Review by -SourDieseL
"The strawberry on the Shortcake!"
With so many people clamoring for an M-rated game on the Wii, third party developer Suda 51 took it upon themselves to make a great game, by the name of No More Heroes. It was well-received and thus a sequel was created. This review, however, is about the first game. It's rather unique and yet manages to draw quite a bit from pop culture, the lightsaber being your weapon for instance, though it's called a "Beam Katana" for obvious reasons. No More Heroes is one of the Wii's greatest exclusives and is an experience that shouldn't be missed.
Plot: 10/10: You are Travis Touchdown, a young man who is recruited at a bar by a mysterious woman by the name of Sylvia to be a mercenary. Your job is to kill other mercenaries and become number one. Sylvia promises that she will reveal something about Travis' past if he lives to be number one. Travis indulges her and sets out on his quest to become number one. Along the way, he'll have to take out deadly henchmen and mercenaries with his lightsaber. He also happens to have a penchant for wrestling. Not only will Travis get what he's promised, but he will also earn a huge sum of cash. However, not everything is as it seems, and the game's plot only gets stranger and stranger as time goes on, while Sylvia continues to throw himself at Travis to get him to compete more and more.
Gameplay: 10/10: The gameplay is simple and pretty fun to boot. You start off at Travis' room in a motel and once you walk out of the door, your motorcycle awaits you in the parking lot to take you to your next destination. You move around with the joystick, obviously. How the implemented the motion controls is great. After drawing your beam katana, you can hold the wii remote high or low depending on what you want Travis' stance to be. This comes in hand when blocking and parrying projectiles and other weapons. Your beam katana also has a battery that must be charged by ahem...moving the wii remote up and down which prompts a rather sexual series of movements by Travis to charge the battery. In town, you can go to his friend's shop and upgrade your beam katana at certain points in the game. As you progress through the game, more and more little mini-jobs will be available to you. These will get you more money if you need it to enter the next ranking challenge or whatever else you may need. In the top left corner of the screen is your life meter, which resembles an 8-bit heart and every time you take damage, pixels of the heart will go gray. There's a gym in town that you can go to, to improve your strength and stamina as well with mini-games that require use of the motion controls, such as weight lifting. At home you can play with your cat or even save your game, which you do by going to the bathroom. These bathrooms are also at the end of each stage right before a boss.
Once in a boss battle, prepare yourself, because they too possess beam katanas (for the most part). If you and the opponent lock weapons, you have to move your wii remote left and right as fast as you can. Once regular enemies are weakened, you can perform a powerful attack to kill them for good and cause them to spray blood and money everywhere. The whole thing's pretty graphic and really fun at the same time. A lot of the boss battles are tough so keep your wits about you. If the game is too tough, just start a new file and pick easy mode until you get the hang of it because there's a lot of active strategy in this game. Keep in mind also that while the city of Santa Destroy is mega huge, there also isn't a ton of things to do. It looks like Grand Theft Auto, but there aren't really a variety of places to go.
Graphics: 10/10: The graphics are wonderfully rendered on the Wii. The art style, however, is not liked by everybody, and that would be the infamous cel-shading technique that many Zelda fans seem to loathe, and a lot of gamers in general. I think it gives it a bit of a comic book personally. There doesn't seem to be much of a difference if any at all between cutscenes and in-game graphics which is great, as in some games a cutscene makes everything more beautiful, then lets you down when you get back to the in-game graphics. That's not the case here. The city landscape is very large as well. The character design is well thought out, the bosses included. It's all pretty visually pleasing. The graphics, no, are not on par with a PS3 or 360, but it's the Wii, so I just compare it to other games on the Wii and this game simply looks fantastic.
Audio: 8/10: The music in this game is rockin', without a doubt. It's all got a catchy beat to it, especially Pleather for Breakfast, which you'll get to later in the game. Every level has the same music though, which is where I took a couple of points from. All of the bosses, however, have their own theme songs which is pretty awesome. Even though there is one song for every stage, it never really gets old to listen to and it's extremely catchy. The voice acting is great, especially the guy they got to play Travis Touchdown. He does a good job playing the role of a jackass. The sound effects are great, especially those of the beam katana and when he pulls a finisher with said katana, and there are some 8-bit sounding effects thrown into the game here and there too.
Overall: 9/10: No doubt one of the best single player games on the Wii, if not the greatest. The replayability level is unfortunately low so this is a rare case where I'd only recommend a rental for such a great game. It's amazing, top notch, but after you beat it once, it's just over. Though it's an experience you'll never forget and you'll definitely want to rent the sequel afterwards. So go ahead and rent a copy!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/19/10
Game Release: No More Heroes (US, 01/22/08)
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