, there’s always going to be a Bond girl who will, in between, offer him a moment of relief and relaxation. So I’m depicting something similar here, and I feel that the implementation of it will give the players a kind of beat, a type of rest.”
That I didn't know, but based on modes like this I don't see how it's any different from what he did in Lollipop Chainsaw.
This mode isn't the game's sole focus. One is a story about an executioner wrapped up in a world of violence, drama and love with these modes being an optional side mission. The other is a celebration of stereotypical American pop culture where he was mostly only a creative guy on the team and James Gunn was the one who was responsible for the entire scenario which was pampered with this stuff.
 
#50
I don't have to play all of his works to criticize him.
Criticizing him =/= saying "all his games are terrible" when you haven't played all his games. I'd think it'd be better to say "everything I've seen of his is terrible" or something, and admittedly his recent output hasn't been of the flavor I want which is more Killer7 or what I played of Flower, Sun, and Rain.

Still, I hope the main game is closer to those than Shadows of the Damned or Lollipop Chainsaw. It's clear he can really make some crazy surreal stuff and be more David Lynch and less Tarantino.
I'm just amazed that anyone's a fan of Suda's since Killer 7.

All his shlock has been just that, shlock, since. I kind of wonder if Killer 7 was just a fluke. Instead, his publishers spend his marketing budget advertising a cosplayer instead of the game itself.
It does seem like it's a fluke, but maybe not necessarily in the way you may've been thinking. It seems that NMH did well and most publishers want more of that, whereas before Killer7 he did put out Flower, Sun, and Rain, and also Silver Case might have been closer to those two than his post-Killer7 works. Hopefully he either can diverge from that here, or failing that will do so under GungHo since they seem extremely open to him going crazy.
 
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