They did it. They finally did it. After sitting through a number of cringeworthy, poorly produced FMV games from Kimulator’s Films, I’m almost relieved to report that with their latest title, they pulled off something I thought near impossible. With the questionably titled “Buy The Game, I Have a Gun” -Sheesh-Man, they made me laugh. Not just a chuckle either. An actual laugh, out loud and everything.
While Sheesh-Man strikes the same wacky, slapstick tone as Kimulator’s Films’ other FMV games ‘I’m in Love With Your Dead Grandmother’, ‘John Fart‘ and ‘There Is A Genie In My Szechuan Sauce‘, there’s a definite step up in the quality of jokes. There’s still a lot of work to do in terms of production values and telling a coherent storyline. For the first time however, the humour of this game lands, rather than coming off as overtly-cringeworthy or desperate.
Kal-El? That You?
If you’re a fan of the cringey nature of the other Kimulator’s Films titles, don’t worry. There’s plenty of that still here, most of which can be found in the storytelling. The tale of Sheesh-Man begins with Sheesh-Mum, the alien parent of the the titular character taking a shower while still wearing her dress. If you thought that was odd, Sheesh-Mum is played by a man, the same man that will go on to play Sheesh-Man. Yup. That’s how it starts and it all gets weirder from there.
After retrieving her child from a toilet (for reasons unknown), Sheesh-Mum is forced to send her baby away as she’s attacked by other aliens. She fires a space pod to Earth (or Earth via Uranus) where Sheesh-Baby lands and is retrieved by some Human farmers a la Superman.
20 years later, Sheesh-Baby is now the peculiar superhero Sheesh-Man whom is working at a fast food burger place. He serves someone the wrong food and for some reason, the manager shoots himself. Instead of, y’know, informing the family and having a funeral, Sheesh-Man is inspired to end world hunger (and make a lot of cash) by using human flesh in burgers.
Branching Out Into Cannibal Cuisine
I won’t spoil the story from here on out – partially because there’s something of a branching narrative that leads to 4 endings, and partially because I couldn’t even if I wanted too. The story beats after the half way point get lost in a steady stream of offbeat jokes that push any idea that Sheesh-Man wanted to tell an actual tale to the back of your mind. There’s something about a shortage of human meat and the need to turn to veganism, but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t keep tabs on what the hell was going on. Even after multiple playthroughs.
This has been a trend for Kimulator’s Films’ FMV titles – they just end, without a satisfactory outcome, focusing on outlandish humour rather than following up on the set up of the game.
Thankfully, the outlandish gags are at least occasionally funny here. Sheesh-Man’s adopted father loses his legs when the alien baby first crash lands on Earth; this leads to a humorous conversation in which the word ‘legs’ is emphasised with an echo each time it is said. It’s just so out of left-field – even if the conversation itself makes no sense, the weird hanging reverberation of the word “LEGSSSS” is funny. There’s also a snippet later on where three characters get stuck in a feedback loop, repeating the same phrases over and over. It’s just so whacky that it forced a smile and a chuckle out of me.
Sheesh-Man Slapstick & A New Shtick
There’s a few moments of gross-out, slapstick comedy within Sheesh-Man that linger just long enough to be mildly amusing. One branch of the multiple choice paths in the game will have you watching an elderly lady try to consume a burger made out of play clay. You can visibly see how unpleasant it is to eat, yet she keeps at it for long enough for it to raise an eyebrow.
These moments of slapstick are juxtaposed by the occasional moment of wordplay. There’s an odd set piece where Sheesh-Man and Swag Girl (another super hero that doesn’t appear to have any powers) are getting married. In order to do so, Swag Girl has to tickle Sheesh-Man’s pickle – in a literal sense. In return, he gives her a cream pie. A literal pastry cream pie, rather than the…other type that’s inferred.
In general, the irreverence and absurdity of Sheesh-Man works. I believe that is in part because of an expanded cast. A pair of content creators – Trash94Gaming and LaraCroft86 – join the usual pair of actors that usually play each and every character in Kimulator’s Films’ games. While there’s a novelty to having a number of different characters played by the same actors, that has run its course. It was refreshing to see a few other faces in this FMV game, compared to the others from this developer.
The acting? It’s poor. It’s wooden and stilted and feels like roughly put together improv, despite their being a script that was written while on a live stream. Honestly though, it matches the tone of the game well. As do the costumes which are cobbled together like rushed Halloween costumes.
Still More (Math Home) Work To Do
One interesting addition for Sheesh-Man compared to most modern day FMV games is the inclusion of some math questions. Twice during the game, the player is challenged to do a little bit of reducing fractions and algebra. You’re presented with a multitude of answers with the potential of wrong answers triggering a game over. It’s a funny little addition that’s more engaging than simple narrative branches. There’s some decent gags hidden away in these sections too.
Despite enjoying at least a quarter of my time with “Buy The Game, I Have a Gun” -Sheesh-Man, when you look at the game with a critical eye it’s very obvious that the developer has more to do if they ever want longevity with these games. For example, the whole experience is filmed in front of a green screen. The back drops that are used are all drawn with crayon, like children’s drawings. I get the intention here – it lends to the irreverence of the experience – but honestly, it’s distracting and a missed opportunity to do more. The editing is rough too with a few ‘millennial pauses’ between cuts. There’s a decent song for the game during the end credits but the rest of the game is lacking any kind of ambient sound or music.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
To give Kimulator’s Films their credit, each of their games is getting progressively better. There’s a definite step up in quality since John Fart with Sheesh-Man. Even with its bonkers name. On the PlayStation store, where repeatedly cloned jumping food games and clickers are flooding in, I have some respect for these developers who continue to put out original creations so regularly.
However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I doubt they care about my opinion on their game. They seem to be having a good time making their games, doing live streams to draft them out. There’s a meta awareness of the quality of their games that they lean in to and acknowledge regularly. They must be making at least some money from these titles by now.
There’s potential there however to be something more than cheap memes and absurdist humour. That potential is unfulfilled as of yet. They likely need an artist, some stock music and Foley to use and time to really polish a script. Compared to the top class FMV games out there right now – Ten Dates, Who Pressed Mute On Uncle Marcus, Poe & Munroe – they’re lacking in all of those areas.
As a player and reader however, you might care about my opinion. Sheesh-Man shows glimpses of quality that might one day make for something better. As a player here, you can expect a below average, whacky, bizarre FMV game that lasts about an hour, has some replayability and might make you laugh. That might be Kimulator’s Films’ only goal which, if so, mission accomplished. If they’re aiming for higher though, they still have some work to do…
Another oddball, off kilter FMV game from Kimulator’s Films, Sheesh-Man is a step in the right direction for the developers. It’s still rough and struggles to tell a coherent story but there’s enough outlandish gags in here to make it worth an hour of your time.
“Buy The Game, I Have a Gun” -Sheesh-Man is available now on PS4.
Developer: Kimulator’s Films inc.
Publisher: Kimulator’s Films inc.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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