Mullet MadJack Review – This Is Your Brain on Anime

Mullet MadJack Review – This Is Your Brain on Anime

Platforms: Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Mullet MadJack

Publisher: HAMMER95, Epopeia Games

Developer: HAMMER95

Genre: Action

Release Date: May 15th, 2024

Mullet MadJack by HAMMER95

Very few pieces of media can capture the sheer creative excess of ’80s and ’90s anime OVAs. Released straight to video and imported to the West in droves, these were shows unconcerned with things like TV censorship, marketability, or even good taste.

For an entire generation of otaku, there was nothing like getting your clueless parents to rent you Angel Cop from Blockbuster and praying they didn’t walk in while you were watching it.

Brazilian developers HAMMER95 seem to know this better than most. Their debut game, Mullet MadJack, takes that creative excess and builds a stunning FPS and Rogue-like hybrid around it while also giving it some modern touches (and the influence of probably more than a few substances).

Neon Knights

It’s the distant future and Robillionaires rule the world. Those who hunt them for views on social media are called Moderators. As the eponymous “Mad” Jack, your task is to rescue the Influencer Princess from the Robillionaires of Nakamura Plaza.

Your reward? A sweet pair of sneakers. The catch is that the audience’s engagement directly fuels your body. Bore them for more than 10 seconds, and you die.

The game’s premise is a modern one but through the lens of ’80s and ’90s excess, and it’s even reflected in the gameplay. Mullet MadJack is about as simple as shooters get. You shoot and kick your way through procedurally-generated corridors, keeping your life up through kills and drinking soda.

Advancing to the next floor grants you a choice of upgrades, either in the form of new weapons or improvements to your existing ones. Take too long – or too many bullets – and it’s back to the first floor of the chapter to try again.

Rogue-likes that rely on procedural generation can sometimes get repetitive. Mullet MadJack sidesteps this masterfully through sheer pressure and adrenaline. Your constantly declining life means you simply don’t have time to notice the repeating rooms and enemies, and its gunplay is so enjoyable you probably wouldn’t care anyway. That’s before you even factor in things like environmental kills and executions.

I can’t think of a game that’s better embodied the saying, “If you think, you’re dead.”

Big City Nights

What makes Mullet MadJack truly special, though, is its production. Everything from the animations to the TV screen filters to the music and voice acting is not only high-quality but feels right at home with the aesthetic it’s aiming for.

Old-school otaku will catch plenty of references to things like Akira and Cyber City Oedo 808, but anyone with an appreciation for anime will probably love this.

There’s also fun side content, like an unlockable 3D game box to explore, and an Endless mode.

In terms of flaws, there are only a few small nitpicks to mention. Some of the guns feel distinctly more useful than others, and some enemies with ultra-specific weak spots can be a pain to take out.

Also, if I’m being honest, I could only play so much of the game before needing to take a break.

The Verdict

Mullet MadJack is an absolute must-play for fans of shooters, anime, and pure adrenaline rushes. Pick it up along with a 2L of Mountain Dew and some Fuzzy Peaches, and enjoy the trip back in time.

Mullet MadJack is available via Steam.

Watch the trailer for Mullet MadJack below: