No More Heroes brings Suda51's craziness to the Wii. Turns out that crazy is contagious.
Travis Touchdown is an otaku living in a motel in Santa Destroy and the main protagonist of No More Heroes. He has randomly won a beam katana in an internet contest and joins a Ranking for Assassins. He has to fight his way from Rank 11 to Rank 1 and the association's leader, Slyvia Crystal, will grant his wish. It's not a deep story, but it's wacky and entertaining. The biggest draw here is seeing how crazy the next ranked assassin will be. Travis is a likable character and most of the assassin's leave an impression as well.
The gameplay in No More Heroes is pretty simple, you run around the environment and attack enemies with the A button. You can kick or punch enemies with the B button, which might stun them, allowing you to get them in a wrestling move. These wrestling moves are done by moving the Wiimote in the indicated directions. After you kill an enemy, it tells you to move the Wiimote which finishes the enemy off in a stylish, bloody, finisher. There are a few mini-games during the stages, but you'll mainly be fighting the same generic enemies from start of the level to the end so you can fight a boss.
Outside of the ranking stages, you can explore an open hub world. In this hub world, you can find money and T-shirts as well as take on jobs. These jobs earn you money and unlock assassination missions for you to earn more money. The jobs are kind of boring and rely on some gimmick, the worst of which use the motion controls and you'll usually want to do them only once. The assassination missions are just random fights with either a time limit or a restriction, but they are still really fun. You can go shopping for clothes and new weapons as well as go to the gym to boost Travis' stats.
The main attractions are the boss fights, of course. They are all varied in style and attacks but basically boil down to you running up to them, hacking at them until they attack, dodge, run away and repeat. Either way, the combat is fun and satisfying, even if the combat is incredibly simple, the enemies are generic and bland as are the environments. Even still, No More Heroes is fun to play.
The music is as stylish as the combat. It's electronic and sounds retro at some times. The voice work is great as are the sound effects. Each boss is introduced by a Stephen Hawking-style voice box and it just adds to the style.
The visuals are really great for the Wii. The character models look great using the cel-shading and the environments look good despite being bland looking. The generic enemies are noticeably worse looking, but Travis and the bosses look fantastic, Wii game or not. The combat is flashy as well. Santa Destroy looks kinda bland and it's really boring driving around the empty city, but what the game focuses on is what looks best, the flashy combat and stylish characters.
- Wacky, fun story
- Cool twist at the end
- Satisfying combat
- Fantastic boss fights
- Funky, catchy music
- Character models look great
- Visuals look great for Wii
- Boss fights
- Over-the-top blood explosions
- Story isn't deep
- Neither is the combat
- Little to no enemy variety
- Visuals are picky
- Open world is pretty empty and bland
Overall, No More Heroes is what the Wii was missing. It's a stylish, silly action game that doesn't take itself seriously. It's over-the-top and fun to play and it has some great boss fights. If you aren't afraid to take a trip into the weird, give No More Heroes a try.