Travis Touchdown is back in a big way, and is right where he should be: on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in full HD. No More Heroes is not a new franchise, since it was originally released on the Nintendo Wii several years ago, but Nintendo quickly realized the title was too edgy for its casual audience and the game went largely overlooked. Suda51 and company decided to make a sequel to No More Heroes, and though the game was excellent, it just didn’t click with audiences on that console, much like the original game. Last year, the decision was made to move No More Heroes to the Playstation and Xbox 360 in the form of No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise, which is the original Wii game ported over with the usual HD treatment and Move / Kinect integration. Now this landmark franchise can finally be presented to an audience that can appreciate it. Hopefully, this is only the beginning for No More Heroes on HD platforms.
No More Heroes was an ambitious title for the Wii. It pushed the boundaries of the console”s hardware limitations further than they had been before. The game also tested Wii players in terms of what kind of games they wanted to play. The experiment ultimately failed for the Wii, but now on different consoles and with a new look, there is plenty to appreciate in this game. No More Heroes is unmistakably Japanese, both in its presentation and storytelling. There is an over-the-top style that you don’t often see in western games. The colors are vibrant and there are plenty of weird game mechanics that have to be seen to be truly appreciated. Suda51 is known for taking the wacky Japanese style to a whole new level, and No More Heroes is no exception. The main character, Travis, sports a “beam katana”, which is a lawsuit-proof term for light saber. When Travis swings this weapon at his enemies, you will more often than not sever, dissect, and maim them relatively quickly. Like a scene out of Kill Bill, when the katana slices through enemies they will burst into a fountain of blood and curse you as they die. Needless to say, this game isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those willing to venture forward, you will be treated to a fun and crazy adventure that isn’t often seen in video games.
At first glance, the game is a direct port of the Wii title, but in taking this game at face-value, you could miss out on one of the better Move/Kinect titles available. This game was designed from the ground-up to incorporate motion controls, and those controls handle beautifully. The Playstation Move plays slightly better than the Kinect, which is still solid nonetheless. Not only do you get the incredibly fun gameplay from the original game, but you have a new level of accuracy and control with the Move that you didn’t get with the original. Though the game is not as precise on the Kinect as it is on the Move, it still far outperforms the original.
Unfortunately, there are some technical issues with No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise which prevent it from being an elite game. Travis looks great, and the cel-shaded graphics are equally impressive, but there are times where the backgrounds aren’t as sharp as Travis himself. The same graphical issues exist now as they did on the Wii, and there really aren’t any excuses for this. Slow-down and screen-tearing pop up now and again and ultimately hurt the benefit of having HD graphics. Though the game is flawed, as the original was, this shouldn’t deter you from playing this game.
No More Heroes was vastly overlooked on the Nintendo Wii, but you should not make the same mistake Wii players did. This is an over-the-top action game that is sure to make you laugh, and with sharp HD graphics and a vastly improved control scheme, there isn’t much to hate about this game. Though the flaws are present and visible, it’s worth a playthrough if you never played the original. However, if you played this game on the Wii then there is not enough here to entertain veterans of the series and warrant another playthrough. The game is a solid release, and for a couple of laughs and some over-the-top fun, it is worth a rental.
This review was based on a retail copy of No More Heroes: Hero’s Paradise by Suda51 played on the Playstation 3.