Dead Head Fred – Review


(D3 Publisher for PSP)
By Mike Delano

One of the dangerous things about developers’ increasing ability to tell compelling stories in games is the lack of focus on gameplay. In the old days, if a title wasn’t fun to play, it was dead in the water. No one expected an 8-bit Contra or Castlevania to tell a story anyone actually cared about. The few storyboard scenes in those games just offered flimsy justification for the action you were eager to get back to. Now, sometimes stories are so polished that the action comes off as an afterthought or, in Dead Head Fred‘s case, a disappointment. The game’s gonzo concept is fantastic: A private investigator is beheaded by the corrupt public figure he was digging up too much dirt on. He’s put back together by a mad scientist who gives him interchangeable heads and he embarks on a mission for revenge. The dialogue is mostly good, the character designs are great, and there is a lot to do, but there’s not much incentive to do it when the action boils down to underdeveloped combat mechanics and some light platforming. It’s worth a play for its style and depth alone, but Dead Head Fred isn’t the breakout hit it could have been.