If you like 2D hack and slash RPG’s with a bit of Metroidvania thrown in for good measure, Dead or School is the game for you. Available for PC, Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, this is a fun game that is well worth taking a closer look at. The version I have been playing all weekend is the PlayStation 4, but from what I have seen they are all pretty much the same.
How to Download Dead or School
The game can be downloaded from Steam (it was released on 3 June 2019), the Nintendo Store, and the PlayStation Store (released on 13 March 2020) or from Microsoft Store (the Xbox One release is planned for August 2020). Click on the Download button at the end of the review to make your choice.
The Game Review
The story of Dead or School is kind of weird. You play as a cool girl called, Hisako who lives underground in Tokyo as the world above is ravaged by zombies/mutants! She has lived here her whole life, but her grandmother tells her about her memories of school on the surface when she was a kid and something inside Hisako snaps.
She decides she needs to go to school! Yes, the premise of the game is that in a zombie-infested Tokyo, a girl wants to start a school on the surface. It is very strange and some of the dialogue does go on for a bit, but there is a bit of charm to the story. I do not think it takes itself too seriously and that is something I like about it.
Dead or School is a 2D hack and slash RPG style game. You have a mini-map and you go around each area killing zombies, looking for survivors, getting items and so on. The map is pretty handy in that it always tells you where to go and where a point of interest is so I never really found myself lost, but at the same time, there is plenty of exploration that you can do.
The combat in Dead or School is pretty fun. You have a melee weapon, machine gun, and rocket launcher and can switch between them on the fly. I prefer mainly using the sword/melee weapons in all honesty. She is fast-paced and you can dodge and if you do it just right, you can slow enemies down.
Combat takes no time to get the hang of, but as you progress, enemies get tougher and tougher. Enemies can have guns, take more damage and even be giant-sized which is super fun! Some might find the combat a bit simplistic, but it is on you to mix up your attacks to keep things fun and interesting.
There is a good amount of progression in the game. As well as moving to new areas of Tokyo you have plenty of other things to keep you busy. You can meet new characters who will join your party and help you out with their own unique skills. There is a skill tree/ upgrade section for your weapons and abilities as well.
Visually I like what they have done here. The game has a kind of comic book style look to it and the artwork in the story scenes is really well done. I like the overall 2D style of the game and while the music may not exactly rock your room. It fits in with the overall style of the game well enough in my opinion.
Overall, I have had a lot of fun wit Dead or School. It is a game that is very easy to get into and while the gameplay is a little simple, it is also a lot of fun and very addictive. I do not see anyone having too much trouble getting through this. However, that is something I did like about the game.
- The story is strange, but I like it
- Some of the characters have interesting backstories
- I like how they use real places in Tokyo
- The 2D art style has a lot of charm to it
- The combat is fast and a lot of fun
- The dialogue can go on too much in certain sections
- The music could be a bit more rocking