No More Heroes: Why aren’t you playing this?

I waited overnight so I could be one of the first nerds to get a Nintendo Wii. I didn’t really know what it was about. It just seemed like interesting gameplay.

I invited all the friends over for a Wii party. I wanted to show off my new toy. Nobody else had it (speaking of which, nobody still does). It was shiny. New. Amazing. And, for a time, fun.

Something happened in the last 12+ months, I got bored with it. The novelty wore off. Sure, I played all the required first-party titles: Metroid, Mario, and Zelda. I believe we’re contractually obligated to like anything with Mario in it. Other than that, though, the third-party developers haven’t really knocked my socks off.

Everything just seemed so damned casual. Almost like the hardcore gamer was forgotten and the retirees were given precedent. I don’t mind. It’s nice to see that generation picking up the console, but people my age still bought the system and 20 million variations of Wii Sports just doesn’t cut it.

Luckily designer Suda 51 (Goichi Suda) saw this problem and stepped in and gave us No More Heroes.

You play as Travis Toucdhdown who has recently won a beam katana via internet auction. With such a lightsaber-style weapon in tow, he decides he wants to work up the ranks of assassins until he reaches the top spot.

What would make one want to become an assassin beyond a really kicking weapon? The glory of being the top dog? Maybe. The stress release of taking down gangs and blood thirsty assassins? Possibly. The promise of sex from a young, French vixen? Absolutely.

After Travis takes down the tenth-ranked assassin, the vixen, Sylvia Cristel, steps in and evaluates his performance. If he were to continue on his quest, he made her promise to “do it” with him when he was done.

Enough with the story, the gameplay is really straight-forward slice and dice action. I found it almost refreshing that you were required to hit the A button to swing the blade instead of swinging the Wiimote in the air. My only problem with the controls was during a baseball simulation. The reaction time seemed way off. Or maybe I just don’t know how to hit a baseball.

The action is absolutely amazing. It’s almost feels like you’re in the middle of Kill Bill. The violence is beautiful and over the top. I was almost disappointed when I didn’t have any more gang members to take out and had to move on. Luckily there were just more bad guys right around corner waiting to be sliced, diced and julienned.

All in all, I really liked No More Heroes. I couldn’t put it down. It has an addictive quality that just hasn’t been matched by any other third-party title on the Wii. Hopefully No More Heroes will be guiding light to other developers by showing that it’s alright to make games for the hardcore gamer.

Originally appeared on the 4Play video game blog on on January 29, 2008.

Posted: October 30th, 2009
Categories: Video games
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