No More Heroes Review

Do you like violence so over the top that a person cut in half bleeds out enough blood for an entire basketball team of people in less than 5 seconds? Do you like obscure references to things your friends don’t know, but you laugh at while feeling superior to them? Do you like Suda 51 and his other games? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then No More Heroes is for you. If you answered no, then it might still be for you, but you’re obviously not as cool as someone who said yes to all three.

No More Heroes is Suda’s first foray into the current-gen (aka the next-gen still, for some reason). It tells the story about Travis Touchdown, a badass mofo with only one purpose in life: become the number one assassin so he can sleep with a hot blonde chick with an accent. That’s basically all there is to the story.

Unlike most games, No More Heroes doesn’t dazzle with an intricate plot filled with Shyamalan twists, or a backstory using references from fourteen branches of mythology. No, it’s too awesome for that. I’m sure if you went up to Suda 51 and asked him why there’s no real story, he’d look at you and just yell, “You don’t need a stinkin’ story this time! You guys blew off Killer 7 and that had a story! So take this!” Then he’d laugh and kick you in the groin.

What No More Heroes isn’t lacking, however, is style, badassery, and the usual Suda 51 wit. From Travis to each of the top 10 ranked assassins you need to defeat in battle, every character is memorable, and offers a lot of fun dialog-wise. In fact, they’re so awesome that most of the time playing this game, your only thought is getting to the next boss so you can start the cutscene, fight, kill him, then see the resulting cutscene afterwards.

Of course, Suda 51 wouldn’t be Suda 51 if he didn’t try to do a little extra; attempt to waltz the extra mile. This time around, he tried to bring an open-world aspect a la GTA to the hack-n-slash genre, a move which doesn’t quite work. Between battles you need to earn money to enter the next one, which means wandering around an extremely dead and boring city in order to perform menial tasks such as collecting coconuts from trees, or killing a random guy. You can also upgrade your weapon, work out, buy new threads, and other little things in the city, but that all takes a massive backseat to the actual ranking missions.

So is No More Heroes really a good game if half the content is boring and frustrating? Definitely. What helps is that it’s one of the few third-party games to actually get the Wii remote controls right. Like a traditional hack-n-slash, most of the combat is done by using the A button to perform combo after combo against helpless, blood-filled foes. What’s different is that once they’re defeated, you’ll see a command on the screen (like –>) and by swinging the remote in that direction, Travis will perform a finishing blow. Whether it’s lopping off the head like the Queen of Hearts or cutting a full grown man from head to navel, Travis shows no mercy.

Even though everything outside of the combat portions blows, everything else more than makes up for it. The style, writing, humor, and gameplay in the actual “story” portions of the game are good enough that the complete failure of the open-world aspects is nothing more than a slight inconvenience keeping you from seeing the next boss.

I’m sure you’re still wondering if No More Heroes is good enough for you to purchase. The real question, though, should be whether or not you’re badass enough for No More Heroes to let you play it. There’s nothing else like it, and any Wii owner bemoaning the lack of real games would be an idiot if they didn’t pick this up without having a very good excuse.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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