Our Rating: 7/10
No More Heroes series is one of the more hardcore gems to arise from the Wii amidst all the ultra-casual titles that propelled the device to its peak popularity. Suda51, the game’s designer, is responsible for the visceral narrative and engaging writing.
Punk is not dead
No More Heroes tells the story of Travis Touchdown, a nerd who wins a virtual auction for a lightsaber, the Beam Katana. He then goes on a killing spree against Santa Destroy’s top ten assassins. Despite having a sense of vengeance that is only fully explained in the game’s final stretch, the protagonist only follows this wave because of Sylvia Christel. His murder business agent is in charge of arranging the fights in the rankings.
Travis is held in check by the blonde, who insists on him continuing his quest to become number one in the standings. Even making carnal promises to keep him in line. It’s crude, but it’s a satire on the way the East stereotypes Western stereotypes.
The gameplay is cyclical. You must collect money by engaging in various side-work minigames, such as picking up trash from the streets, cleaning graffiti off city walls, or even completing random assassination missions. Once a predetermined amount has been reached, a deposit must be made at an ATM before the next fight can start.
At the same time, the money collected can be used to upgrade Travis’ stats by purchasing new clothing or weapons, acquiring and upgrading new Beam Katanas, and training at the gym. T-shirts in garbage cans and Balls that must be given to Lovikov in exchange for new abilities can also be found scattered throughout the city.
Travis must go to the indicated location as soon as a new ranking battle is released. Then, the stage will begin, forcing him to fight his way to the boss while tearing at enemies along the way in a visceral hack and slash. With the Beam Katana, in addition to two different postures, wrestling moves can be applied to opponents. This adds more variety to combat.
The bosses are also a show in and of themselves. Each one bursting with personality to the point where they leave a lasting impression on the player. This is despite their brief screen appearance. Each of them has its motivations. This has an impact on Travis in some way, most notably on his perception of Sylvia’s small killing game.
Despite being sufficiently immersive in its proposal, this port still has the same problems as the original version, which have already been exhaustively enumerated.
The main one is that, despite having several activities spread throughout Santa Destroy, the expansive open world is pretty empty and artificial inflation of game time. Travelling from one corner to another on the map is constantly required.
While there is some variation in gameplay between Beam Katana and wrestling moves, a little more complexity would be welcome. The title’s cyclical structure becomes a little tedious. Owing to the disparity in time spent in the city versus the time it takes to complete the effective phases.
The motto behind the game is “Punk Is Not Dead”. No More Heroes is a true work of authorship. It’s filthy, lacking in technical refinement, and a little repetitive, just like punk.
It is on the other hand, foul-mouthed, intense, and aggressive. It’s a game with a soul, a will, and a personality. No More Heroes has a shrill, obnoxious voice that demands to be heard. It has a message to deliver, a story to tell.
A port we needed but not what we deserved
Given a thorough examination of the game, we’d like to emphasize that nothing matters for this new PC version. While the Switch port is excellent, Steam gives the impression that the game was simply uploaded to the server in its current state. Without going through an adaptation process, or because the development team only had time to work between the game’s announcement and release.
The fact that this is a PC game and the developers didn’t bother assigning a control system to the keyboard. It wouldn’t be difficult to get the character to move around with the keyboard and mouse, and then fix the rest, such as the camera and the enemy’s finishing move.
No More Heroes is a one-of-a-kind piece of electronic entertainment. It is proud of being the fun game that it is. It deserves to be widely distributed and universalized beyond Nintendo consoles. However, there is no point in getting it right in the decision to bring it to the PC. It is one of the most democratic platforms in terms of public reach and still ends up with a product that is inaccessible to a large portion of its potential audience.