Review by Meatbun
"Strawberry on the Shortcake!"
Admittedly, I'm kind of bored. I haven't written many reviews on this site. I don't like writing reviews. Not much, anyways. But right now I was bored, and I wanted to write a review. Sure, I have plenty of games that I could write about, but there was one I got just recently that struck me in such a way that I thought, that's the one. I'm going to write a review about that game. Well, it's No More Heroes. It has that effect on people--making you want to get up and do something totally weird in the middle of playing it. But that's a good thing. It's just something about the unique style of this game that brings out our inner...something or other. Like the way it made me want to write this review. It's just that awesome.
Anyway, this will probably be the stupidest and most insane game that you'll ever play in your life--but that's a good thing. And if you think I'm joking, then get a load of this: You save your game by taking a crap on the toilet. Stupidly immature, and yet so deliciously, wonderfully...brilliant. Now, onto everything else that makes this game just about one of the craziest experiences in the universe. And believe me, it's a lot more than just sitting on the toilet to save.
Now I don't know much about hardware or technology or whatever, so I can't say how good the graphics really are from a technical standpoint. But as far as creativity, Suda has really taken the extra mile. The game is cell-shaded, and everything just looks really stylish. The lighting, character designs, you name it, it all looks like nothing you've ever seen before.
Not epic by any means, but it's zany and hilarious. You play as an otaku named Travis Touchdown. He's a total loser and he lives on his own in his rented apartment at the No More Heroes motel. Well, Travis is low on money, and he suddenly decides he doesn't want to be a loser anymore. So he sets out to be the number one ranked assassin in the country. And you'd better be ready to meet some wacky characters on your quest. I'm talking about a weirdo who thinks he's a superhero and some old lady with a huge-ass beam cannon. But that's just the beginning of it. Things get a lot weirder than that. And a lot more awesome. You'd better be ready for it.
Here we go. This is what the game is all about. First of all, there's a really good battle system here. Travis fights with a beam katana that he won in a contest or something like that (Think basically an imitation of a lightsaber). You can hold the Wiimote up or down to make Travis hold the katana high or low. Most enemies will have weapons which they can use to block your attacks, so you need to make either a high strike or a low strike to get past their defenses. Once you hit them enough you can follow a command with the Wiimote. Do so, and there will be blood. And by blood, I mean a lot of it. Enemies will be cut totally in half beneath Travis' fury. And for laughs, they'll occasionally yell, "AAAAAAH!!! MY SPLEEN!!!" which makes it all the more enjoyable to kill them. Not to mention the plethora of different ways you can take them out. It's not all just hack and slash--there's strategy involved. You'll get wrestling moves and special strikes that you can perform to make yourself more effective in combat. Also, every time you kill an enemy, there will be several slots at the bottom of the screen. If they each line up with the same thing, you'll go into Dark Side Mode. Travis will yell something stupid and funny like, "Strawberry on the Shortcake!" And then become Superman for a few moments, allowing you to go totally maniacal on your enemies. So all that bloody killing of enemies usually takes place in the ranked missions. These are where you fight through groups of small baddies to reach the big bad bosses, the assassins. The missions themselves always have some kind of cool twists to them so that you're not just fighting the same old enemies over and over, but the bosses are what really shine here. They come in all shapes and sizes, and have some of the most awesome moves ever. You'll have a ton of fun fighting them.
Apparently this is a sandbox game, which isn't a term that I had heard before I read some of the other reviews for No More Heroes. Essentially, think Grand Theft Auto. Big, open world map. But it's not really like Grand Theft Auto. The world map in No More Heroes simply serves as a way to travel between missions. You'll get a big bike that you can drive around town with, and if you learn some cool stunts and do some exploring, you can have a pretty good time. Still, the world map is pretty empty. There's the motel, a video store, a clothing store, and a lot of other stuff, including K-Entertainment and the Job Center. At K-Entertainment you can tackle small assassination missions that you can do to make money. These can be pretty boring or pretty fun. One of them requires you to fight one hundred enemies within four minutes. It's easier than it sounds, but the sheer bloodbath that results is more than enough to make it purely awesome. At the Job Center, you get assigned little mini-tasks that can be done to, like the assassinations, get money. These are pretty stupid and not too interesting. You can mow lawns, gather coconuts, clean grafitti, or whatever. So what's with all the money gathering? Well, you can buy stuff at the various stores. But you also need to pay an entrance fee to get into each ranking mission. So...you'd better find ways to have fun gathering money after each mission, because it can get repetitive. Still, you should have a great time wandering around the town of Santa Destroy and just taking in the sights.
So, that's it. This game is awesome. It's violent as hell and full of little details that are just wonderful. So the next chance you get, you should get off your ass and go buy it. It's as simple as that. Go! Go! Come on, you're taking the time to read the rest of this review? You should already have your ass halfway down to the game shop! Ah, whatever.
My score: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/19/08
Game Release: No More Heroes (US, 01/22/08)
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