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It's like watching two clowns eat each other.
March 7, 2010 10:35 PM   Subscribe

By all accounts, it has outdated graphics, messy controls, and wild tonal shifts, though it is no longer quite as obviously Twin Peaks based as originally intended. Released in North America on the same day as Heavy Rain, very few people even in the video gaming world have heard of the budget horror/survival title Deadly Premonition. Yet outside of a savage IGN review, the few people who've picked up the game seem to genuinely enjoy it. Destructoid's Jim Sterling even gave the game a perfect perfect 10, defending the game with a combination of absurdity and trollish sincerity. (NSFW text in the Destructoid links. Violent imagery in the first link.)
posted by kmz (46 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope this doesn't come off as too Premonition Blue. I was just really struck by the polarizing reception for a small release game. I have to admit the forum reactions got me to put an order in for the game.
posted by kmz at 10:37 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aside from anything else, I'm really intrigued that the actually have real-time beard growth.
posted by Kattullus at 10:41 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched one of the trailers for the game and by the end of the first minute I was laughing with legitimate surprise. I do not own an Xbox but I will find a way to play this game.
posted by Damn That Television at 10:51 PM on March 7, 2010


Both of these games are just too deep in uncanny valley territory. Game studios either need to power through and make truly realistic CG or give up and go for the cel shaded look, because what they're doing now is just wrong.
posted by mullingitover at 10:51 PM on March 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's like if "The Room" were a video game.
posted by hellojed at 11:09 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


the original title was "rainy woods"? hahahaha. that's amazing, I need to play this.
posted by threetoed at 11:20 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been really impressed with what I've seen of the motion of the characters in Heavy Rain. Definitely on the other side of the uncanny valley.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:25 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Both of these games are just too deep in uncanny valley territory. Game studios either need to power through and make truly realistic CG or give up and go for the cel shaded look, because what they're doing now is just wrong.

I think that's the least of this game's problems. Besides, terrible character CGI has been a staple of Japanese horror games for fifteen years.
posted by neckro23 at 11:27 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ever since IGN trashed God Hand I've been pretty sure that every game that the hate I'm going to love. Hopefully videos of this game proliferate through the internet!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:28 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Based on that cutscene, the makers of this game 1) love them some Twin Peaks (my favorite TV series evar), 2) do not take themselves seriously AT ALL (definitely a good thing) and 3) probably do some fun drugs. Sold. Getting my credit card out. Can't wait to get lost in the rainy woods.
posted by naju at 11:34 PM on March 7, 2010


damnit! the ps3 import costs $80 from Play Asia.

But see, I found a video of the intro sequence on youtube, and it's only strengthened my resolve to get a copy. SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER Kenny Rogers and the Children of the Corn find a corpse strung up on a tree while an awesome piano tune plays
posted by threetoed at 11:35 PM on March 7, 2010


Is this one of them "vidgames" I heard about on Mefil?

Had no choice but to order it after reading the Destructoid review. It sounds way too fun to pass up.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:50 PM on March 7, 2010


wemayfreeze: I've been really impressed with what I've seen of the motion of the characters in Heavy Rain. Definitely on the other side of the uncanny valley."

The motion capture was fine, but the characters still looked plastic and were generally unsettling. I'm not sure this is something that can be solved with the current generation of gaming hardware, it seems like the more effort that goes into it, the more off-putting it gets.
posted by mullingitover at 12:07 AM on March 8, 2010


I'm really excited to play this game, but I don't even remember where I first heard about it and on top of that I doubt it's even going to see release here in Oz.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:04 AM on March 8, 2010


I've been really impressed with what I've seen of the motion of the characters in Heavy Rain.

It doesn't look too ludicrous[NSFW] compared to most games, anyway.
posted by rodgerd at 1:07 AM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched someone play this game live on a streaming video sight.

At first I didn't believe the game was being played on an Xbox 360. I thought for sure it was a PS One. The graphics and sound were that horrible.

But man, the dialogue was fucking insane. In a good way. Sort of the video game version of the "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans."

It's going to be a cult classic.
posted by bardic at 1:08 AM on March 8, 2010


I love it when games don't mind being silly- MGS3 was a good example. "Just a flesh wound"- brilliant.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:36 AM on March 8, 2010


The review made me put it on my Amazon wishlist. After watching that first cutscene, I went back and one-clicked.
posted by rifflesby at 1:38 AM on March 8, 2010


Deadly Premonition is like watching two clowns eat each other. It's perverse, it's wrong, and yet it's so fucking funny.

Review gold.
posted by Shepherd at 1:51 AM on March 8, 2010


...And I also love how you don't find out how incredibly silly the game is until after you arrive in Greenvale. They don't let on with the promo materials, the box art or even the prologue.

They should make movies like this. The next James Bond flick goes as normal for a third of the movie, when suddenly M fires him and Bond finds himself living with Brett and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords, to be taunted by Blofeld while he plays tambourine at a local bar.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:01 AM on March 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


For some reason this brought an older game called Pathologic to mind.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:12 AM on March 8, 2010


Amazon recommended this game to me the other day. More than anything, I was struck by the fact that it's a new video game release retailing for $19.95. It would make me happy if that were to become a trend.
posted by jbickers at 3:11 AM on March 8, 2010


After having gone through a few more of the links... this looks truly awesome. Assuming it gets an Australian release, I'll pick up the first copy I see just in case I ever happen to own an Xbox 360.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:21 AM on March 8, 2010


Both of these games are just too deep in uncanny valley territory. Game studios either need to power through and make truly realistic CG or give up and go for the cel shaded look, because what they're doing now is just wrong.

And wrong is arguably good for horror games.
posted by ersatz at 3:51 AM on March 8, 2010


I loved me some Twin Peaks, but.... I'm not sure how first person immersive the game is when you are actually playing it, but just watching the trailer caused my psyche to shove a few things in it's duffel bag and head off for that little piece of spiritual real estate where I set up camp the day my wife encountered a burglar in the other room and the day the police had the stand off with my crazy neighbor.

That really makes it hard for me to not to see this as, "All the PTSD you can eat for $20."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:55 AM on March 8, 2010


Does it really have knock-off Super Mario music underneath cutscenes? (Oddly enough, I really like the voice acting in that scene. It's quite funny.)
posted by uncleozzy at 5:49 AM on March 8, 2010


If I didn't have a thesis to worry about, I would have made a post about Heavy Rain. Since I cannot, I will take this opportunity to tell you that if you have a PS3 you must play Heavy Rain. It's beautiful, different and very very emotional.
posted by Brainy at 6:10 AM on March 8, 2010


On the games blog Fidgit, there's an ongoing bit about comparing these two very different games.

Heavy Rain vs. Deadly Premonition
Round One
Round Two
Round Three

With more parts to come later, I presume.
posted by Drastic at 6:24 AM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


So why exactly should I trust Jim Sterling's opinions? I've read Destructoid for a few years and to my knowledge he's the biggest troll in games journalism.
posted by flatluigi at 6:37 AM on March 8, 2010


I have a feeling that this is going to be as disappointing as the time in college that I went out and bought a furby because the sophistication of its learning engine had been misrepresented to me. But I think I'm going to buy it anyway.
posted by cortex at 7:30 AM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will take this opportunity to tell you that if you have a PS3 you must play Heavy Rain. It's beautiful, different and very very emotional.

It suffers from major plot holes, unfortunately. On the plus side, it certainly has great graphics and is probably the least uncanny-valley-ish attempt at realistic human faces that's been seen on any of the major game consoles so far.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:46 AM on March 8, 2010


I have a feeling that this is going to be as disappointing as the time in college that I went out and bought a Tickle-Me-Elmo because the sophistication of its vibration has been misrepresented to me. But I think I'm going to buy it anyway.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:56 AM on March 8, 2010


I think I'll wait for Alan Wake, all the same.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:13 AM on March 8, 2010


haveanicesummer: I have a feeling that this is going to be as disappointing as the time in college that I went out and bought a Tickle-Me-Elmo because the sophistication of its vibration has been misrepresented to me.

Maybe instead of Tickle-Me-Elmo disappointment it'll be as thrilling as the Harry Potter branded vibrating broomstick.
posted by Kattullus at 8:51 AM on March 8, 2010


Maybe instead of Tickle-Me-Elmo disappointment it'll be as thrilling as the Harry Potter branded vibrating broomstick.
posted by Kattullus


Nothing is that thrilling. Nothing.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:11 AM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does it really have knock-off Super Mario music underneath cutscenes?

That cutscene is amazing. The slowly rising volume of music adds to the awkwardness and difficulty of their absurd conversation. Then, the music stops. He pauses, presses his finger to his forehead, and, out loud, asks his imaginary friend if he should ask her about the town. He requests more info, lights a cigarette, and the music reappears, completely drowning out the old lady, as though he were focused on naught but smoking.

Man, I totally have to buy this game.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:16 AM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


For $20? Sure, I'll buy that. Heck, I bought (and thoroughly enjoyed) Risen (until I got to the final boss battle and the game crashed and I just kept falling through polygons for all eternity). Deadly Premonition looks like good creepy fun.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:25 AM on March 8, 2010


I didn't feel that uncanny-valley unease from the character faces in Heavy Rain, but I did get it from their movements from time to time. Watching a character walk down a flight of stairs was a bit painful.
posted by threetoed at 10:33 AM on March 8, 2010


Damn, if only they released it on PS3, after Sterling posted that cutscene I was dying of laughter. $20 would be a must buy, but paying for an imported Asian version is much less so.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:38 PM on March 8, 2010


Damn That Television : I watched one of the trailers for the game and by the end of the first minute I was laughing with legitimate surprise. I do not own an Xbox but I will find a way to play this game.

I don't know why, but I have a hell of a time getting a lot of embedded flash videos to work correctly. So for anyone else unable to actually get anything to play on that page, try this direct link.

Looks like a strange game... I can see the Twin Peaks comparisons - It actually surprised me to see him add cream to his coffee at the end.

Damn fine coffee, Polly!
posted by pla at 1:04 PM on March 8, 2010


It doesn't so much remind me of Twin Peaks as those whimsical, strange movies that Italian and Eastern European film directors made in the 60s and 70s. Antonioni's Blowup is probably the most seen of those.
posted by Kattullus at 1:57 PM on March 8, 2010


There was a fish F K in the percolator!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:25 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I only just started playing a bit of this last night, and so far it seems to be just about exactly what I was expecting. Dated RE1-era design and pacing, clunky controls, bad graphics, questionable voice acting, and honestly pretty awesome in its straightforward weirdness.

I hope the weirdness keeps up.
posted by cortex at 11:30 AM on March 10, 2010


I managed to pick up a copy on Tuesday and played through the first hour or so last night, too. I'd have to agree with pretty much everything you've said about the game, cortex, with the addition that some of the dialog seems somewhat lovingly crafted. Like the Andy-knockoff cop who, if you present to him the various squirrel-related keychains lying around the police station, will lecture you on seven or eight different breeds of squirrel. Or the ongoing but nonsensical "King George" references the main character makes about the police force.

Just the very fact that you're playing the main character for a few minutes before you're introduced to him (I assume you're not really playing him up until that point, but Zach ... actually, at this point, I think the player is Zach) -- and said introduction comes in the middle of a phone conversation in which the main character asserts that Tom is emotionally dependent on Jerry's antagonism. This game is so delightfully strange.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:07 PM on March 12, 2010


(I assume you're not really playing him up until that point, but Zach ... actually, at this point, I think the player is Zach)

This was my wife's immediate suggestion as well, and I think we may spend the rest of the game's playthrough gamely arguing the point.

Honestly, this SXSW thing is amusing at all but it's keeping me away from Deadly Premonition in a way that I'm not sure I'm okay with.
posted by cortex at 3:27 PM on March 12, 2010


Lowtax of SA just wrote a thing about Deadly Premonition. I still haven't played this yet >:(
posted by threetoed at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2010


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