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No More Heroes Review

The Wii adds another adult notch to its gaming bedpost

Appearances can be misleading. Although we've played enough of No More Heroes to know exactly what kind of a game it is, you'd be surprised how many people still have the wrong idea about it. It's not Grand Theft Auto, regardless of the game's supposed sandbox style. It's not Red Steel, because you don't really use the Wii Remote to wield your beam katana. It's not even killer7, despite the relatively similar art style or the fact that it was made by the same developer.

In truth, No More Heroes is very straightforward: a simple sword-fighting slash 'em up with a charismatic anti-hero, tons of enemies and some brutal boss fights. Think PS2 classic Devil May Cry but with extra bits thrown in. This may disappoint some people, particularly those with short attention spans who get bored quickly because there's a lot of running through corridors, killing anything that gets in your way.

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Thankfully, the rest of us can relax knowing that No More Heroes is all the better for the lack of complexity, especially since it compensates by having thick veins of style and humour running through it.

If you aren't familiar with No More Heroes though, a quick summary first. You take the role of Travis Touchdown, a smart-mouthed jerk who reckons he's got what it takes to become the best assassin in the whole of Santa Destroy. Cue your initiation into the UAA, a top-secret organisation of assassins that offers you the chance to rise up through the ranks, defeat the ten best killers in Santa Destroy and become the best. Oh, and maybe get the girl too... or maybe not. After all, you're only a "dopey otaku assassin" as far as Sylvia, the UAA's uber-cute lady leader, is concerned.

How you go about reaching the dizzy heights of mass-murder stardom is the real meat and potatoes of the game, although, as we've already said, you should prepare for it not being as free-range as you might expect. Yes, so after facing off against the tenth ranked Death Metal (a battle that acts as an introduction to the game's combat system, complete with opening tutorial), you've got the freedom to cruise around Santa Destroy at your leisure on Travis' rocket-powered motorbike, Schpeltiger. But even so, there's virtually nothing to do on the streets - the free-roaming sections are only really there as a means of getting you from A to B, making them little more than an interactive menu.

Is that a bad thing? No, not really, because that's not what the game's about, although the fact that the city's streets are almost completely devoid of traffic or pedestrians most of the time (and feature some atrocious scenery pop-up in places) is the game's only true disappointment.

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Half And Half

There's scope to spend your hard-earned blood money on a variety of frivolities, including new clothes, videos that teach you new wrestling moves, physical training to increase your strength or even accessories for your Beam Katana. However, the game mostly revolves around three locations (the Job Centre, K-Entertainment and Travis' apartment) essentially splitting the game into two halves.

One (admittedly larger) half sees you slaughtering enemies all over the place, using a combination of A Button mashing, carefully timed D-pad dodges and motion-sensitive movements to slice and dice them. Having played both the uncensored and censored versions of the game, it isn't actually worse off for having the blood removed from the PAL version; in fact, we actually think it adds to the game's style.

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Comments

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  1. uster dog Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:35

    :D i got me a copy today :D so i'm off to play :D so......."DONT WATE UP" :!: :D .

  2. Icarus_Kid Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:37

    omg... it didn't arrive this morning! makes me wanna cry ;( maybe tomorrow

  3. flaming3 Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 19:31

    88%, Have you played the game, miles better than most games currently on the wii but scored less than many of these so called 'gems of the console'.

  4. Dark_Dragon01 Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 19:32

    At last. I have been waiting waaay to long. I'm gonna get it ASAP.

  5. 13th Nightmare Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 20:31

    I saw this in the shops today and was unsure wether to get it or not. After reading the review, I think I might end up buying it

  6. Imthecityexplore Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 22:46

    I'll buy it when I have the money.

    Games really annoy me when they're big cities but are empty. For me, it's spoils the atmosphere, quite a bit.

  7. Leontendo Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 22:52

    I really doubt I'll get this. I'm not really one for relatively violent games. Colourful and cute games are my kind of thing. :-D Maybe if it got a Gold Award, I'd consider. But as it stands, there would need to be something extremely special for me to get it. As a gift yes, but I'm not spending any money on it.

  8. Anonymous Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 22:58

    I got this yesterday because I pre-ordered from GAME (I got a call saying it was dispatched on Wednesday). It's a great game, but I've fought 5 of the assassin's and there's only one that I found difficult. (Shinobu, or something like that) Worth the wait though.

  9. Anonymous Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 00:55

    The first thing that really struck me about this game was the graphics; they're really strange. Obviously they're cel shaded, but everthing's really jagged looking, like they just didn't bother using anti-aliasing or something, and the image is kind of grainy, too. I'm pretty sure the developers knew what they were doing, and that it's all intended to create it's unique style, but I'm not so sure about the pop-up in Santa Destroy. Hmm...perhaps even that aspect is supposed to be spoofing the sandbox genre, and maybe the blood in the US version is actually a kind of patronising mickey take of their violent tastes in games. Ya never know.

    Anyway, I played up to just past Death Metal before a bit of Fire Emblem and then work, and it seemed pretty cool. Favourite parts were holding the Wii remote to my ear to hear a phone call, and ranking into the extremely retro styled leaderboard.

  10. MIIMAN Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 10:15

    Cant wait to get this game. In fact im giong to buy it today.


    if they have any

  11. bloodtyrant666 Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 11:10

    it looks amazing but so does alot of other games coming out so i think il :x :? :evil: save my money

  12. scizorset Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 14:35

    :D I haven't got a Wii but this game looks really cool! I am gonna get this game!

  13. Icarus_Kid Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 14:42

    No More Heroes is better than Super Mario Galaxy

  14. -mohsi- Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 15:07

    I have been waiting for this game since I first read about it in Janurary 2007. It's already come out and I still haven't got it! I don't know whether to get this or Mario Kart Wii!

  15. lyingthroughyour Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 19:22

    Getting this game next week and can't wait. Got too many games to complete though!

  16. Reissmix Sunday 16th Mar 2008 at 01:19

    Got this game today and it is amazing
    I love it.
    For some reason it reminds me of Dragonball Z because in NMH when you power up your hair changes from spiky black hair to spiky blond hair just like when a saiyn changes to a super saiyn in Dragonball Z.
    Just thought youd want to know.
    Again, I love this game!

  17. Reissmix Sunday 16th Mar 2008 at 01:19

    Got this game today and it is amazing
    I love it.
    For some reason it reminds me of Dragonball Z because in NMH when you power up your hair changes from spiky black hair to spiky blond hair just like when a saiyn changes to a super saiyn in Dragonball Z.
    Just thought youd want to know.
    Again, I love this game!

  18. SteveMega Sunday 16th Mar 2008 at 15:11

    Just picked it up and it's SO much better than I'd expected.

    It's... insane! My dad absolutely hates it ("WHY WOULD AN ASSASSIN COLLECT COCONUTS?!") but it's so fun.

    The first boss is surprisingly epic, too. ^_^

  19. Anonymous Monday 17th Mar 2008 at 12:00

    No More Heroes is better than Super Mario Galaxy

    It really isn't. Its fantastic but what you said is pure moronic.

  20. ShyGuy Monday 17th Mar 2008 at 13:45

    I love No More Heroes, brilliant game!

    Travis is sooo funny.

    Get it guys.

    I hear manhunt's going to be released now...

  21. Plex Monday 17th Mar 2008 at 21:08

    It was my intention to purchase No More Heroes the previous Friday, but I ended up getting Battalion Wars 2 instead because I couldn't help but anticipate No More Heroes to be rather tedious (what would seem like the choreful errands you're encouraged to do, and a potentially repetitive combat system, something I'm not too bothered about now). To be honest, I'm relieved I did. Not because I thought No More Heroes was bad, but if I had gone with No More Heroes I would have missed out on an awesome game. Battalion Wars 2 is even better than the exemplary Super Mario Galaxy and Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2, although perhaps not as awesome as the Wii's exceptional resident evil 4 Wii edition and Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure - there's no offline multiplayer, for a start, and that shows indolence.

    However, I cannot help but lust for No More Heroes. It looks to be one of those unique and essential classics which makes the Wii such a significant experience. Perhaps after Mario Kart Wii and Grand Theft Auto IV, I'll make No More Heroes my first priority, in addition to some other unique and essential Wii classics I missed such as Dewy's Adventure, Endless Ocean, Kororinpa and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.

  22. WhiteSamus64 Tuesday 18th Mar 2008 at 12:19

    I got this on the release date and its.......good but not great.

  23. hongadong Tuesday 18th Mar 2008 at 14:15

    this is prehaps my most played game to date ive only had it 2 days and ive already ranked up 13 hours "D

    wii play beat this?

    WHY didnt it get 90?
    tbh me and 2 of my friends bought wii play loved the cow game and shooting but

    its crap

    not really worth Ł5

    i mean cmon youve been raving about nmh for months and the only bad thing is its deserted(to be fair would YOU want to live in santa destroy?)

    it needs at least 90
    cmon

  24. Incudii_Up Wednesday 19th Mar 2008 at 15:50

    this is prehaps my most played game to date ive only had it 2 days and ive already ranked up 13 hours "D

    wii play beat this?

    WHY didnt it get 90?
    tbh me and 2 of my friends bought wii play loved the cow game and shooting but

    its crap

    not really worth Ł5

    i mean cmon youve been raving about nmh for months and the only bad thing is its deserted(to be fair would YOU want to live in santa destroy?)

    it needs at least 90
    cmon

    Wow. All that for an extra 2%. That isn't being picky or petty.

    No More Heroes is quite repetive and while it does have replay value, its still quite short. I'm already on rank 6 and I've only been playing for about 7 hours.

  25. ike1994 Friday 21st Mar 2008 at 12:06

    im 2nd on the assasin list and ive only had 7 hours game play ......its a brilliant game y is every1 knocking it and if this one sells well there is going to be a second one :D :D

  26. King gerbil Friday 21st Mar 2008 at 14:08

    Im a fan of bright games with only moderate bloodiness but still lots of killing.

  27. Anonymous Sunday 23rd Mar 2008 at 00:25

    this game deserves more than 88% straight gold award territory awesome game nintendo shud be making more games like this

  28. Randomness. Sunday 23rd Mar 2008 at 19:42

    lol i like the way you save

  29. Paratrooper Sunday 23rd Mar 2008 at 22:41

    I was irritated with the lack of blood, so I am importing the American version. I really want the full impact.

  30. uster dog Thursday 27th Mar 2008 at 14:21

    ALL DONE AND DUSTED :!: AND I LOVED IT,BEST GAME YET NINTENDO :!: SO "NO MORE HEROES-2" :?: BRING IT ON A.S.A.P AND LONG LIVE.........."BAD GIRL" :wink: .

  31. DeadlyC Saturday 29th Mar 2008 at 10:12

    I'm supprised it was given a 88%! No More Heroes is a classic game that brings fun, laughter and exelent gameplay that keeps you ocupied for a LONG time and it has brilliant twists. So say it should be a 93% at the least!

  32. Broken_Angel Tuesday 15th Apr 2008 at 08:39

    only got it yesterday, but already enjoying it. the only thing i dont like is how you only get the insane powerups AFTER youve killed the last guy in the room, leaving travis running around like a nutcase, with no one to take out his new found agression on

  33. Antz1403 Tuesday 27th May 2008 at 11:25

    I've played through NO MORE HEROES on Sweet and Mild difficulties and am now working my way through Bitter. This game is awesome, the ending is amazing and I'm hoping for a sequel! Does anyone know if they'll be a sequel?

  34. x-man2000 Wednesday 28th May 2008 at 20:21

    I've played for about 7 hours and I'm ranked second. I haven't played on it for about a month and a half though.

  35. Peester Wednesday 28th May 2008 at 21:40

    I'm sorry but I got bored of it after beating the second assassin. It's just like Grand Theft Auto but you only ride a bike and can only use your beam sword and no other weapons. All I had to do to kill people was hit the A button continuosly. I'd give it 70%.

  36. mastiffchild Saturday 20th Sep 2008 at 05:34

    I'm sorry but I got bored of it after beating the second assassin. It's just like Grand Theft Auto but you only ride a bike and can only use your beam sword and no other weapons. All I had to do to kill people was hit the A button continuosly. I'd give it 70%.

    :shock:

    :idea: Next time try playing it with a bit more style, wit and imagination. DMC4(one of the most flamboyant games ever made)on PS3 eapesially can even feel like you've only got to keep on keeping on but it's how you do it and also, how you grasp the meanings within the fighting style(which is deeper ifYOU make it so).

    TT is the brashest geeky hero with cool overtones to hit games for years -never mind the Wii where, unless the hero is Mario(for the dull millionth time SMG is pretty but lacks the panache of Jak and Daxter and shouldn't even be mentioned in the company of Ratchet and Clank. Itsa me M-OH Nintendo shut the fat plumber up(unless he's driving a kart then he's fine)Wii owners seem to moan. they don't realise just what touchdown gave this console-some balls,pathos and the most refreshing Wii game this year. Imagine how cool it would have been had it had the cash and production lavished on it that SMG did(again-not even the best Mario game, just the best looking).

    More games like NMH please, and get Ninty at least publishing and dishing out the moolah so they look better-then this great piece of underrated hardware might lose it's granny amusing rep and give pleasure to those of us that Ninty owes it's existence to "gamers". Y'know like the ones who realise the importance of Mario(even if we hate him), understand why Zelda:OoT is STILL the best game ever and are prayiong The Conduit gets the right publisher for its brave approach(I'm looking at you two Nintendo and Sega-and nobody mention EA as they'll milk it drier thana camels toes).

    NMH should've got 95% plus everywhere considering it's budget, indie ethos and the kick in the pants it gave other tepid wii devs who seem to hate proper games and gamers.

  37. Adam7 Wednesday 1st Oct 2008 at 10:14

    I knoe its been ages since NO MORE HEROES came out but i've only just got it a couple of days ago( unfortunately that meant walking to college for a week) and it rocks. Id played it before but now I own it and its awesome!!!

  38. DBZFan355 Wednesday 24th Dec 2008 at 15:05

    Deserves a Gold Award easily

  39. popcorn man Wednesday 15th Apr 2009 at 20:20

    I planned on buying this in town today...
    Buy one get one free with Tomb Raider Anniversary for 25 quid :)
    Bargain I thought.
    Decided i'd go back and buy them later...
    When I found No more heroes in currys FOR A FVER :!: :shock:
    Amazing value! Bought it straight away and haven't been disapointed by it so far

  40. mantisboy1 Saturday 25th Jul 2009 at 08:35

    I think the reason the town's deserted is because it's full of assign's?

  41. neongiratina Tuesday 11th Aug 2009 at 20:46

    Wow that fat woman is the weirdest boss ive seen in a videogame
    and yes, Santa Destroy has like, no-one there except in the levels :O ._.

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