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The second game in Suda51’s intriguing Kill the Past series. Intrigue is what drives this game and it’s fucking brilliant. Suda leaves me speechless once again goddammit. I went into this with minimal expectations and for the first half of the game I certainly thought it was good, but was a little confused by all the praise it receives from other bros on the site. Once everything came together it was magical and heightened my appreciation for Flower, Sun, and Rain, and Suda himself. In my last review of The Silver Case, I had mentioned that I can’t find the right balance between overtly referencing The Silver Case and articulating my own thoughts which is seemingly ironic now considering that’s exactly what this game does and surprisingly well.
Flower, Sun, and Rain’s iconic monotonous gameplay loop was absolutely despised by critics back in its Western 2008 debut. Another obvious video game critic L at first glance, but it’s understandable I find. There’s a specific mindset behind this game that the player has to recognize and connect with. Playing this game with a strict mindset focused on the gameplay is not what was intended. The gameplay is supposed to be monotonous. A constant reminder of Lospass’s confusing existence and a great device to build suspension. During my long walks between prominent story moments, I found myself on the edge of my seat. These walks only delay the inevitable, which is a simple yet effective method to create more intrigue. I also think that these walks are just, immersive lol. You’re meant to take in the superficial calm and relaxing summery vibes of the island, despite the story’s clear tonal contrast to this. Yeah it’s not that pretty on DS, but that’s still the implication and it definitely works in the PS2 version. Finally, I think the walks also give you time to soak in the story. When shit gets crazy you’re gonna need a minute to process it all lol. All of this I believe was completely intentional which creates an amazing connection between the story and gameplay that shapes this experience.
This was quite a great refreshing breather coming off of The Silver Case’s dark postmodern themes. Suda continually gets wacker as he finds his footing in the gaming industry. Loved the fourth wall breaks as they add comical flair to the story while not taking away from its much higher stakes. A lot more silly things happen here than in The Silver Case which is a bit more my speed despite loving TSC. Now I’m not really sure which story I prefer. FSR has a much better buildup to its main points while TSC has the better main points. It’s very weird to try and compare these games. FSR’s somewhat reliance on TSC both makes it simultaneously better and worse? Not sure. Although this is a spoiler free review I HAVE to express how the TSC returning characters and other shit made me feel. Insanely hype all around. Tokio Morishima I LOVE you. Also Eleki Island’s connections to the Silver Incident fucking got me so excited lmao. So many important points connected to TSC while remaining its own new thing. Although what really fascinates me is how the fuck people in 2008 played this shit on DS. People were probably completely lost at moments story-wise that are very clear with TSC knowledge. For all the mfs who had to wait until 2016 to help clear up FSR for themselves, my hat’s off to you.
Another amazing soundtrack! Great original tunes and remixes of famous tunes. Encapsulates the atmosphere as well as its predecessor. Invokes the paradise-y vibes while still having some of the suspicion present in the rest of the game.
All I have to say at the end of this is, play it! Play The Silver Case first of course though. I adore this game and its insane story. Mr. Mondo is an engrossing character that is our relatable connection as a player to these ludicrous events. He is (or continues to be?????) a great character. Also him finally being able to wake up and not fall over is some of the greatest character development in a video game. Very much excited for the 25th Ward after this.
Kill your past.
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