Friday , May 17 2024

PAX East 2024: Suda 51 and ‘Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remastered’

It is always amazing to get a chance to talk to gaming legend Suda 51 (real name Goichi Suda); this was my third time meeting him and it is always a pleasure. He was at PAX East promoting the Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remaster and I took the time to chat and play blackjack with the man, the myth, the legend: Suda 51 of Grasshopper Manufacture.

Dressed in an incredibly stylish jacket, which he had designed just for PAX East, Suda sat with me and his translator to play a quick round of blackjack and talk about his games and career. The first thing I wanted to know was: Why remaster Shadow of the Damned and not other hits like Lollipop Chainsaw?

He explained that it basically came down to licensing. He had wanted to do this for a very long time but EA owned the publishing rights and wanted it released only on their Origin platform. He passed on that, time went on, and he took back the publishing rights and is now able to publish it across all consoles and platforms so as many people can see it as possible.

I the asked about how he starts working on his games. Does he start with the characters and build the story around them?

As Suda is the main writer and creative director he works on both the character designs and scenario at the same time, and will adjust the character to suit what the scenario needs. He likes that freedom and ability to work the game around both needs, the scenario and characters.

I then asked him a number of questions about his game worlds, a multiverse option, his toughest characters, and what he would love to work on. I was able to gather these tidbits from Suda 51 about his catalogue of games:

  • The first time we met was when he was promoting Lollipop Chainsaw and his eyes lit up at the mention of Jessica Nigri as the iconic model for Juliette Starling.
  • He has long thought of making a Marvel vs. Capcom style game featuring all of his characters; that is a dream he hopes to realize.
  • In a straight-up fight between his iconic characters he thinks Juliette would smartly bow out and Garcia and Travis would defeat each other simultaneously as they are closely matched.
  • He has a few projects in the pipeline, but he really wants to make a game with very little story, very little writing but also one that is friendly and fun for all ages to enjoy.

I ended the interview asking Suda 51 what he would like people to know aboutthe Shadow of the Damned remaster and why they should play it. His answer was incredibly colorful just like the man himself.

He mentioned that the world feels that Shadows of the Damned is an incredibly vulgar game and he wants people to play it to see that it in fact may be the most vulgar game in the world. It is as gross, brash, inappropriate as you remember but it plays and looks so much better.

Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remastered

After our chat I sat down and took Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remastered for a spin on a PlayStation 5 and was impressed with the game and the irreverent subject matter. This game was originally a collaboration between Suda 51 and Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, released in the PS3/Xbox 360 era.

This third-person shooter centers on demon hunter Garcia Hotspur and his undead buddy, Johnson, as they traverse the depths of the Underworld to steal back Garcia’s kidnapped lover, Paula. She has been captured by the Lord of the Underworld as he is tired of Garcia destroying his minions.

Faced with unbeatable odds Garcia stomps, shoots and curses his way through the underworld using Garcia as a gun, navigation tool and light source. All the way he is taunted by visions of Paula and countless disgusting minions of the damned.

The game was well received back when it was released and had a great concept and gameplay at its root. The remaster really looks at tightening up the systems, visuals and audio presentation. They want this to look old-school but also play like a newer game and have audio that will blow gamers’ socks off.

I really enjoyed the demo and thankfully Suda-san was right, the game is vulgar, violent and completely inappropriate at times but also incredibly fun. The action was fast, load times were nearly non-existent, and the dialogue between Johnson and Garcia plays like a buddy cop movie.

I had not invested a ton of time in the game when it first released but now that it will be available widely and remastered for modern systems I am looking forward to checking out the full experience. Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remastered will release later this year on PC via Steam and on PlayStation, Xbox and Switch systems.

About Michael Prince

A longtime video game fan starting from simple games on the Atari 2600 to newer titles on a bleeding edge PC I play everything I can get my hands on.

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