No More Heroes was one of 3 games I owned for the Wii. Amongst a sea of cookie cutter Nintendo fluff, it stood out like a sore thumb (but in a good way). To this day, it remains my favorite game on the system and has a small cult following; and when I heard that the PS3 was getting a special edition of the game, I was very excited (Partly because I sold the Wii). But the question remains, how would the game translate on the PS3?
In No More Heroes, you play the role of an Otaku named Travis Touchdown, who wins a lightsaber in an online auction. After a chance meeting with a woman named Sylvia Christel, he accepts a hit on a man called Helter Skelter, ranked 11th in the UAA (the United Assassins Association). After killing him, Travis becomes the new number 11, and vows to work his way through the other 10 assassins and become number one himself. And believe it or not, it just gets more insane from there.
What makes this game so fantastic is how over the top it. Travis’ rise through the ranks of the UAA will take him all over the fictional city of Santa Destroy to fight the other ranked assassins. The assassins in this game are some of the most memorable characters I’ve ever played in a video game; from samurai school girl Shinobu to postal worker turned super villain Destroy Man. They’re no pushovers either, as you can expect to die a few times with some of them.
The combat is simplistic and bloody. You have two attack buttons and you can attack high or low. After you hit an opponent enough, you can finish them off with a swipe with your PS Move or analogs from your controller, and watch as your foes explode into a fountain of blood. Yes this game is a bloodfest. One of the many things that made this title stand out on Wii, as this was the bloodiest game on the system for sometime. While you can use a controller, to get the maximum enjoyment, I recommend using the Playstation move. It really adds to the feel like you are slicing an opponent in two.
Now you just can’t walk up to the bosses and enter their lair. To enter a bosses level, you have to pay the challenge fee for each boss. To earn the money to fight these guys (aside from what you collect playing the previous levels) you do so having Travis performs part time jobs to make money. These jobs range from mowing peoples’ lawns to collecting scorpions. I personally enjoyed the jobs (they’re all fun mini games) as it added to the over the top-ness of the game. Some however may feel that it’s just an unnecessary waste of time, and I can understand that feeling. Once the story heats up, waiting to get enough money to go to the next level can be frustrating. I still feel it added to the overall theme of the game.
As well as having updated graphics to match the power of the power of the PS3, the game has some notable improvements to it. For example:
1) A retry option to Side Jobs, Assassin Missions, and Free Fights should you fail. Likewise, if you complete any Side Jobs or Assassin Missions, you can be warped to them once you beat them.
2) New side jobs and Assassin Missions.
3) Five extra bosses from No More Heroes 2.
4) Players can now repeat boss battles while in Travis’ motel room in the guise of nightmares.
As much as I enjoyed this game, there are some negatives that I can’t help but feel like I have to point out. For one thing, while the main characters look good, the backgrounds around Travis can look a little basic. Don’t be too surprised if you see the same 5 people (along with many clones) walking the streets as you traverse the city. You may also notice some tearing and slowdown as you play through as well.
I also found the map a little irritating since it only shows a location if you’re nearby. It makes travel a little bothersome as I had to keep switching to the big map and back to make sure I was going the right way. Thankfully, if its a mission or job, it does appear on your map.
I found No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise to be a really enjoyable experience once again. The game is the very much the Evil Dead of video games as far as cult classics. Not a masterpiece per say, but its one of the most entertaining and fun games I’ve played in awhile. The remake was very well done, and even added some nice extras to the game. While this game may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a bloody mega violent good time.
FINAL GRADE: B+