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Mondo Zappa is the best assassin-for-hire out there—and given that his own personal code of honor dictates that he only goes after the worst the world has to offer, the fact that he’s still fighting says something. With a cybernetic arm that can morph into a variety weapons (including drills, grenade launchers, and machine guns) and a katana wielded with more skill than a samurai, Zappa’s one-man campaign to rid the world of evil will see him travel the globe—stopping at nothing to achieve his goals.
I was able to go hands-on with a mission that takes place about midway through the main campaign of Killer is Dead, and see for myself just how Zappa stacks up against his outrageous foes. My first impression of Mondo—post hack ‘n’ slash action—was that despite two button combo mashing, I still think he fits right in with Grasshopper’s family of crazy characters.
In my demo, I also saw, for the first time, the blood counter. This unique mechanic tallies how many consecutive hits you land without taking a hit yourself, and your sword speed and strength increases exponentially as the counter continues to climb.
What separates Killer is Dead from most hack ‘n’ slash mediocrity, however, are the minigames. These revolve around Zappa’s love life—specifically, how he must try to win the attraction of a female during each new trip he makes. The one I played required me to stare at certain parts of a potential conquest’s body as much as possible without being caught, and I couldn’t stop laughing as Mondo continued to trip over himself until the lady finally smacked him.
While Killer is Dead didn’t grab my attention like Killer7 or No More Heroes, I couldn’t help but want to see what adventures Mondo would get into. With targets like a man whose tiger tattoo comes to life to murder people and another who wants to steal the world’s sound to intrigue me, I can live with Zappa possibly being the most dull character in Killer is Dead.