Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No More Heroes

Wow. Okay, this is the first M-rated game I have ever gotten, and let me tell you something. It certainly is violent enough, and has enough swearing. I really don't care about the rating most of the time when getting a game, but I usually get T or E rated games. Not because I don't want to play a more violent game, but just because I like playing games that are fun to me, and most of the games that are fun are rated E or T. I don't find games like GTA, Halo, Call of Duty or Gears of War fun. They are mostly just violent, with gameplay, but the main thing is that they are simply violence and bloodshed. No More Heroes is a lot more than just a game that is just violence and bloodshed.

No More Heroes is the story of Travis Touchdown, an otaku who is down on his luck, and looking for some money. They best way to do that is to become an assassin, so he uses his beam katana (purchased at an online auction) to kill Helter Skelter, becoming the 11th top-ranked assassin in the USA. The game starts with you going to Death Metal's estate, where you kill a whole bunch of random guards/people before making it to Death Metal, the 10th ranked assassin. The whole point of the game at that point is to become the number one ranked assassin. To do that, you have to kill all the ones ahead of you. It costs a lot of money, which means you have to take smaller jobs first. Jobs such as collecting coconuts, picking up trash, cleaning graffiti or mowing lawns. Before each ranked fight, you get to do a smaller job, which allows you to unlock many better assassination jobs. Once you have enough money, you deposit it in the ATM, and make your way over to the fight.

The thing that makes this a great game is that it isn't serious. And by that, I don't mean just the cel-shaded graphics (which I love). Look at the main character's name: Travis Touchdown. That is such a stupid, alliterative name. It's awesome. You have your beam katana (which is really just a lightsaber wanna-be that they don't have the rights from Lucas to call a lightsaber), and you do silly things. After you kill somebody when you are going for a ranking fight, you have slots run on the bottom of your screen. If you get all the slots to line up, then you unlock a Dark Side mode, which make you super powerful for a short time. You could get Strawberry on the Shortcake, which makes you move super fast, and get one hit-kills, Blueberry Cheese Brownie, which allows you to shoot giant balls of energy from your katana, or one of the other Dark Side modes. It is all ridiculous and silly, and that is what makes the game awesome. All the ranked assassins are crazy and funny. Destroyman is probably the best example. He is the 7th ranked assassin, who delights in dressing up like a crazy 70's super-villain, with different attacks, all with the word "destroy" in front of them. He has attacks like Destroyspark, or Destroycannon, or my favorite, which shoots out of his huge, glowing codpiece, Destroybuster. He is such an over the top villain, it is hilarious. Everything in the game is silly. Hell, it even breaks the fourth wall occasionally. At the end of the game, they mention how if a certain secret is told, it would jack up the game's rating, and we wouldn't want that. It would make the game take longer to come out and they don't want it to be called "No More Heroes Forever" (an attack on Duke Nukem Forever, which was first announced in 1997, and has been near completion for years).

No More Heroes succeeds where it is supposed to. It never tries to be a serious game. The ranked battles get harder as time goes on, and the enemies get more powerful, but it is also a game that you can complete. I died a couple times (especially against the final boss), but all in all, I didn't really die much. I like a game where it is a challenge, but you still can find a way to win. I can see people just winning battles outright (for stupid reasons), but that shouldn't happen much. I think the 2nd ranked battle (for rank 2, not the 2nd battle) was easily the creepiest, and it was also fairly difficult. The humor was top-notch, with me laughing hysterically multiple times. There's a lot of strangeness (like on your way to the 4th ranked fight while on the the subway train). It isn't the type of game I would get if it wasn't as funny as it is. The humor is really what makes the game unique and a game worth having. I leave you with the Zero Punctuation review of the game, which like most of his reviews is very true to the game.

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