Review: No More Heroes for Wii
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Travis Touchdown is an otaku who resides in a hotel room in the city of Santa Destroy. After winning an internet auction for a beam katana, he's out of money. That's when a mysterious blonde woman with a French accent by the name of Sylvia Christel. She offers him a job to kill an assassin by the name of Helter Skelter. After doing the deed, Sylvia announces that by killing him, he is now ranked #11 by the United Assassins Association. With that, Travis starts his quest for the top ranking in the UAA.
"No More Heroes" stands out on the Wii, being one of the few M rated games on the console, and it mostly earns it, with strong language, very bloody violence, and lots of sexual innuendo. Travis is a dork and seems to be a stand-in for a driven gamer. Given the ridiculusness of a lot of the opponents you meet, it is hard to take it seriously. It is more like a gamer fantasy more than anything.
Once you get through your first fight, the game follows a regular pattern. You will start off in an open world where you can leave your hotel room and collect money for your next fight as well as do other things to improve your abilities. Jobs come in two flavors: third rate and first rate. Third rate jobs are pretty mundane activities, like collecting coconuts or mowing lawns or operating a gas pump. First rate jobs are assassination jobs that allow you to kill random guys with weapons. Some give you additional challenges, like being able to only use wrestling moves, but most are variations on a theme and get kinda samey.
Outside of that, you can visit Dr. Naomi, who offers occasional upgrades to your beam katana, the video store, where you can buy wrestling videos to learn new wrestling moves, your sensei's gym, where you can work out and get stronger, and a bar where if you collect enough Lovikov balls, Randall Lovikov will teach you new moves. You can also buy new clothes for Travis. Also, areas will open up where you can do brawls where you have to kill everyone without getting hit once.
This open world is probably one of the most annoying aspects of the game, because most of it doesn't serve a purpose. You will spend a lot of time just driving from place to place. This particularly gets annoying towards the end of the game when you are doing a lot more grinding to get the money you need for the next event.
So, when you are done, you deposit your money in an ATM, go back to your hotel room and wait for Sylvia to call. She's usually doing something sexy and teases Travis while telling him about the next job. A new location appears on the map, which you travel to, and then you advance through a horde of enemies. While they do change things up a little bit (some fire guns at you), they won't be much of a challenge. Along the way there are chests with wrestling trading cards, health and batteries. At the end, you get a call from Sylvia on your cell (which uses the speaker on the Wii remote) giving you a final pep talk before facing the next assassin.
To be honest, I think the earlier assassins are more interesting than the later ones, or maybe that was just the game dragging on me. After battles with Shinobu (Who thinks Travis killed her father) and Holly Summers (Who Travis was rather poinant about), there isn't really a lot to connect you to the battles until the end, where a whole list of twists come together to screw with your brain. Each battle, tho, doesn't fail to challenge you to figure out the weaknesses of your opponents and defeat them.
Controls are pretty simple. Attacks are done with the A button, while you can kick and do grabs with the B button. You lock on with the Z button and you use movement to do finishing moves and wrestling moves with the movement controls via on screen instruction. You can also aim high or low by raising or lowering the Wii controller.
Overall, it is an OK game that gets by a lot on style. There is a lot that could have been streamlined (which the sequel seems to have accomplished, in my limited time with it). It won't live as one of the great games, but it certainly has its own hook and stands out because of that.
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|themaster20000 - 02-28-2012, 06:58 PM|
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