Review by akuma634
"If you want blood... you got it and much more!"
Intro - Well I wasn't totally sold on the game at first, but I did buy it before seeing a single review. Not something I do very often. But this game doesn't disappoint. So far it's easily the most fun game I've played in a long time, for any console.
Graphics - 9/10
It may not be as "next gen" as Gears Of War, but it isn't even trying to be. The style is all of it's own. Style really does play such a big part in this game. The cell shaded character models do look amazing. The NPC goons and pedestrians are mostly clones and not very impressive looking, but the bosses and story characters really are unique. The way the battles are animated is also an amazing sight from the very swing of the blade to seeing someone sliced in half and blood flying in every direction. There are some minor flaws though like your shirt going black at certain angles, probably clipping with the jacket or something. But nothing is majorly glitchy with the graphics. So what you get is great detail on everything, shadows, and tons of blood. Another thing I love is the great tribute to the 8-Bit days of gaming in the menus and other places.
Music/Sound Effects - 8/10
The music is good enough. It's not going to blow your mind but it really is catchy and it does fit in with the game. The sounds of the game are very well done, from the sound of your blade being blocked to doing a wheelie on your motorcycle, it all sounds great. The enemy voices in battle do get a bit repetitive though. But the game does a solid job with the audio.
Controls - 10/10
Now this is what really makes or breaks a game. It really does go beyond one button mashing combat. Sure you have one sword attack but you can't get by on that alone. You can use B to stun, C to lock on with dodging as well, and all the great button placements for an action game. The controls are very responsive and it's easy to stop your combo and move around in battle. I have heard complains about the driving taking some getting used to but I never had any issues with it. Of course the real highlight is using the Wii remote for finishing moves and wrestling moves, which really works so well.
Story - 10/10
It starts short and to the point. As they put it in the intro "most gamers don't have much patience." They don't give you much info on the back story of Travis Touchdown until near the end of the game but it works so well that way. They do a great job of pacing the story just right so it doesn't cut into the gameplay and leave you watching tons and tons of cut scenes and wondering what happened to the game. They also throw in some really insane satirical plot twists in there too. But by the end of the game they do answer plenty of questions and then they give you even more that go unanswered until the sequel. But in the end, they do a great job of wanting you to come back for more.
So you spend the game in the city of Santa Destroy. The city itself doesn't have as many actives as games like Fallout or GTA but there it does work as a means of going from point A to point B. There are also plenty of hidden items like shirts in the dumpsters and buried treasure, as well as these balls scattered through the town that with every 7 you find you can use them for useful training. You can work out to make you stronger, get more health, and longer combos. You can also buy wrestling tapes to learn a new move. There is a clothing shop with lots of selection too. There is enough stuff in the town to do. Also for each ranked battle you have to do jobs to get enough money for it. So you do stuff like mow lawns, pick up scorpions, collect coconuts, and such and if you get at least a silver for it you will unlock a new assassination job which pays very well. Plus there are assassin jobs that pay so well that it won't take you too long to get the money you need to power up, get new clothes, and pay the entrance fee.
Now for the good part. So in the city every building has a icon you use to enter. When you start your mission you'll be in a confined area and you slaughter lots and lots of thugs and goons. The fights never do get boring or repetitive and it's always fun seeing the ultra bloody deaths and doing wrestling moves. The wrestling moves are also a great feature, they're mostly lucha libre moves like the huricanrana, tiger suplex, and moves like that but they do have some American made moves like a perfect Karl Gotch style German Suplex, the Tazplex (capture suplex,) and the powerbomb. If only it had The Burning Hammer... So anyway when you slice and dice your way through the minions you'll come face to face with the boss. Every boss fight is very unique, as well as just challenging and pretty long but not too much. Of course the boss fights are the big attraction to the game and they really are worth it. The game really does a very old school feel to it and even with the bosses they have a great old school gaming approach to trying to find their weak point. Another great thing is the level variety and the many different transitions throughout the game that give you so much variety so that it never feels like your doing the same thing over and over again.
Gore - 10/10
This game really does this perfectly. It really is one of the most gory games I've ever played and there were plenty of very sick kills that make games like Fallout, Bloodstorm, Manhunt, and Postal 2 pale in comparison. A great way they did it is that the killing is so very over the top that you can see something very twisted yet it's so over the top that it's funny. It's kind of like watching a Troma movie and seeing The Toxic Avenger rip a guys arms off and beat people with the arms. This really has to be the very bloodiest game ever made.
Difficulty - variable
There are two settings to start with, sweet and mild. If you play on sweet then you will have some close calls and you may die a couple times later in the game but it's not hard but it's not too easy. Mild gives the enemies more health and they strike better and become more of a threat. Then there is bitter which you get for beating the game once, which is the hard setting. So it's got enough so that anyone can enjoy it and not feel overwhelmed.
Replay Value - 7/10
Like I said, the fighting never gets old. The game just keeps you going from start to finish and when you do beat the game you get new game + where you keep all your gear. When you do beat it, the game does a great job of getting you pumped and ready to beat it again. The 2nd play through does add in some new stuff too. The game is pretty short but it does give you plenty of reason to keep on playing it.
It does have it's flaws but the positives really outweigh the negatives. It's been the most fun I've had with a next gen game so far. This is the best pur action game out on any next gen console. There is just nothing else like it. If you want a real adrenaline pumping gore soaked action experience with lots of great humor and style then this is the game to get. It's just that good.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/06/08
Game Release: No More Heroes (US, 01/22/08)
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