16th May2018

‘Suicide Guy’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

suicide-guy-nintendo-switch

As a fan of the Mr Karoshi games, I was very much looking forward to playing Suicide Guy as it read as a 3D version of my much-loved Mr Karoshi series, however it unfortunately has more in common with Hello Neighbor in it’s visuals and gameplay and it’s these issues that took the enjoyment out of the game for me, which is a real shame as Suicide Guy feels like a missed opportunity.

The story in Suicide Guy is pretty straightforward; you play as a pretty slobbish dude who drifts off to sleep in front of his TV whilst drinking a beer. As you fall asleep, the beer falls from your grasps and you need to wake yourself up in order to catch it before it smashes on the floor, you do this by passing through multiple levels of your dream state.

It’s a brief and simple enough setup, we’ve all been in dream circumstances where a sudden shock or deathblow jerks us awake and this is what our protagonist is trying to do. Unfortunately he has to do it eighteen times through different stages, each time committing suicide in ways that shift between, ingenious, tedious, funny and clumsy.

As mentioned above, graphically the game is reminiscent of the cartoony vibes recently seen in Hello Neighbor, a game in which the graphics were pretty much the only saving grace. As I worked through the levels of Suicide Guy (the tone of which is not negative in any way, beyond the ways in which you die, it’s as light-hearted as it can be in the circumstances) whilst the bubbly visuals are the one thing that is consistent, everything else is a bit shaky. The sound, for example is flat and often irritating. There is a ‘burp’ button which is useless and the character huffs, groans and wheezes as he jumps (also constantly causing the pad to vibrate) but this happens so much and the sounds are so repetitive that it’s not long before I wanted to mute the game. The music, which blares out from radios scattered throughout each section (which can mercifully at least be turned off) are also piercing and didn’t really enhance the experience for me. These issues pale in comparison to the real problem at the heart of Suicide Guy, though. The physics engine.

Some of the early levels are fun to work through, devising ways to top yourself is amusing at first as each level is self-contained and usually only has one way of shuffling off your mortal coil. From throwing yourself off a building to hurtling into a sun, you’ll see our slovenly protagonist leave this realm in many different ways. However as the game goes on and the levels lean more and more towards first-person platforming, the controls become throat-slashingly infuriating. To mention Hello Neighbor again, having a game that relies so much on stacking boxes, moving items around and leaping from platform to platform, the controls really do need to be spot-on in order for it to gel. The gameplay in these circumstances is so light that when the controls are messed-up or unresponsive, it massively affects enjoyment and limits what fun you can take out of the game when the basic movement itself feels so unrewarding.

Admittedly, aside from occasional repetition, the ways in which you kill yourself are pretty varied and fun to work out but what isn’t fun is awkwardly pulling and dragging a variety of items around with loose, finicky controls. There was one level involving a forklift truck towards the latter half of the game which I’m pretty sure was cursed by gypsies, so difficult was it to complete basic manoeuvres. The boxes would fly off in odd directions and still move in tandem with the forklift even when the box was clearly the other side of the room that I was in, as if it were attached. A Mario-inspired level also required me to resort to a walkthrough because it kept glitching out (the danger of having references and nods to other games is that it causes a subconscious comparison of quality between them) leaving me unable to finish it myself.

I really wanted to enjoy Suicide Guy as it’s a solid concept, killing the character to move through the game to an ultimate goal could have a dark humour to it but the fact that you are doing all this so that an overweight man can catch his beer is such a slight premise that as the games problems arise it makes you lose the urge to continue. If the game had a more involved story or perhaps more ramifications upon failure, I would have had the impetus to work through the flaws (albeit still through gritted-teeth due to the above-mentioned issues). In the end however, I was happy to let him sleep as his beer splashed across the floor. I feel that some tightening up of the controls and less of a reliance on platforming with more focus on the puzzle aspect would really work wonders for the game as it had the opportunity to be a really solid title, in the end however, it was just one floaty jump too many for me and I won’t be killing myself anymore anytime soon.,

Right, I’m off to drink myself to sleep.

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