Review by Trusk
"Great, bloody, humorous, but short"
No More Heroes (NMH) is perhaps the most violent game on the Wii out there. Violent decapitations, gratuitous swearing, (they drop the F bomb among other swears A LOT and all uncensored) and yet the humor this game displays is just too much for words, but I'll try.
First things first: You are an assassin with a beam katana that you won off an internet auction who must kill other assassins to become the first ranked assassin in the world. Along the way you will meet humorous characters, take on comical side missions, and save your game by sitting on the toilet.
The main focus of the humor is satire. It's a take of all of the other punk style action games with the huge amounts of blood that spills out of your enemies being an exaggeration of what you see in other games of it's kind. The game does not take itself seriously at all.
That's pretty much the short of it, theres more along the way but you'll have to play that to find out.
As for the graphics, it's nothing really astonishing, they aren't horrible but the Gamecube could probably pull it off. It's a cel shaded style that really works well in the game. Any other graphic style would ruin the satiric humor the game takes on. While they aren't mind blowing, there's nothing bad to say about them either.
The sound makes the game even funnier. The death quotes of some of the enemies for example, make it funny to hear them over and over. Sadly, on each level theres only 1 type of enemy and they all say the same 2 things throughout the level, so at times it can be a bit repetitive but this is a nitpick. The only thing that bugs me is the death scream when you defeat multiple enemies in a row. If you kill 1 it's fine, but 2 or more and it gets pretty loud and crackly at times. But this is another nitpick and can be overlooked.
The music is hard to rate as there hardly is any in the game. You only hear music in the hub world if you're on your bike, and the stage music is the same core progression for every level. In my opinion it's an awesome song so it's a love it or hate it kind of deal.
The story is... well it's hit or miss on this one. If you're playing a game with an indepth story this isn't it. There is story to be had but it's mostly vague and in most cases, the main story stays intact for the whole game while side stories tend to last for the level and then not touched upon until either the end or not at all. Plot twists end as quickly as they start and confusing at times. Most of the story is back story found in the instruction manual that really has no impact on the main story at all. Make what you can of it, the game wasn't really intended for a deep story so once again, I won't knock this too hard.
The gameplay is where this game excels. Unlike most games for the Wii, you don't swing the wiimote to attack, instead you hit A to attack but then finishing moves are executed by swinging the wiimote in a designated direction. Throws can be performed too with a combination of moving the wiimote and nunchuck in a designated direction too, so wiimote movement use is not limited. The only problem I've had is that sometimes, no matter how hard I try, at times it's impossible to do a finishing move or throw. I don't know if it's me or what but the movement doesn't register for whatever reason. This doesn't occur enough for it to be annoying but it's something I wish didn't happen.
The worst thing about the gameplay is the hub world. Even with the motorcycle to help you get around, most places are so far apart it's a pain to get to them. Most places are near your aparment building, making them accessible but whats really annoying is where you have to go for side missions. At times you'll want to (or have to for money) complete the same side mission again, but to do that you'll have to go to where the job is at, get it, go to the location of the job, complete the task, then go back to the job building again and the process repeats itself. Some places where you need to go are closer than others, but some take so long to get to you may only want to do it once after deciding to do it three times.
The motorcycle is pretty bad too. It helps you get around but a pain to control. You can do quick turns on it by tilting the wiimote either left or right and hitting B when going fast enough, which you'll want to do to avoid crashing it. While you can do this, it's still possible to lose control at times depending on where you turn and crash. Crashing doesn't have a penalty, but it takes about 10 seconds for the animation of you falling off, getting up and then having to flip the bike back upright to complete, and it can get really annoying if you do it constantly, which at times seems to happen more than you'd want.
You can also do a wheelie with it, which serves no purpose on the hub world as it just makes you crash even more as you'll most likely hit something and have to go through the crash sequence. Also it seems random whether you'll crash or not. At times I've gone full speed into walls and nothing will happen, and other times I'll go just fast enough into one and it will crash me. Sometimes cars crash me while other times it won't.
The best part about the motorbike is that you can drive it off of cliffs into lakes which has no penalty at all other than sends you back to your apartment building, which at times you can abuse to get back there faster. As mentioned before there is no penalty to it, not even health loss, which is odd since the refrigerator in your apartment is supposed to refill your health, but in the hub world there's not way to lose it.
The difficulty of the game is pretty easy. The strategy for killing most bosses is pretty much the same, so once you master the boss killing technique you can pretty much win for the most part. Some are on the hard side but for the most part they are more or less the same.
The levels disappoint me though. The first few have good length, and take some time to complete, but near the end of the game the levels don't take more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Before I got to this point I found the game to be quite short, and this made it even worse for me. I managed to get about about 12 hours in before I beat the game, and that's with messing around with side missions.
However, that's just a single playthrough. Everything you have carries over after you beat the game when you go to your second playthrough, giving some incentive to play the game over and over again. If you liked the game as much as I did you'll want to do this several times before putting it down and picking it back up again.
So all in all, it's a good game, fans of crude humor, blood baths, and action will enjoy it and worth at least a rent. In my honest opinion, unless you really want to play this now wait for a price drop. I say it's worth at least $30, I felt a tad ripped off with a hefty $50 price tag but not enough to make me regret my purchase.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/04/08
Game Release: No More Heroes (US, 01/22/08)
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