Do you like pizza? I would bet you do, I love it myself. But, if you take said dish and remove the sweet tomato sauce and the steamy melting cheese, you’re left with a pretty basic piece of dough. That dough is still very much edible and even tasty to an extent, but when you throw in those toppings you get an entirely different beast. That is the gist behind the delicious No More Heroes, the meat lovers of the niche Wii gaming catalog.
No More Heroes is a brilliant idea wrapped around a hack-and-slash beat-‘em-up. Your character, Travis Touchdown is a complete and absolute badass, as a faithful video game representation of Johnny Knoxville should be; and as the protagonist of any good action game should be. Travis lives in the city of Santa Destroy, the sandbox players are thrown in in-between the action. You drive around the city to go to various locations like in GTA, some of those locations are ranked battles which act as the main levels/boss fights of the game, you gotta play mini-games to get to those, blah blah. Forget all that. What you need to know is that, yes, No More Heroes will throw some questionable game design choices at you. There’s no getting around that. But it doesn’t matter because playing the game is very, very much worth it.
The story is exquisite in its apparent nonsensicality, the characters, especially the ranked assassins are brilliant, the dialogue is absolutely spot-on, the many pop-culture references are both noticeable and appropriate, Travis strikes the perfect balance between badass and vulnerable – he kicks insane amounts of ass, but he also gets constantly mocked by the game in various ways. That contradiction makes for one of the most enticing yet also relatable video game protagonists I’ve seen in a while. I already mentioned the genius of the dialogue, but the conversations our guy has with the ranked assassins are so perfect. These bosses are given considerable amounts of depth with just a few lines of dialogue. And seeing Silvia jerk Travis around is endlessly entertaining.
Hey, he's gone! Mr. Sir Henry Motherfucker, he just jetted! What a pussy!
I mentioned that the gameplay has questionable content, but the core game idea is absolutely flawless. The combat is smooth and the finishers click, they have that “hmph” of satisfaction that only video games can provide. The gallons and gallons of blood that blast off the enemies Tarantino style is truly something to behold, the guys look like human volcanoes when you decapitate them. The combat in the game satisfies on the most basic, human level. My spleen! It’s not all madness, though, and of course, that’s part of the brilliance of the design. Santa Destroy is the most boring place you’ll ever go to, but that only makes the insanely bloody anime style assassin fights that occur in various every-day spots of town seem that much more stylish. It would’ve been much easier for the developers to have a menu where you select one madness-filled event after another, but thankfully they realized that would get dull and eventually lose all its meaning.
No More Heroes is a sour, sweet, mild and bitter candy, all at the same time. You’ll finish it quickly, but it's full of originality and variety, and you will most definitely savor every second of it, even when the game is boring you. It's not perfect nor is it the best game ever made, not even close, but the experience will connect and stick with you, and you’ll likely want to play it more than once. This one’s one of a kind, folks. Check it out.
I gotta continue fighting. There's no way out of this! You set me up, bitch!!
I wouldn't give this game more than an 8 (probably a 7.5). Cool game, certainly doesn't lack character, but it is lacking in polish and has too many irksome quirks.
True but to me it's one of those games where the lack of polish doesn't matter. Because the whole thing is such a B product anyway, on purpose.. it almost adds a bit of personalty in itself. It's like when you watch an early Peter Jackson flick like Bad Taste, the awful effects and non compelling shots make it more enjoyable
I think this is a case of the chicken and the egg. The game isn't as polished as other games because they lack the resources (money and human capital) to make a better product. Hence, the game is supposed to be this cool satire of other games.
I definitely think this game is in a league unto its own and has few peers (other than its excellent sequel). I had no problems at all with some of the 'questionable' aspects of the game's visuals or production values. Just like you said, @GelatinousEncore, it's the core game idea that is the best part about the game. From beginning to end, the player is taken along a wonderful ride full of surprises and never knows what to expect when approaching the next assassin battle.
I think the side jobs are hilarious too. Mowing the grass, collecting coconuts... It just provides this wonderful contrast to the mayhem surrounding Travis.
Man, Johnny Knoxville, Quentin Tarantino, excessive blood and vulgarity, my favorite things!
I knew way back when that this is a game I didn't feel the need to play (it isn't for everyone), but those things just clinched it, haha! Something about it just..I dunno, it doesn't talk to me. The first time I saw a screenshot I knew we wouldn't be a match. Weird, eh? (And now it reminds me of Archer for some reason, another thing I saw a tiny clip of and knew IMMEDIATELY that I wouldn't like it..and I was right.)
This game seems spoofy? Do they have fake brands all over the place like WackArnold's (McDonald's from Chappelle's Show) or Burger World? I think those are funny sometimes. --This game..it bugs me, I can't figure out EXACTLY what it is why I don't like it. I see all those chicks up there, and think "you should like this," but I just don't. What is it??
Maybe its that Suda guy! *looking up all of this games now* Gosh, I don't know.. Are the people's legs too long or something? Like, Bayonetta-style? Confuuuuuuused.
But yes, I do enjoy pizza. Thumbs up for pizza! (I like mine with pepperoni and sausage!)