BRIEF REVIEW: Starts off great, but loses it’s way towards the end…
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if you told me that No More Heroes was the inspiration for last year’s film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. They both bring back themes of classic retro gaming from the 80s and 90s with their mario-esque sounds and occasionally pixellated visuals that are so iconic. They both have a plot in which the lead character has to defeat a ‘SPECIFIED NUMBER OF BAD DUDES’ in order to get what they want. But NMH‘s Travis Touchdown couldn’t be any different from the whiney “can we make out now?” Michael Cera. He’s full of hilariously bad one-liners and questionable approaches towards women… on second thoughts maybe they’re not so different after all. Quite frankly it’s hard to decide which is more annoying.
That said, and despite the pretty much non-existent plot, No More Heroes won’t be like anything you’ll have ever played. There’s plenty of crazy here to make the game completely unique in both it’s graphics and gameplay styles. You’ll be giving your arm a semi-workout with the amount of Wiimote swinging you’ll be doing to dismember your foes, and if you’re lucky enough on the random slot machine at the bottom of your screen during combat, you’ll be able to perform one of a number of Travis’ special moves. ‘CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE SUNDAE!’ for example will allow you to walk up to an enemy, press the button specified, and kill them instantly. ‘BLUEBERRY CHEESE BROWNIE’ will allow you to throw fireballs at your foes in a retro-like minigame. It’s all very… random, but it works, believe me.
Other than these L.S.D flavoured moments the combat system starts off very intense and the pacing of fights is very fast and really keeps you on your toes. It utilizes the Wiimore better than most games that you’ll see on the system, especially with the added bonus of the occasionally tricky wrestling move to perform. Ultimately, though, combat does become stale and repetitive by the middle of the game. Even the boss fights, those seemingly praised to holy heaven by other reviews that I’ve read, don’t live up to expectations for me. Granted some of the boss’ moves are especially good and they really give you a challenge. But all you’ve got to fight with is a re-hash of a lightsaber and a bunch of wrestling moves. It gets strenuous, and although I found myself playing on because the boss characters were incredibly imaginative personality wise, it did become a little bit of a slog towards the end.
And between all those boss fights you’re given an open-world element to the game very reminiscent of GTA (except with a massive bike). Here, you’ll find all sorts of jobs to do, like cutting the grass or picking up poisonous scorpions. These are little more than minigames, and although they’re alright to play initially, there is no entertainment in doing them again. The assassination missions have very little different from regular combat, and the ‘free-fights’ around the city just seem to be thrown in for the hell of it. On your way to these city ‘features’ you’ll have to ride a massive bike that rides like a horse with a broken leg, not to mention the drop in framerate at the highest speeds. This open-world element is completely pointless, and no manga or anime video or T-shirt isn’t going to change my mind on that… Yes you can buy them too… yeahy…
Yes, there is a lot in this review that is negative but under this critical persona there is someone who enjoyed playing No More Heroes. It’s like nothing you’ll ever play before, so it’s a real shame that the game’s uniqueness almost goes unnoticed from the middle onwards. This isn’t helped by a rubbish plot that doesn’t seem to be able to decide whether to be serious or whacky. That said, though, it’s refreshing to see cell-shaded graphics and an obvious amount of personality for a Wii title, something that’s very rare indeed.
“That was quite a move. I’ll admit you’ve got potential. If challenge had a taste, you’d be quite delicious.”
(Not because it’s good…)