Death Jr.

 
(i)

 

Creaky controls kill this creepy, creative game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Players shoot and slice demons, causing them to explode in a fountain of blood and chunks.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

One potty-mouthed character utters the occasional profanity.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a creative platform game with a morbid sense of humor. The game is dark in the same vein as Tim Burton's Beetlejuice or Corpse Bride. Creepy compatriots and ghoulish enemies share the screen with playfully macabre music, silly settings and a protagonist that is the awkward, love-struck offspring of the Grim Reaper. There's a lot of fighting; players shoot and use a scythe to slice demons, causing them to explode in a fountain of blood and chunks.

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Kids say

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What's it about?

DEATH JR. follows the exploits of the Grim Reaper's son, known to friends as DJ. On a field trip to a museum, DJ helps his school crush, Pandora, open a locked box in the basement. And all hell breaks loose, literally: Demons pour from the opened package, ensnaring his friends in otherworldly tentacles. Players control DJ as he travels through different levels in search of the items that will release his friends.

Employing a flamethrower, shotgun, freeze gun, and other firearms, DJ battles a bevy of beasties. His scythe is also a weapon, but can be used to swing across chasms, momentarily fly, or jump higher than his bony legs could usually carry him. DJ must navigate creative and detailed levels such as Meat World (outfitted with barbeque-themed hazards and gigantic cows), School (with exploding vending machines, a smoky teacher's lounge), and Suburbia (complete with white picket fences and exploding sewers).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Gameplay is varied, combining combat with standard platform game elements such as jumping or swinging across lava pits. DJ's demon battles can get messy, with scores of enemies exploding in a fountain of gore and blood. But the speedy pace and marginal graphics keep players from dwelling on the carnage. The overall tone of the game is lightheartedly macabre -- clearly inspired by director Tim Burton's films -- and veers more into the realm of ooky-spooky than truly horrific.

But ultimately the story and aesthetic lose out to haphazard gameplay. DJ earns a few new attacks as the game progresses, but not enough to keep pace with the difficulty of his opponents, which moves very quickly from too easy to nearly impossible. Pair that with a squirrelly camera and occasionally unresponsive controls and the game loses its charm quickly.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way some media mix dark themes with a playful spirit. Why is this kind of story appealing? Are gore and violence more acceptable if mixed with a good-humored presentation?

Game details

Platforms:PSP
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Konami
Release date:August 17, 2005
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:T for (PSP)

This review of Death Jr. was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
 
Teen, 14 years old Written byklaymanbill April 9, 2008
 

Good game, iffy behavior

Don't get me wrong, DJ is trying to save his friends, but through endless killing and slaying of demons, seep does use the most profanity out of the group, but, still, good game, iffy behavior
Adult Written byjujuzeking April 9, 2008
 

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