No More Heroes is the kind of game that starts off strong, but eventually falls flat on it's face. What appears to be a great third-person action game for the Nintendo Wii, turns out to be sub-par and broken. There is a little bit to love about No More Heroes, but there is a lot more to hate. So read on and find out more about this ill-fated game.
Let's start with the story. The story and characters in No More Heroes are easily the best parts of the game. In No More Heroes, you play as Travis Touchdown, a poverty-stricken, retired pro wrestler. After winning a beam katana online, he enters the UAA (United Assassin's Association) to win money. This all takes place in the fictional town of Santa Destroy, California. The goal of the game is to go from being the 11th ranked assassin in the UAA, to the 1st ranked assaassin.
As I mentioned before, you play the character Travis Touchdown. Travis is a hardcore Otaku who loves to watch anime and collect figures. Travis is very rude and crude, and he doesn't give a shit about anything. Due to the way he is, he ends up in many humors situations throughout the game.
The other main character of the game is Sylvia Christel. She is the women who introduces the UAA to Travis. She is a beautiful french woman who Travis is very attracted to. One of Travis' main motivations to participate in the UAA is that Sylvia promised to sleep with him once he becomes first ranked.
Each of the 10 assassin's Travis fight are also great characters. Each of them add something new and crazy, and keep the experience fresh throughout. The humor in the game really comes through with the assassin's.
Unfortunately, this is where the game begins to fall flat on it's face. The fighting in the game is really fun. You hit the 'A' button until most of your enemies health is gone, then you swing the Wii remote in the direction shown on the screen to kill the enemy. This tends to hold up throughout the game, but can get pretty boring towards the end. Before you fight each of the games bosses (the ranked assassin's), you 'remember' a wrestling move from your past, which you can then use. You initiate wrestling moves by stunning your opponent, then pressing 'B' and finally moving the Wii remote and Nunchuck in the way shown on the screen. These moves can do quite a bit of damage, but they are also very hard to pull off.
One annoying part of the gameplay is the driving. In the game, you drive Travis' crazy motorcycle. The problem is that the bike never handles properly. The bike never really turns right and if you push the brakes, you stop instantly, no matter what speed you were going. If you hit a car head on, you just bounce off of it, same with trees and light poles. However, if you hit a wall, reality sets back in and you fall off of your bike. Even if you only tap the wall. The driving is definitely a sore point for the game, especially disappointing considering how much of the game is based on driving.
Before you can fight each assassin, you have to make money to pay the association's 'match entry fee'. In order to do this, you either have to do a part-time job, or do a side assassination job. The part-time jobs are all rudimentary mini games that serve as time fillers more than anything. The part-time jobs will have you doing everything from mowing lawns to filling cars with gas. The premise of the mini game system is pretty good, but the execution is horrible. By the end of the game, these just become a chore and you'll do anything to avoid them.
The other way to make money is by doing other assassination jobs on the side. These are usually much more fun than the part-time jobs, and also make you a lot more money. Some of them have you killing 10 guys in a set amount of time, using only one type of move. Others will have you fighting through a group of people in order to kill the top one.
The main problem with the gameplay is how repetitive it is. Most of the game follows this exact structure:
1. Explore your motel room, then leave
2. Go to the job centre
3. Complete the newest unlocked job
4. Complete the newest assassination contract given by employer of part-time job
5. Bring all of your money to the ATM to buy your match entry
6. Drive to your match
7. Fight through waves of generic enemies
8. Fight assassin
You do those exact eight steps roughly 10 times in the game. It's fun at first, but after about the 5th time, it just becomes mind-numbingly boring.
Graphics and Technical Issues
The graphics in No More Heroes are not very strong. I would compare it to those of a late PS2 or Xbox game for the most part. When you are out driving however, I would compare the other vehicles to what you would see in Driver 2 for the PS1. The other vehicles are just polygons that barely resemble vehicles. However, your character and the other assassin's are quite detailed. It's hard to criticize this games graphics considering it was an early released Wii game, but I think that the developers could have at least put some more detail into the other vehicles.
As for technical issues, they are plentiful in No More Heroes. The game is filled with invisible walls. When you are driving around Santa Destroy, you notice that there is a giant lake in the middle. It appears that you can drive right into it, but if you try to, you just hit a giant invisible wall. You can't go near water anywhere in the game without hitting an invisible wall. The walls get so bad that it even effects the way you fight one of the assassins
The sound in No More Heroes is another bright point. The little sounds you here throughout the game are all fun to here and affect the game in a positive manner. The sound track that you here in the background while fighting is great because it never stops the action. It flows very smoothly and was a great choice by the developers. It's very much like Bayonetta. I'd never listen to the music away from the game, but when it's there in the game and flows with the gamplay, it's amazing.
In short, No More Heroes has no lasting appeal. Once you finish the game, there is not much to do. You can roam around Santa Destroy, but as I mentioned earlier, that's just frustrating and pointless. You can also get high scores in the jobs, but once again, there is nothing to gain but stress from doing that.
No More Heroes is a game that only certain people should play. If you are an Otaku, or enjoy games that are over-the-top in every way, then you should play it. However, just about everyone else should avoid this game. It's fun, but only in short bursts. If the game had more variety and not as many technical issues, then I would give it more of a recommendation. But with the state it's in, I cannot recommend No More Heroes.
- Great and engrossing story
- Humorous and likeable characters
- Great soundtrack
- Repetitive gameplay
- Redundant mini games
- Forced attempt at creating depth
- Poor graphics
- Game-changing technical problems
- No replay value