Review code provided by Decibel PR
Gamers don’t have much patience
Travis Touchdown is your typical motel dwelling anime fan, that is until he took an assassination job which put him in the ranks of the United Assasins Association. Practically being forced to compete in ranked matches to survive, but some sweet promises from Sylvia, the mysterious match organiser, gets his blood flowing.
Hack and Slash and Slide?
No More Heroes is a third person action game. Each ranked fight consists of its own level where you’ll mow down baddies with stylish action before getting to the main fight. Some levels have fun gimmicks like running past enemies under the sprinklers while your arse is lit on fire. Travis fights with a beam katana and can inflict high and low attacks. Though it needs to be charged by wiggling the stick (or making a certain hand motion) to be able to fight. He can break opponent’s guards allowing you to use wrestling moves, and spam suplexing can be helpful early on. Enemies are finished off with a directional slash prompt. These roll a slot machine which can give you a timed power up if you’re lucky. It’s a game that has no qualms about appearing as such and is all the more fun for it. These power ups usually just give you instant kills but the visual effects can make it hard to see, and if you roll well once you’ve cleared a room you’ll have to wait it out. Bosses are the real highlight of the game or a brick wall if you’re struggling. There’s a save between the rest of the level and the boss along with pick ups so the game is not completely unfair, even if some of their insta kills can sure feel like it.
Between the ranked fights, Travis needs to cough up the dough to participate in the following matches. So you head out into the rather barren open world of Santa Destroy to take on part time jobs. These can consist of extremely menial mini games such as mowing the lawn or assassination jobs. It at least serves as a breather between levels. Money can be spent on clothes, training and upgrading your weapon. While I’ve been informed that the lackluster city was made intentionally to mimic open world games of the time (and if we’re being honest many are still like that) it’s still annoying. I’d much rather just pick locations from a map and head there. Plus it’d save me from the annoying motorcycle driving (which is actually slightly improved from the Wii original). Though there is one reason to explore as there’s collectables that can be exchanged for new moves or benefits like being able to dash or spotting the position of enemies. Returning home is essential if you want to give his pet cat, Jeane, the attention she deserves.
Blood and Guts and Sexy Stuff
No More Heroes has a nice visual style, good enough to stand the test of modern graphical sensibilities even when it came from a not so impressive console. Added onto with pixelated “old school game-y” effects, this game has plenty of style. Along with that is the adult personality common in Suda 51’s games being packed with plenty of stylized gore, perverted humor and swearing. After all you save by…. sitting on the toilet.
The game is fully voice acted and even with wacky writing I found everyone played their part well. I loved the background music while hunting around the place and some bosses had particularly stand out tracks. The sound effects all helped to add style but you’ll likely tire quickly of the mook’s screams on every kill.
It runs fine in handheld and I mostly played it that way. Which did confuse me when I went to play on the TV and it forced motion control on me. So if you don’t have a pro controller do expect to slash and wiggle your way through the UAA rankings. I didn’t experience any technical issues but since it’s a Wii port I’d be a bit shocked if I did. One minor thing I missed just a bit is that you can’t hear the phone calls through the Wiimote speaker anymore. I remember answering it like an idiot back when I played a bit of the original version.
If you’ve yet to experience the joys of playing a game that’s not afraid to be fun then this port to the Switch is a must have for any action fan especially at this price. Even with some minor drawbacks of the mediocre mini games and pointless driving, the style and combat keep you shaking your beam katana all night long.
- Great action combat with fun bosses
- Irreverent humor
- T-shirt collecting
- Bland open world with only sad mini games to get by