No More Heroes review
The same charm you found in Killer 7, only better.
- Simply, satisfying combat that fails to get old.
- Cell Shaded graphics well fit the game play.
- Enemies split in half as blood and gore rains upon the landscape, while coins jingle into your pocket. Very satisfying for any "gore fanatics" out there.
- Storyline was well organized and had plenty of laughs; plenty of surprising twists at the end.
- Traveling the city was easy, and the freedom to visit any shop or gym between ranked fights gave the game that "sandbox, Grand Theft Auto" feel to it. Not a GTA clone in any way, however.
- Boss fights are epic and intense. In many ways as great as the boss fights found in Legend of Zelda.
- You will never experience anything like it.
- While the city is rather fun to do missions in, it's a bit more of a series of roadways to get where you want rather than somewhere you would want to explore (treasure hunting aside).
- The overworld could have looked much better, with texture detail lacking in many areas and resolution looking stale for even those who have their standards at last gen.
- Framerate issues haunt the city like the plague. Nothing unplayable, but the game seems to go from "smooth Ranking fights" to "slow, choppy city exploration".
- While many weapons are available, there is no preference really. Each weapon is a better version of the previous one, which means no matter what you will end up using the MK-III Beam Katana or get owned in the final boss fight.
The game starts you off as Travis Touchdown, an anime obsessed young adult with a hidden past and little money to live off of. Realizing he is poor, Travis buys a beam katana online (according to the manual) and receives a gig to "assassinate the Drifter." After killing the Drifter in a quick but unplayable battle scene, according to Sylvia Krystal, a mysterious woman running the UAA association that hired you, you are now ranked eleventh on the list of United States assassins. Because of this, you realize other assassins will try to kill and take your title, and you realize your only option is to aim for the top, and become number one on the list.
The game starts you in a building on your way to defeat the tenth ranked assassin, who is supposedly called "Heavenly Sword." In order to reach your objective, you must go through waves of enemies throughout the mansion to reach him. This same concept applies for all other ranking fights as well (more about that later). Once you reach Heavenly Sword, you view a quick cut scene before engaging in an epic boss battle in an attempt to beat your enemy to death with the shining blue blade you are first equipped with.
*Note: A Beam Katana is a high powered energy sword that can damage even the hardest materials. Much stronger than a normal, metal blade....Fine, it's a complete rip off of a light saber from Star Wars, happy now?
After your first fight is complete, you are transported back to your motel (and man is it crappy) only to receive a phone call praising you on your completion and informing you on the entry fee required to enter the next ranking battle and proceed through the game. After exiting your motel, you can use the motor cycle parked outside your home to travel around the city.
So now, your objective is to make enough money to pay off the entry fee by placing it in the ATM. Money is made by first visiting the job center, selecting a part time job, and then driving to the location to earn some cash. The jobs you receive are rather bizarre, and can range from mowing lawns to collecting coconuts, kittens, or even poisonous scorpions. Each one, however, uses the Wii mote in a creative and innovative way that keeps the mini missions fresh and interesting. Once you complete a job, you are rewarded by unlocking two higher paying assassination jobs that can be done by visiting the "K Center". Once you select a gig, you drive to the location and kill the required foes or objectives determined by the description given before starting it. You usually do these gigs and jobs a few times before gaining enough money to pay off the entry fee.
After you place the required money into the ATM (which increases which each fight), you unlock the entrance to your next ranking fight. You kill the required amount of enemies and then finally fight the boss (the ranked assassin) who will die and give bring you that much closer to completing the game.
Throughout the city, you may buy cloths, visit the katana shop to buy new weapons or upgrades, and buy wrestling videos to watch at home and learn new attacks from. You can also train at the gym to extend your beam attack combo, increase your strength, or increase your maximum health. This gives you a nice feel of customization and gives you the sense that you are always getting stronger after each exercise. However, you never really get a choice on which beam katana you should use. Each new weapon that comes out is always a better version of the last, which means you never truly get a choice in what sword you should use. Also, while the city is a nice way to get from place to place, it's options of exploration are lacking, and the graphics are poorly detailed and suffer from jagged edges everywhere. Not to mention, the overworld is not nearly as smooth as the combat missions are.
The combat system is where this game truly shines, however. You do not swing the Wii mote around to slash your sword as you do in Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. You press the A button to attack and perform combos, and once your enemy reaches low health, an arrow appears on screen. Slashing the Wii mote in that direction performs a brutal and incredibly satisfying finishing blow. Your enemy will be decapitated or cut in two as blood rains down everywhere and coins flow into your body with a nice jingle. Mortal Kombat said it best "Fatality!"
You can also use the B button in the same sense but instead of slashing with your katana, you melee attack your enemy with a series of punches and kicks. This is mainly meant to stun your enemy, and once he/she is stunned, hitting the B button again will grab the enemy and begin a throw sequence. By moving the nunchuck and Wii mote in the required direction on screen, you perform a wrestling move that you may have learned from watching videos or remembering them after reading over friendly letters. These attacks usually do plenty of damage but are rarely fatal on stronger enemies.
Overall, I give No More Heroes for the Nintendo Wii a 4.1/5. Aside from some small technical shortcomings, No More Heroes shines with satisfyingly perfect combat, creativity in a sense that the Wii mote controls are well implemented, and plenty of customization options for your character. Like the Killer 7 of it's generation, No More Heroes gives you something you will not find in many other games; A combat system that never gets old, a story that just keeps getting better, and a replay value that only the top dogs can compete with. Yeah, it's that awesome.
Yahtzee said it best "You will never experience anything like it."
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