Press X to Not Die Review: Live and Let Die
Overall 2

Ever witnessed a joke so bad, that you had to smack the jokester in the back of the head for it? That is essentially what Press X Not to Die is: an embarrassingly bad joke that runs 35 minutes too long

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Press X to Not Die Review: Live and Let Die

Ever witnessed a joke so bad, that you had to smack the jokester in the back of the head for it? That is essentially what Press X to Not Die is: an embarrassingly bad joke that runs 35 minutes too long.

Press X to Not Die Review

I should add that I have no idea just how long this game is supposed to be. Judging on the speed of my QTA reaction-time, I’d say I beat the game at an average speed. I could have beaten this game in a much shorter time frame, if I’d have been faster. If my long, slender fingers were to adjust to a different game – say Smash Bros – my timing would be much better. And by admitting this hurdle I had to cross, I don’t mean to complement Press X to Not Die.

For a game that is riddled with quick-time action sequences every ten seconds, Press X to Not Die is a grueling experience to sit through. As I mentioned already, I beat the game at around 35 minutes, but I’m sure a speed demon could zip past it within 15 or ten minutes tops.

No matter how skilled you are, I don’t think it possible to blast through this game in less than ten minutes. This is simply because Press X to Not Die is plastered with QTA sequences every 15 seconds. I have not played a game where the quick-time actions felt like a lazy way to extend the game’s duration time – at least not since From Software’s Ninja Blade. Having QTAs as a primary gameplay mechanic that essentially becomes the game’s raison d’etre does not constitute amusing, and much less, edgy design.

To rub more salt on your wounded fingers – already swollen enough from the constant keyboard mashing – you don’t have the option to skip the cutscene prior to the QTA. Every time you fail to perform one of these sequences correctly, the game will send you back to your latest reload point. Unfortunately, this includes watching an aggravating cutscene involving the pestering male lead.

What makes Press X to Not Die even more insulting is how unfunny it is. Here’s another title that throws a bunch of random pop culture references at you in the form of Twilight, M. Night Shyamalan, Street Fighter, and a bunch of other nonsense. It is 2017, and apparently the only way to build a funny, obscure indie comedy is to mash together a bunch of pop culture icons and lunge them at the audience. The game does a very poor job of cracking a joke and oftentimes comes across as creepy instead… What was up with the John Wayne Gacy (the clown serial killer) reference?

I will give the development team a nod for at least trying to make a game – even if it’s an almost-completely broken one. Perhaps next time they should find a more suitable male lead. A guy who isn’t nearly as incompetent, unfunny, awkward, and annoying. Let’s be honest here: who is not fed up of the same old lardy, klutzy, unskilled 30-something loser-who-dwells-in-his-mom’s-basement male archetype? Considering that this was supposed to be a game with a comedic edge to it, there should have been more effort placed into the writing and characterization. This is supposed to be that crowd-pleasing hipster indie title shot in first-person, live-action found footage-perspective. It’s supposed to be The Blair Witch Project of indie gaming (or at least it should have been).

Even at the meager price point of $2.99, it’s quite difficult to recommend Press X to Not Die. Once you beat the game, you can unlock a behind-the-scenes option. I wonder if that’s where the comedy went. And this is supposed to be the “Full Release” version of this game. Either way, I didn’t feel like being in auto-flagellation mode any longer, so I let it die.

This review of Press X to Not Die was written based on the PC version of the game. The game was purchased on Steam.