Goichi â€œSuda 51â€ Suda is one of the more prolific game developers in recent memory. The games he has worked on over his storied career have featured Schizoid wheelchair bound assassins, lightsaber wielding otakus, and a chainsaw revving, zombie-slaying, cheerleader.
In celebration of the release of the latest â€œSuda 51 Tripâ€ Lollipop Chainsaw (which Leah reviewed here), we here at Game Podunk have taken a walk down memory lane and brought back six of his best and most memorable titles from his past collective works. Let“s see what made the list and which one snagged the top spot, shall we?
6. Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3
Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 is part of a long-running wrestling series in Japan. With solid controls and a strong selection of moves and fighters, it became a solid fighting series. However, what makes this installment such a standout was Suda 51 taking the helm of the narrative. The story centers on one wrestler“s rise to the championship but all along the way he is faced with tragedy after tragedy. Lovers are lost, and his best friend betrays him, only to watch that friend get killed in the ring by the current champion.
And even after you win the game and get the title, what makes this game on the list is the ending. Wallowing in despair at all he has lost, the final scene is that of our hero brooding in a chair at his new home. It then zooms out to a shot of his house where all you hear is silenceâ€¦one gunshotâ€¦and silence once more. It is this kind of twisted fate that makes this game so memorable.
5. No More Heroes
No More Heroes took a decidedly more lighthearted approach in the adventure than his previous titles. Centering on a young otaku named Travis Touchdown, who recently won a lightsab- er, I mean, â€œbeam katanaâ€ off an auction site, decides to fight his way through the national ranks of assassins in order toâ€¦ have sex with a foxy woman. At least, that“s what it appears to be at first. What makes this game such a delight is the overt tongue-in-cheek of the gameplay and gore.
The kills and attacks Travis employs are all brutal and over the top. The assassins he faces are an insane motley crew consisting of bat swinging lolitas, super-hero wannabes, samurai schoolgirls, and bomb experts with prosthetic limbs. Despite the goofiness and humor, the outlining themes of revenge, reality, and what it means to be in control of your destiny or just another pawn run underneath the currents.
4. Flower, Sun, and Rain
Flower, Sun, and Rain is one of Suda 51“s most psychological adventures in his history. This story centers on a man whose job is to find what is lost, he is recently hired to find and disarm a bomb that is being carried on a plane. As he is about to check out from the island hotel to begin his search, he is constantly side-tracked by the requests of the hotel“s patrons and staff who are all in need of his help. Unfortunately, he is too late to stop the bomb and it goes off. But the very next day, he wakes up and finds himself in his hotel room in the morning. And as he tries to stop the bomb and each time he fails, he is forced to repeat the same day over and over until he solves the mystery.
However, as he keeps repeating the same day, his mind slowly degrades. From a narrative focus, the cast is understated, but upon diving deeper, you realize each person has their own secrets and problems. And there are so many cast members that each iteration of the day can go completely different on how you speak and handle each person.
3. Shadows of the Damned
Shadows of the Damned is essentially the Suda 51 version of Evil Dead. A campy horror-styled action game that centers on the demon hunter Garcia â€œF***ingâ€ Hotspur (actual full name) where the Lord of Hell kidnaps Garcia“s girlfriend. Garcia chases after him into hell itself where the Lord of Hell“s demonic generals are waiting to fight him. A joint project between Suda 51 and Shinji Mikami (the creator of the Resident Evil series) brings a perfect blend of horror and Suda“s unique take on action and humor.
What really stands out is the special take on Hell that they make. The world of Hell is not hellfire and brimstone, but looks more like a distorted version of our world, full of villages, shopping districts, and even their own Las Vegas. The world itself is a character as full and varied as the cast itself.
2. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
While the first No More Heroes was a comedic romp, Desperate Struggle takes a bit more of a serious approach. When Travis Touchdown“s friend is gunned down as a revenge killing, Travis takes up the beam katana once more to avenge his friend“s death. However, things have changed drastically in the assassin rankings over the years, and since after becoming number one and then leaving the world of killing behind, he has lost his ranking and has to work his way back from 51st in the world all the way to the top once more. The story focuses more on the worth of human life in the killer“s trade.
Killer 7 is one of Suda 51“s most quintessential games and has all the elements of what makes up a â€œSuda 51 Trip.â€ The story centers on a wheelchair-bound assassin who houses seven separate personalities - each of which are a certain type of professional killer with a unique power ranging from invisibility, magic blood, and even super speed. From the unique perspective of the squad, they have to face a supernatural threat called â€œHeaven Smilesâ€ which only his seven personas have the power to see.
The look and style carries a cel-shaded theme along with a smooth jazz musical theme blended with a constant sense of dread. While the visual elements are strong, the story is also text-book Suda 51 in that it“s a crazy narrative that involves two dueling gods, a ghostly S&M secretary, and the very world itself thrown into the balance.
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