No More Heroes

Is your Wii missing a mature action adventure? (Shut up, Madworld, you’re not even out yet!) Well, it would seem as though you’ve come to the right place. No More Heroes is a third person action adventure from little known developer Grasshopper Manufacturer and to say that this game is a “lickle bit mental” is possibly the biggest understatement of the century.

You take on the role of Travis Touchdown – an Otaku Hitman who comes off more as a Johnny Bravo-cum-Star Wars Kid character, with his love for Japanese Anime and big lightsaber-esque toys. For some reason, Travis one day decides he wants to be the best assassin in the world, and plans to climb the rankings of the hitman world by killing everyone that stands in his way – including the “Top Ten Ranked Assassins” by the fictional corporation UAA.

As Travis, who stays at the “No More Heroes Motel” in a room full of Anime figurines and Video Games, you are given an expansive 3d world to explore, with a multitude of side quests to break up the immense action sequences. The whole game is presented in a very stylized cel-shaded way, and it adds to the overall funkiness of the game. If there is one thing that can be said about No More heroes it’s that there honestly isn’t anything like it.


The story is actually really good and is panned out with some interesting cinematic cutscenes in between events. I won’t give too much away but it’s got enough to keep even the weakest of attention spans, even if the dialogue is a little cheesy sometimes.

The game begins by throwing you right into the thick of the action, and this really is where the beauty of the game lies. Describing the combat in this game is nigh on impossible and really has to be seen to be believed. Think the lightsaber fight at the end of Star Wars 3 crossed with the most insane nightclub you’ve ever been to, and throw in the fireworks from New Years Eve 1999, and you may have a little bit of an idea of what to expect.

Armed with Travis’ Beam Katana (think Lightsaber), you will target enemies and pound the A button on the wiimote to slash away. You can mix up high and low attacks by tilting the wiimote up and down – a very simple and yet very effective combat mechanic – it makes switching attacks so very easy, which is dang useful because you’ll be doing it a lot.

Pressing B will see Travis strike with a melee attack, which, depending on your high/low stance, will either make him punch or do a roundhouse kick. Melees will stun your enemies for a brief period of time, so you have the chance to either strike back with a bit more sword action, or use the B button once more to initiate a wrestling move, which is an incredibly satisfying way of finishing an enemy off. The fact that Travis even knows wrestling moves is a perfect example of just how off-the-wall this game is, and I love it all the more for it.

Don’t want to finish off your enemy with a wrestling move? Fair enough! Every final blow you land to an enemy will result in a slow motion “deathblow” type attack, where you will be prompted to flick the wiimote in a particular direction, and the correct flick will result in a brilliant flash of colour, an over the top attack animation, and a very dead enemy.

That not mental enough for you? Ok, sunshine. After each enemy is killed, a slot machine starts. I assure you I am not making this up. Should three identical icons land in a row, you will briefly be endowed with a special power that will assist your über-killing activities. These powers can range from fireball throwing to the rest of the world slowing down so that your sword slashes act twice as fast. All of this occurs with Travis yelling things like “CHOCOLATE COATED STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!” at the top of his voice whilst a cartoon Tiger jogs across the top of the screen. It’s ludicrous how over the top it is.


Your average battle with a group of enemies will consist of you pounding the A button, tilting the remote up and down a few times, and flicking the remote in different directions, all in the space of a few seconds. It’s very frantic, it’s very all over the place but what’s great is that it’s tremendously fun.

The graphics in these sequences look excellent, particle effects keep things looking jazzy and the framerate never lets up, which is impressive for the Wii considering what is going on at any one time.

After lengthy sequences of killing numerous anonymous henchmen, you will almost certainly be confronted with a boss. These fights are, for the most part, very challenging and a nice break from the kill-move on procedure. Most will have patterns you need to learn and weak points you’ll need to exploit. It adds a bit more depth to the fighting mechanic and will have you thinking more too. One boss fight culminates in Travis giving someone a German Suplex mid conversation. It’s absolutely hilarious and you won’t find anything like this in any other game.

When you’re not kicking ass on the mean streets of “Santa Destroy, CA”, you will be…er…getting a part time job on the mean streets of Santa Destroy. The fights with the ranked assassins actually cost money, and so in between each battle, Travis has to earn a lot of cash by doing part time jobs.

This does sound a little grindy but it’s not actually that bad. Each “part time job” pans out like a videogame (I imagine, due to Travis’ overactive imagination and his love for all games great and small). Ever thought you’d play EXTRME LAWN MOWING? Well, its here. Mow a guy’s lawn, get a high score, get cash, repeat. The developers have certainly got a good idea of how to keep the gamer interested.


No More Heroes is so close to gaming perfection, and the only reason that I have to knock off a couple of points is that the 3d sandbox world feels pretty pointless. It’s not big, it’s not pretty, and it’s rather annoying to navigate. Travis has a beastly motorcycle to get around the city in, but it’s a clunky affair to control. All areas look the same and the things you actually need dotted around are so close together one wonders why a free roaming world was decided to be included in the first place.

No More Heroes in summation is so unique and so downright fantastic it’s difficult to put into words. The combat is wonderful and really has to be seen to be believed. Besides the badly presented free roaming world, every element of the game has been well thought out and manages to keep things interesting the whole way through. The way that every event is played out like a video game is utterly hilarious and it’s amazing to see something so fresh.

Despite its mature connotations, No More Heroes is a fantastic adventure that never takes itself too seriously and you owe it to yourself to experience what it has to offer. Do it. Do it now.

Hi-Score: Everything is a videogame, Combat is Unique and Varied, Hilarious story moments and great visuals during action sequences.

Lo-Score: Poorly presented and redundant 3D World, some crummy dialogue.

Final Score: 9/10

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