Right, Zach?
April 30, 2013 12:10 PM   Subscribe

The cult 2010 video game Deadly Premonition gets a Director's Cut this week. The brainchild of a guy who calls himself SWERY, one could make a strong case for Deadly Premonition being the most entertainingly bizarre game ever made. It's undeniably influenced by Twin Peaks and more than a touch of Japanese horror, yet that doesn't begin to explain how unique, disturbing and hilarious the game is. The humor is intentionally unintentional. Everyone agrees there are significant gameplay problems, but the phrase "so bad it's good" does the game a terrible disservice. "Capable of swinging from zany to nasty, inspired to absurd within the course of a single sequence," and boasting an eccentric, often inappropriate soundtrack, Deadly Premonition is either a joke, a masterpiece or both. (Previously: It's like watching two clowns eat each other.)
posted by naju (33 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sounds like a sinner's sandwich to me.
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on April 30, 2013


F... K... in the coffee!
posted by kmz at 12:15 PM on April 30, 2013


This is the only game I've ever watched an entire let's play of. It was so bizarre I couldn't look away.
posted by dortmunder at 12:16 PM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried this on 360 for a few hours and was thoroughly weirded out. But I remember the soundtrack was awesome, so maybe I'll try it again.
posted by mean cheez at 12:18 PM on April 30, 2013


Is there a demo for xbox360?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:24 PM on April 30, 2013


I don't think there are any demos. And the Director's Cut is exclusively for the PS3, but I wouldn't let that stop you from playing the originally released version.
posted by naju at 12:42 PM on April 30, 2013


Um, does anyone else think that the Sheriff bears a striking resemblance to Naomi Watts? Is that another Lynchian reference?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:44 PM on April 30, 2013


I tried to play Deadly Premonition twice and failed. But thanks to Supergreatfriend's Let's Play -- which is pretty much the only Let's Play I've ever enjoyed -- I ordered the special edition, just to put more money in SWERY's pocket for him to feed his many cats. It's brilliant madness. Maybe the director's cut will be, uh, more pleasant to actually play.

Now I'm hungry for a Sinner's Sandwich...
posted by whitneyarner at 12:45 PM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe the director's cut will be, uh, more pleasant to actually play.

I have a weird concern that the Director's Cut will actually fix some things, thereby actually kind of making it the worse version, in a way.
posted by Amanojaku at 12:49 PM on April 30, 2013


It was one of the best games I've ever watched, but I don't think I have much interest in ever playing it.

SWERY does some pretty cool stuff with the story.
posted by codacorolla at 12:54 PM on April 30, 2013


Yeah, Super Great Friend's Let's Play (previously) is amazing, as are several of his others. If you, like me, only enjoy Let's Plays by obsessive people who are closer to museum curators than gamers, then you'll like it.

He shows you every part of the game in detail, including secrets, bugs, quirks, and easily missable details. His narration is incredibly thorough, informative, but somehow is not dry or boring. He also includes original research and observations about influences, obscure references, and so on and so forth.

Deadly Premonition is his best, and the game itself the most compelling of what he's covered. Illbleed is incredibly bizarre; it's hard to believe it really exists.
posted by gilrain at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mildly ashamed of myself, but I've had a PS3 for almost a year now and have yet to buy a game for it. This isn't one of those twitchy, reflex-driven games, is it? I just want something mellow I can explore.
posted by adipocere at 1:45 PM on April 30, 2013


It does have a lot of 3rd-person undead juggalo-shooting sequences, but reports coming out indicate that the Director's Cut is fixed on Easy combat difficulty, which wasn't bad. I've heard that they made the controls for shooting much nicer as well.

In-between the shooting levels, you can explore the nice quiet town of Greenvale to your heart's content. Go fishing, collect trading cards, play darts in the bar, converse with the townsfolk (if you run into them -- they keep their own schedules). Drive around and listen to York muse about his favorite B-movies and the punk bands he liked in high school.

It is basically an open-world Twin Peaks, with you as Agent Cooper, and instead of BOB there's a mysterious axe murderer with a zombie army.

Also the Log Lady has a pot instead of a log.
posted by rifflesby at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2013


This isn't one of those twitchy, reflex-driven games, is it? I just want something mellow I can explore.

It has some (dull as dirt) combat sequences that involve a certain amount of turning and pulling the trigger, so I won't say there's no reflexy stuff to account for, but it's not particularly twitchy, no. And it sounds like that's been improved a bit in general in the new PS3 release, so that's nice.

Most of the game's play and pacing can be described as very mellow indeed: driving around town in your terrible car, having weird conversations with people, schlepping around the exterior and interior of various buildings.

It's a clunky, ugly game in purely superficial terms; if you're okay watching a crappy VHS dub of interesting movie made by an amateur auteur, you'll be okay with DP. I sort of struggled to not put it down at a couple points because of the clunkiness and weird unevenness of the play experience, but I came around in the end to being genuinely happy I stuck it out because the character of the game's story is more genuinely odd and wonderful than most things I've played. It's a slog that's worth it.
posted by cortex at 2:00 PM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hrm. Okay, I'm sold. Do I need to buy both or just this final one?
posted by adipocere at 2:48 PM on April 30, 2013


Just the Director's Cut will do you. In fact, unless I'm mistaken that's the only PS3 version; the original is Xbox.
posted by rifflesby at 3:01 PM on April 30, 2013


Loved this game. So weird and occasionally laugh-out-loud hilarious. Combat was a slog, which was unfortunate because there are long combat sections. I'm glad to see the combat is pegged to easy in the new version.

This is the only sandboxy game I've ever played where you could use the windshield wipers and turn signals on the cars. Which sort-of made up for the charmingly terrible handling.

I'm pretty sure I only saw a tenth of what was on offer in my single playthrough. All those characters with their own schedules have interactions that are only accessible under certain conditions. SGF's Let's Play was a great way to catch what I'd missed, as well as being just superlative in its own right.
posted by figurant at 3:07 PM on April 30, 2013


Can we switch to a unified architecture already so we can get stuff like that ported to PCs by default? Thanks.
posted by ersatz at 3:20 PM on April 30, 2013


Do I need to buy both or just this final one?

If you also have a 360 get that version instead, it's cheaper and, judging by early reports from people who played both versions, better than the DC.

This excellent and spoiler-free beginner's guide (for the 360 version, though it almost certainly also applies to the DC) is essential reading to get around a lot of the annoying aspects of the game.
posted by Bangaioh at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2013


You haven't actually linked anything, Bangaioh.
posted by rifflesby at 5:01 PM on April 30, 2013


Also, though I have heard people say that other people are saying the DC is worse, I haven't been able to find any actual reviews saying it's worse. Most have been pretty complimentary about the new controls, and either liked the graphical upgrade, or shrugged their shoulders. Some are disappointed that there isn't much in the way of new story bits, but as far as I've found from reputable sites, there hasn't been anything detrimental done to it.
posted by rifflesby at 5:09 PM on April 30, 2013


You haven't actually linked anything, Bangaioh.

Oops, here it is.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:54 PM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't understand

if it's a good game, why are you watching a movie of someone else playing it and talking over it
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:32 PM on April 30, 2013


if it's a good game, why are you watching a movie of someone else playing it and talking over it

If you're interested in a game but don't have the time/patience/expertise to get through it yourself, watching a playthrough by someone who's expert at it can be informative and entertaining, as they'll show you the stuff you missed and the tricks you didn't think of or couldn't pull off, and in less time than it would take to play it yourself.

The good "Let's Play"-ers, like Supergreatfriend, know better than to talk during cutscenes or character dialog, so you don't miss any of the story; during the rest of the game, it serves as the equivalent of a color commentator in sports. (And/or the equivalent of MST3k, depending on the game.)
posted by rifflesby at 7:47 PM on April 30, 2013


but art isn't sports, does it really need color commentary
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:10 PM on April 30, 2013


That is a question that makes about as much sense here as it would in a thread about the Mystery Science Theater treatment of "Manos: The Hands of Fate".
posted by rifflesby at 8:22 PM on April 30, 2013


Occasionally there are games (this is one) where I'm interested in what it does mechanically and how it tells its story through play but have no interest in investing the time to do so myself. DP is one of those games. Even watching someone play it is quicker than actually playing it myself, and Super Great Friend does a good job narrating and finding all of the small details.
posted by codacorolla at 8:32 PM on April 30, 2013


That is a question that makes about as much sense here as it would in a thread about the Mystery Science Theater treatment of "Manos: The Hands of Fate".

On reflection, that comparison maybe sells DP and SGR a little short. A better one would be Roger Ebert's commentary track for the dvd of Dark City. Or perhaps somewhere inbetween.
posted by rifflesby at 8:53 PM on April 30, 2013


This, of course, alludes to you: "if it's a good game, why are you watching a movie of someone else playing it and talking over it"

I don't have an Xbox.

Experiencing this game vicariously is the only way I can experience it at all.
posted by KChasm at 9:06 PM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Occasionally there are games (this is one) where I'm interested in what it does mechanically and how it tells its story through play but have no interest in investing the time to do so myself.
that's fine, but be advised that you are choosing to filter your art through someone else instead of experiencing it directly, and that someone else is very likely to be someone you agree with

it's a lot safer to approach everything with backup so that you know what to think, but it's probably not very good for you
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:07 PM on April 30, 2013


I had a horrendous flu, with full on hallucinatory episodes from fever, the last time this was posted about on metafilter and watched Superfriend's Let's Play of this over the course of three days while on a slightly higher than recommended dosage of robotussin.

It was perhaps the best match of mental state and audio-visual accompaniment I've experienced since I'd watched The Emperor's New Groove on LSD.
posted by empath at 11:40 PM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


it's a lot safer to approach everything with backup so that you know what to think, but it's probably not very good for you

Haha, thanks for the advice. I (apparently) don't have the ability to think critically, so I'm glad I have you, as a friend and mentor, on Metafilter to tell me how to think. I feel as if this should be ironic, but my tiny troglodyte brain can't grasp it.
posted by codacorolla at 6:44 AM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


[Let's go ahead drop the why-do-people-watch-playthroughs derail now. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 7:01 AM on May 1, 2013


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