Last week I got a chance to check out Dead Head Fred, a new IP developed by Vicious Cycle (the developers behind Robotech Battlecry) and published by D3 Publisher. It’s an action/platformer game for the PSP with a world that feels like it is Tim Burton’s take on film noir. Fred Neuman is the protagonist, a detective who is murdered at the beginning of the game and is unwillingly resurrected in a science experiment minus his head.
The setting is unique, but the mechanics are pretty familiar. You’ve got combos to attack lab rats and a action commands where you mash a button to make Fred repeatedly slash his claws into his enemies. Fred progressively learns more moves, but you can switch his skill set immediately by changing his head. You might remember Treasure’s Dynamite Headdy had a similar premise. However, Dead Head Fred’s head exchanging system is integrated in the game beyond combat. Switching heads gives Fred new abilities like breaking down cracked brick walls and inflating him so he can fly.
Meet Dead Head Fred! Each of the heads Fred picks up gives him a completly different set of abilities and here is a look at what four the heads can do.
- When it’s equipped, the Jar Head regenerates health much faster than any other head.
- Power up the Stealth Field by holding the CIRCLE button.
- The loose wire Flicker pops up randomly while using the Stealth Field. When it happens, stop what you’re doing and wait for the effect to stabilize. Otherwise, the Stealth Field will end prematurely.
- The Corpse Head can suck up all kinds of things, like air, water, gasoline, weed-killer and even blood.
Stand in front of an air conditioner and press TRIANGLE to fill the Corpse Head with air. Air allows Fred to fly!
Interact with a fire hydrant to suck up water and use it to put out fires.
Interact with a gas can to fill ‘er up with gasoline and use it to power machines, or light the gas spray on fire, to have yourself a flamethrower.
Interact with weed-killer liquid to kill off over grown plants that may be blocking paths.
Interact with some dead bodies with squirting blood and use the blood at any means necessary.
- The Corpse Head doesn’t just suck, it blows! Fill it up with a liquid and spray it out by holding the CIRCLE button. Direct the spray with precision by entering aiming mode (D-PAD icon) (Up arrow icon) + ANALOG STICK.
- When the head is empty, press CIRCLE to blow out a rancid stream of Hellitosis to stun enemies with weak stomachs.
- The Bone Head can fire a shotgun-like spray of sharp teeth, most effective over medium range. Press CIRCLE to fire. Use UP D-PAD for precise aiming.
- The Bone Head can also climb up certain climbable services, look for these throughout the game.
Stone Idol Head
- The Stone Idol Head. Press CIRCLE to perform a Ground Pound. A Ground Pound is an area effect attack that can hit groups of enemies.
- While running, press CIRCLE to perform a Ram Attack. Ram Attacks can smash enemies or weak structures.
- Remember, the Stone Idol Head allows Fred to walk under water. The Stone Idol Head is heavy, and can move heavy things.