No More Heroes

Travis Touchdown is an Otaku, watches pro wrestling and is the local video rental’s no. 1 porn customer. All in all he pretty much sounds like…well…me (minus the pro wrestling) so naturally I had to review this game…

The story starts with Travis winning his Lightbeam (Lightsaber) on an Internet auction after he decides to become an assassin. After completing his first job to kill a guy named “The Drifter”, Travis is approached by a voluptuous French lady named Sylvia Christel. Sylvia works for the United Assassins Association and let’s Travis know that after he killed The Drifter he became ranked number 11 in the league of hit men. Travis is now a marked man for aspiring assassins so there’s only one way to go: all the way to number 1. Oh, and if Travis becomes number 1, Sylvia has agreed to “do it” with him. How could you say no?

Anyone who’s played Suda 51’s (director of No More Heroes) Killer7 will be used to the graphics style. It has that dark edgy cell-shade look while keeping a pixelated HUD to honour Travis’s love for all things videogame. Stages vary from bright blue sky beaches to dark and dull movie studios. Character design for each hitman is very unique, every outfit brings it’s own style and definition to its character. Even the death of everyday henchmen has a beautiful explosion of lightning, coins and black pixels. I can only imagine the inclusion of blood into the NTSC version making it truly OTT. And with that conclusion, the game certainly looks the part but how does it play?

If you’re an old school Legend of Zelda gamer (and by this I mean pre-Twilight Princess), you should be familiar territory. No More Heroes uses a Z button lock-on with A attacking with your Lightbeam. Quick succession of A taps, and you’ll pull off a combo before being instructed to move the Wiimote a particular direction to pull a Death Blow. The B button uses melee attacks where you can daze an enemy and then grab them for a wrestling move before killing them with the A button while they’re knocked out on the ground. However the highlight of the fighting system is “Dark Side Mode”.

When you kill an enemy with a Death Blow, slots on the bottom of the screen start to spin. If they three slots match then you’ll go into one of five Dark Side Mode types, which lasts for about 45 seconds. I won’t spoil it for you by telling what they all are but my favourite is Blueberry Cheese Brownie. A reticule appears in front of Travis and he can now fire energy balls at enemies for a short period.

The only bad thing I can say about this game is the open-world system that is in between hitmen stages. You have to build up money by doing everyday jobs (such as filling cars with petrol) and then moving onto killing jobs. While the mini-games are good, you have to travel to each point via the open city of Santa Destroy. The city feels empty and the handling of the motorcycle you use to get around can be quite troublesome, as you’ll find yourself falling off more then one occasion. Fortunately after you’ve raised enough money for your next battle, it’ll seem all worthwhile as you get back to doing what you love best. Killing for money and prestige.







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