No More Heroes Initial Impressions


It’s been a big week for me in gaming. First, Advance Wars, now No More Heroes. I haven’t played the game nearly enough, but from the little bit I have played (just two bosses in), No More Heroes is very awesome.

You play as Travis Touchdown who, after winning a beam katana (lightsaber) in an internet auction, decides to become a hitman. After killing a ranked assassin, Travis himself becomes the 11th ranked assassin in the world. Realizing that he has now made himself a target for aspiring assassins, he sets out to secure himself as the number one hitman.

The game play in the No More Heroes isn’t extremely deep, but it’s still fun. I don’t know if it will have a lasting appeal over the course of the game, but I’m liking it right now. The tilt of the controller affects if you are attacking high or low, and the A button swings the katana. The fighting is ridiculously gory, lots of heads get chopped off, blood flies everywhere. You can charge up attacks as well, and lock on to enemies to strafe around them and block attacks (incoming attacks are automatically blocked so long as you have the enemy locked on).

The sound so far is awesome. I love the main theme song, but I’m hoping they don’t just feature different variants of the same song throughout the whole game. Also, upon receiving a phone call in the game, the sound of the person talking was played through the speaker on the controller, forcing me to hold the controller to my head not unlike a phone. I thought that was a great touch.

I’m not too happy with the voice acting, though. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be so bad it’s funny, but it just doesn’t work for me. Travis’ voice really grates on my nerves.

Roaming around the city can be frustrating. The collision detection on your bike is horrible. An invisible barrier around other cars causes you to hit them when you should easily miss them. That is already getting annoying, if you’re moving fast you get knocked off your bike and it takes a couple of seconds to get back on it again. It’s just frustrating and something that should be fixed after some basic game play testing.

In fact, there is really no point to roaming around the city, there isn’t much happening. You just travel from point A to point B to do a job, it’s not really that fun. You could have just as easily done everything from a menu, defeating the whole purpose of an open city. There has been no actual fighting on the streets so far, you go to a spot to start a level, where you then fight enemies if it’s that type of stage.

The storyline is advanced through killing the bosses. After beating a boss, to open the next boss battle you have to earn a certain amount of money through random jobs (hitman type jobs or other more mundane tasks such as collecting coconuts).

That said, overall I’m really enjoying the game. It’s highly stylized and I think that adds a ton to the overall gameplay experience. I loved Killer 7, and I get the same “vibe” from No More Heroes.

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