No More Heroes
* Originally authored by Chunky04 *
No More Heroes is a game that probably needed the services of a Minister for Common Sense. There’s a really good game lurking in there somewhere, but it seems to have gotten lost amongst some kinky Japanese teenager’s masturbatory fantasy. Your character actually recharges his weapon by making an ever more vigorous masturbation motion - I’m not kidding.
The fairly disjointed plot begins with a flashback, where your hero (who’s name I cannot recall apart from the initials are TT, but is pretty much the teenager in the assertion above) has apparently bought a lightsaber beam katana online, and then decided to become an assassin and murder numerous people. This is all starting to get rather boring for him unfortunately, when he meets a hot chick who just happens to be the organizer of some strange assassins’ organization. Once our hero recovers from his orgasmic state at seeing this little bint, he kills someone she asks him to and discovers he’s the association’s 11th ranked assassin. At the urging of the bint, he decides to embark on a quest to become #1, by killing all the persons ranked above him. The actual idea of trying to ascend to #1 by killing off the other assassins is actually kind of cool, and the actual boss fights are quite interesting and entertaining.
Unfortunately, it’s everything else that goes on around it that brings the whole thing down. For some strange reason, our hero has to actually pay the association for the privilege of fighting these terrible killers. This means you have to earn money in between missions. There are two ways to do this - the first is seemingly every Wii developer’s favourite crutch - the minigame. You go to a job market, and can choose between a number of different jobs - the two I’ve discovered thus far are Coconut collection, where you have to beat up trees and carry the coconuts they drop, and lawn mowing, where you steer a lawn mower over as many bits of grass as possible, both to a 3 minute time limit. Once you do one of these missions, you’re then able to go to the local advertising agency/assassination hiring hall, and get a side assassination mission. This generally involves running around killing all sorts of mediocre bad guys - as if you didn’t get to do enough of that in the buildups to the boss fights.
It gets even worse, as there are numerous things for you to blow your cash on, which then necessitates more of the mind numbingly repetitive money earning missions. You can buy clothes to customise your toon, and upgrade your gear. I believe you’ll eventually be able to buy some dodgy videos - you start with on of some horrible synth pop video clip the likes of which even the Spice Girls would laugh at for its tackiness.
For some reason, they’ve elected to wrap this whole minigame, buy stuff thing in a GTA style city. You have to drive around in order to do all of these various things, generally riding your bike. Unfortunately, there’s not actually anything else to do with it, so the whole thing really ends up being something that pointlessly increases the time between the various actions required. If the bike itself wasn’t a horribly handling piece of goso, it might be forgivable.
The tone of the game is essentially a satire of Japanese anime conventions, complete with the ultraviolent, bleak outlook, and the creepy kinky fawning over teenaged girls. I can see what they’re aiming for, and if done well I could even laugh, but unfortunately - Tarantino this is not. The attempts to come off as “mature” inevitably end up more “try hard”.
The graphics are interesting. They’ve gone for a very stylized look that fits in with their theme, and pull it off quite well. It’s very animeish in style, with a lot of shadows being used, which suits the games themes. Everything runs quite smoothly throughout, even amidst hordes of bad guys. The game does suffer from 3rd person camera not looking where you want it to syndrome, where the viewpoint is often awkward for actually viewing the action and directing your character.
The sounds of the game didn’t really stand out to me one way or another. Then again, I’m not a tremendously audio based person, so others are probably more qualified to judge this aspect.
All in all, I’ll likely be returning this game within a week, which is a shame, as some of the ideas in the game are quite cool, and the boss fights very enjoyable, but they are wrapped in far too many things which hinder the good aspects of gameplay, and a plot and motif which misses the mark. In a way, this game really needs to take some of the lessons from Portal. If you stripped out a lot of the unnecessary crap in the game and simply made it a balls to the wall fighting actioner, it would be a much better product. Instead, the game tries to do far too much, and falls horribly short.
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