Despite some flaws, No More Heroes is a fun, innappropriate action game that will satisfy your bloodlust.
Graphics: The graphics in this game are cel shaded, giving it a very stylish look about the game. It almost looks like a comic book in motion. While, yes, technically, the game is nothing special, the bright colors and (mostly) smooth animations make this game very pleasing to the eyes. The physical design of things is also pretty well done. Travis looks like a nerd, but also slightly crazy. Something about Sylvia is very unsettling, to me at least. Yes, she is a sexy French chick, but something about her just rings very ominous, which actually helps with the tone of the game. You see, yes, this game is fairly cartoony, but it's also one of the bloodiest games ever. Upon landing a death blow to an enemy, gallons and gallons of blood explodes from them, as if they were giant blood filled water balloons. You chop enemies up the middle, decapitate them, among other gruesome things. The blood doesn't look very realistic, fitting with the game, but it is still very over the top and some of the death scenes for the Assassins are very disturbing to watch. There are a few other weird instances of gore and violence in the game that I won't spoil here. This game looks very cool and stylish, and the framerate holds up pretty well. In Gamespot's review, they mentioned frame rate problems when riding around Santa Destroy. However, I rarely encountered them. There is some pop up, and other technical issues; hitting cars is very inconsistent. However, these are small issues, because this game pulls off a very funky look and is fun to look at. 9/ 10
Sound: There isn't a lot of soundtrack here (a main theme and maybe like 5 or 6 other songs) but what's here is very, very well done. The main theme that plays during most missions is very catchy, and the some of the songs that play during the Assassin battles are very cool. For instance, when you are just lounging around Travis's apartment, there is a very easy going, funky bass theme going. And when you are in battle, there is a cool techno tune. One the voice acting side of things, there are some good talents at work. Travis's voice is perfect for the foul mouthed character, Sylvia has a sexy French Accent, and every character just has a perfect actor. There are a few times of bad acting, but these are rare and not very noticeable anyways. Overall, this game is very fun and easy to listen to. 10/ 10
Story: Travis Touchdown lives in the fictional California city of Santa Destroy. He lives in Apartment No More Heroes, with his cat, Jeane. (Which actually has some significance.) He saves the game by taking a dump. He enjoys watching and collecting wrestling/ anime and manga, and frequently trips up on returning the porn tapes he rents from Beef Head videos. One day, he wins a Beam Katana from an online auction, and decides to fight his way to become the number one Assassin. However, he is currently ranked twelfth. He has to fight all who stand in his way to become the best. There are a lot of eccentric characters in the game; there isn't anyone who is completely "normal." Travis is nerdy, but can kill without second thought. (Most of the time.) Sylvia is beautiful, and loves to tease Travis with her looks, only to leave him hanging. The video store clerk tells Travis not to get his throat slit before leaving. Travis's personal trainer asks him to get naked in order to work out. Needless to say, the game has a very quirky and eccentric cast of characters, the best of whom are the Assassins. For instance, one of them, a pistol wielding sheriff esque guy, sings a song called "The Virgin Child Showed me the Way" (or something like that) in an empty baseball stadium before fighting Travis. Another is a semi goth girl who stays in the basement of the Baseball stadium all day, waiting at a conveyor belt and knocking these clones into a bloody pit. The game is worth playing just for the characters, but there are some very interesting twists that start around the rank 5 match. I won't spoil anything here, but let's just say that nothing is as it seems. Overall, the game has an interesting, weird story filled with memorable characters. 9/ 10
Gameplay: The game starts out with Travis assaulting someone's mansion. He fights his way through, confronting the rank 11 Assassin. This is where you learn the basics of combat. You press the A button to attack, the B button to break an enemy's guard and you swing the Wii remote in the given direction to finish an enemy. (Once you bring their health down enough.) If they are stunned, you can also grab them and perform a wrestling move. You can take two different stances, High, or Low, and must change according to how the enemy is guarding. Anyways, the game sticks with a formula the entire way through. You go around Santa Destroy, doing minigames and side assassination missions for money. You can spend that money on many things, including strength and stamina upgrades, new weapons, weapon upgrades, videos that teach Travis new wrestling moves and new clothes. (There is never a shortage of stuff to buy, believe me.) However, eventually, you will have to save up enough money to enter the next Ranked Match with an Assassin. Once you do that, you go to a location in Santa Destroy on your bike (which is like a rocket sled with wheels) and do the Ranked Match mission.
The freeroaming aspect is fun, but Santa Destroy is useless. The city is just something to ride around in, to get from place to place. Granted, it's impressive that they pulled off a pretty good sized city, but I feel like it was unnecessary. It can be a pain, especially if your bike gets caught on something or you crash, when all you want to do is get from one place to another. However, the minigames and side missions are pretty entertaining. The minigames involve things like filling cars with gas, picking up trash, carrying and delivering coconuts among other weird things. Despite how mundane these sound, there is something about them that makes them fun. Anyways, the side missions are where the real money making fun is at, because it requires combat. There are challenges like kill all enemies in a time limit, kill using wrestling moves, or take down a row of bad guys by sending a thrown baseball back at them with your sword. Even though it does get repetitive, I never really found myself bored with earning money in between matches.
The combat itself is also very fun. You hack enemies apart as you fight your way to the boss. One thing I forgot to mention is that the Beam Katana has a battery, which, if it runs out, must be refilled. To do this, you must hold the 1 button, and shake the Wii Remote up and down. This results with a crude looking act onscreen on Travis's part. Anyways, learning the ins and outs of combat doesn't take too long, and it becomes very fun, if a bit repetitive.
The bosses are the highlights of the game. Each one has a very distinct pattern to learn, and it becomes satisfying to bring them down. They aren't too tough, but do ramp up in difficulty later in the game. It's fun to learn when to strike, and when to defend. The rewards for beating them are usually a very bloody cutscene of their death. They remain fresh and original the whole way through.
Overall, despite being pretty repetitive, No More Heroes is a very fun game. 9/ 10
No More Heroes is pretty unique. Everything from the cast, story, soundtrack and the gameplay is brimming with weirdness and style. While there are some flaws, the rest of the game is good enough to forgive them. Faint of heart be warned: the game is extremely bloody, the death scenes are gruesome and the language is very foul. However, if you're up to it, No More Heroes offers a fun time to be had, and many laughs. (There are some very funny references, allusions and fourth wall breaking humor.) Needless to say, this one isn't for kids. Thanks for reading my review!