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on March 18, 2008
I just got to the very end of No More Heroes and thought a review was in order. In one word: fantastic. I haven't had this much fun with a video game since I can't remember when. Sure, there are technically better games, but I don't know of any that are as stylish and flashy without losing good gameplay. It's just outright fun and cool. A bit short, yeah, but I managed to stretch it out to over eighteen hours somehow. (By struggling on bosses and buying more stuff than necessary.)

Let me take on the various arguments against the game:

"The overworld is boring and the bike controls suck."

The overwolrd is not meant to be like Grand Theft Auto. It's just a map for you to traverse to get from one place to another. It's not supposed to be fun, it's just there to link the main areas of the game. It's also kind of a way of putting the boredom of the daily commute against the fantastical life of being an assassin. But yeah, the bike does control badly, but if you don't go too fast or use the running dash in stead, it's not a problem.

"The story doesn't make any sense."

You've never played Killer7 if you think NMH's story makes no sense. The storyline doesn't make sense because at first it's not explained all of what's happening. Seventy percent of the backstory comes in the last mission or so. Then it all becomes clear. Well not clear, but mostly understandable.

"The fighting controls are bad."

Not really. You tap A to do normal attacks and B to do a stunning kick or grapple and finish off opponenets with a flick of the Wii Remote. You hold the Wii Remote up or down to switch between a high or low stance. It's like any button-masher of old but more fun and intuitive, and those button-mashers weren't accused of having bad controls.

The game goes at a somewhat linear fashion. You slay your way through a boss's lair or general area, take him or her out, take his or her rank, go to the overworld, earn money through jobs and small-time killing gigs to pay for the next match, and repeat. But the bosses themselves are spectacular. They require precise timing and patience to beat. You can't just rush in and swing your sword wildly. You have to learn all their moves, take advantage of their recovery times, and be like the Samurai Travis wishes he was. The bosses are also interesting and unique from a guy that dresses up as a technologically-powered super-hero to a revolver-toting stadium singer. And some of the fights go completely against everything you expect from a standard boss battle. I especially liked rank number 3.

And the music and sound? It goes perfectly with the type of game. Electric instrumentals and driving beats line the halls as you slay your enemies and almost every boss battle track could be considered a favorite of mine. Much of it is very similar to that type of music used in Killer7.

Content-wise, this game's M-rated for a reason. Characters drop the F-bomb on several occasions and there's blood and lots of it. But the graphics are cell shaded and so unrealistic that the violence becomes almost whimsical and never really borders on the side of gory. Honestly, the stuff you see in C.S.I. is worse. And when every few enemies you dispatch yell "My spleen!" it's hard to take it very seriously.

Overall, as I just said, this is a fantastic game. Some may say it's not for them--that it's just not their kind of game, but it sure is my kind of game. And maybe yours, too. From the killer combat system to the plethora of memorable bosses, the sneaked-in 8-bit graphics to Travis's pet cat, I give No More Heroes a Frank Miller's Sin City out of Viewtiful Joe.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon January 23, 2008
From the makers of Killer 7, No More Heroes is the anxiously awaited bloodbath that mature Wii owners have been praying for. Playing as eccentric assassin Travis Touchdown, you are armed with your trusty beam katana as you set out to become the best in the business. There is much more to the story than that though, but without giving too much away regarding the game's surprisingly deep and complex story, let's just say that things don't always go as planned for Travis. The first thing you'll notice are undoubtedly the excellent, cell-shaded graphics that No More Heroes sports, along with the best use of the Wii motion controls to come from a third-party yet. The game also features some GTA-inspired free roaming with Travis on a motorcycle, and while it isn't as open-ended as one would hope, the game's serious sense of style and just plain insane story and gameplay elements more than make up for it. The game also has a somewhat jittery frame-rate that can become quite noticable when the action picks up a lot, but this is only a minor complaint thanks to the stylized, over the top action, along with flawless sound design and elements that really take advantage of what the Wii can do, despite the fact that the console isn't a technical powerhouse. All in all, No More Heroes is the absolute best, original third-party title to debut on the Wii yet, and is an absolute essential purchase for Wii owners craving a mature-themed game that leaves a lasting impression.
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on January 24, 2008
No More Heroes is the most stylish game to yet grace the wii. The action is fast,and fun without getting boring. The level design is wonderfully original. And the boss fights are among the best you'll ever have the pleasure to play. The only problem is getting there.

To afford the fantastic ranking missions you have to navigate through a huge,and largely empty,city to complete boring side jobs with no retry option. If you lose these often frusturating jobs you have to go back to the agency, re-apply, drive back to the mission site, and try again. this gets old fast.

But if you can ignore this minor issue you are in store for one of the most hardcore, visceral, and enjoyable games you will ever play.
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VINE VOICEon January 31, 2008
Pros:
+A tolerable storyline
+Fantastic Gameplay
+Beautiful Cel-Shaded graphics
+Good soundtrack
+Good voice overs

Cons:

-Incredibly short game
-Side jobs inbetween the main missions aren't exciting
-The game is on the easy side
-Despite good Cel-shaded Graphics, more detail could've been put into Santa Destroy

No More Heroes is a stylish game. A game that isn't aimed at the kids by any means but the adult gamer instead. It manages to do so. The humor is crude and the game is incredibly violent. Parents, that's your warning.

In No More Heroes you play the role of Travis Touchdown. As Travis Touchdown you are the newest member of the United Assassins Association. After the battle with the rank ten assassin, Travis decides that he has to be number one. Your goal is pretty simple. Defeat all the assassins and become the number one assassin in Santa Destroy.

No More Heroes lives up to its M Rating perfectly well. Much of the core gameplay is centered around slashing through the levels to the boss at the end. Your main weapon is a Beam Katana. Despite how some third party games have faired in the past, No More Heroes makes excellent use of the Wii's controls. The A button simply swings your Beam Katana while B is used to make kicks. Whenever you reduce an enemies life gauge down, the game enters deathblow mode. In Deathblow Mode, an arrow appears on the screen and you must wave the Wii Remote in that direction to execute a killing blow. Despite which way the arrow points you can really swing the Wii Remote anywhere. There's more to the motion sensor controls. You can grab enemies and perform wrestling moves by shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, and you can get into weapon clashes where you must wave the Wii Remote in order to win. These moments are involving. The game has a fine balance between the motion sensor controls and the normal everyday gameplay.

After your first mission and you're officially admitted into the UAA, you'll have to start paying to partake in the games main missions. This is where No More Heroes slows down considerably. The rank missions are expensive. There are ways to make money around Santa Destroy by doing part time jobs for people, but they're hardly fun. They're mundane jobs like collecting coconuts or mowing lawns. You can do assassination jobs for the UAA which will allow you to be involved in more action, but these missions go by quickly. Finally, there are missions you can go to where the objective is to kill all the bad guys without getting hit once. These missions, however, are over in a flash.

Even worse is exploring Santa Destroy itself. You can cruise around on your stylish bike but there's really nothing to do in Santa Destroy. You can go train around or buy some clothes to change into or you can buy parts for your Beam Katana. Unfortunately, Santa Destroy is a pretty boring place. You can't interact with the denizens and the city is actually relatively empty. You can also hang around your apartment and watch videos to learn new wrestling moves or play with your cat and the like.

However, when you get to play the main missions, the game is a lot of fun, and the missions are long and satisfying, especially the boss battles at the end. The bosses are some of the most fun to be had in the game. They aren't really that hard, however. In fact, the entire game isn't that hard. It's also pretty short. Any devoted gamer should be able to finish the game within a couple of days.

In terms of graphics, No More Heroes opts for style over substance. The cel-shaded graphics look good. A few nostalgic 8-bit moments come out as well, which is obviously part of the style. Despite how good the graphics are, much more could've been done with it. Particularly with the outdoor environments. At least the game sounds good. With some catchy tunes and good voice overs. There are moments when the dialog can be grating but it's tolerable nonetheless.

No More Heroes is one of the best titles you can buy on the Wii. While the moments in between missions are slow, the main game itself is fantastic with some good production values. A little more could've been done to improve the game overall, but the end result is fantastic.
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on January 24, 2008
First of all, this is a mature title and it's a welcome change of pace from all the "casual" games out there on the Wii. There is blood and mature language, but it's in the style of of what you may have seen in the Kill Bill films. This game is totally over the top and it's funny. It's all about the intense combat, strange characters, witty dialog, wicked sense of humor and overall visual anime-style look of the game.

There are tons of combat maneuvers you can perform with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. Make sure to do the beginning tutorial as once you are done, you will have the controls figured out. The combat is a mix of sword fighting with wrestling type maneuvers (Suplex, Piledriver, Powerslam, etc). The combat never gets boring due to all the variations and moves you can perform (and upgrades). You can charge up your sword swings, stun, block, evade, grab and throw along with combos. It's incredibly refreshing and fun. When you defeat an enemy using a finishing move, little slots at the bottom of the screen start to spin (like a mini jackpot machine) and if you match three slot icons, you will go into 1 of 5 special uber modes for a short period of time. Very cool and different.

After defeating the first boss (shortly after the beginning tutorial), you won't have enough money to pay the Entry Fee of the next Boss fight. So, you will have to do side-jobs, free fight and assassination missions to earn money. You drive your motorcycle around the city to get to the various jobs and missions and stores. I want to point out that this "over world" is strictly to allow you to get from mission to mission or various shops and it's not intended to be like Grand Theft Auto where it's an open "sandbox" where you can do anything you want. But, after defeating the second and third bosses, you will find that there is a lot to do in the city as quite a bit is opened up to you by then.

You can customize your character by going to the clothing store (named Area 51) and purchasing new T-shirts, Jackets, Jeans, Belts and Sunglasses. You can purchase beam Katana upgrades or different types of Katana's from Naomi's lab. You can upgrade your character by learning new wrestling grapple moves (learn by renting videos). There is even a fitness club where you upgrade your strength, health and amount of combos you can pull off. What is unique is that it makes you do all the training movements like lifting the Wiimote and Nunchuck as if they are fitness equipment (Dumbbell, Squats, Bench Press and more).

There are a few hidden items to find by exploring the environment such as Lovikov Balls (used to increase your abilities at a trainer) and money.

You can go back to your motel and just hang out and put on different clothing and watch videos (first one available is the original trailer for the game). You can go to the video store (Beef Head Video) and purchase other videos.

Definitely check this game out. NOTE: After you defeat the second boss, a lot of stuff opens up for you to do in the environment - basically, the game keeps giving you more to do after each boss - you will not get bored. This game has style and personality and you will have not played anything like this before. It's that original. You can tell that the developer, Suda 51 put a lot of heart and soul into this game and truly enjoyed making it.
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on August 16, 2014
No More Heroes offers much more than what you see at face value. While the star of the show here may be the intense, violent, beam katana action, boss fights, and incredible soundtrack, the implementation of this game's writing is what really makes it stand out. No More Heroes tackles a lot of social commentary within its writing, with its main theme being video games and video game players.

The game is structured much like you'd expect a third person action game to be. You fight your way through levels, and you fight a boss at the end of every one. The interesting thing about No More Heroes is that it's a quasi-open-world experience. In between each level, you have to take on side jobs to earn cash. You can buy clothing for our hero, Travis Touchdown, work out at the gym, rent videos, or just ride your motorcycle, Sphieltiger, around the intentionally lifeless and sometimes bland city of Santa Destroy.

While the open-world segments of the game are serviceable enough for what they are, the best thing about No More Heroes (aside from the incredible writing, which I'll dive deeper into soon) lies within its structured levels. These levels are designed with small set-piece moments in between annihilating every enemy you encounter. These segments range from hitting baseballs with your beam katana to Travis being electrocuted. Every set-piece feels fresh, new and interesting.

Like I mentioned, the boss fights in the game tend to steal the show. You see, Travis has one goal in the entire game; to become the number 1 assassin. Climbing the ranks through an association ran by a character named Sylvia Christal, Travis wants to become the best assassin solely because he wants to sleep with this woman. That's his motivation, and not much else.

This isn't to say that the narrative doesn't deviate from this initial premise, however. In fact, it does, quite often. The thing about Travis is that he, very clearly, represents the player actually experiencing the game. He wants to reach the number 1 spot in the assassination rankings, parallel to the actual player completing the game. Sylvia will be his misogynistic "reward" for completing his task, so to speak, just as gamers themselves expect some type of reward or sense of accomplishment from completing a game. This aspect of the narrative is written insanely well, as it's very clear that Travis has this one goal, and he never loses touch of that, despite some crazy things happening to him throughout his adventure.

Travis isn't the only character in the game representing something about video games or gamers themselves, though. Literally every character does. Take a look at one of the boss characters, Letz Shake, for instance. You see, Letz Shake is an interesting "boss", for a couple of reasons. For one, you don't actually fight him. At all. He appears for a second, looks insanely awesome, and as soon as you find yourself saying "Wow, this guy looks like an awesome boss. I can't wait to see how this is going to work", he's gone. Letz Shake represents the failed meeting of consumer expectations. How many times have you bought a game based solely on screen shots, trailers, or box art, just because it looked awesome, only to find out that the promotional material wasn't anywhere near a fair representation of the final product? That's Letz Shake in a nutshell. To further bring the point home, the goggles this character wears look exactly like the Nintendo Virtual Boy, which is notorious for failing to meet consumer expectations.

I won't go into detail on every character in the game, but suffice it to say, every boss character in the game represents either something to do with video games themselves or the people that play them. Upon first playing the game, this may not be all that obvious, but once you know these things are there; once you realize that every character isn't as "random" as they first seem to be, everything adds up. No More Heroes is so much more than a game about an Otaku fanboy becoming an assassin. It's a satire of video games and the state they were in at the time of its release.

While I won't spoil critical plot points here for anyone that does want to play through No More Heroes, I will say that if you play this game, try to pick up on some of this stuff. Play through it with the mindset that the game mechanics, the characters, the sparse open-world; literally everything in its design is there for satire purposes. In this regard, No More Heroes is a masterful title. I've yet to see a game tackle some of the commentary that this one does, let alone do it so effortlessly. It also doesn't hurt that the game itself is simply fun to play. it's fun to slash enemies up with your beam katana. The boss fights present a progressively tougher challenge. The visuals and aesthetic design are all done wonderfully. The soundtrack is near-godlike. Simply put, this is one of the best games the Wii has ever seen, and I personally can't recommend it enough. It's as trippy and odd as it is relevant and smart. Don't pass this one up. It's still worth playing, and it's still relevant, to this day.
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on April 20, 2014
I have read a lot of different review's about this game. it is bad and I mean really bad. lots of stupid jokes and bad game play. the controlls coulld be a lot better. it is so bad that it is fun to play. If that makes any sence at all. try it and see for your self.
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on March 20, 2015
I played this one on Wii U worth it.Even if your not into Wii games its a fun example of a game with violence that mocks Nintendo making you laugh and enjoy playing even the story didn't make any sense but you would love it.
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on March 6, 2015
For a wii game the graphics are horrible, this game is just so under developed and choppy with dull color schemes a poor story line and ridiculous missions all together. Not the highest rating i would give such a video game and the blood is completely pixleated i'm sorry but this inst ps2 nor N64 there should be high res cut scenes and a better story line to games such as these. I'd rate it 3/10 for stimulating game play and enough to keep you tuned in for a few hours but that's about it for this game.
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on August 8, 2010
Before I write anything in this review I want to point out that I played No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle (which I also reviewed here on Amazon.com) before this the original No More Heroes. Throughout this review I will make reference to Desperate Struggle and make comparisons between both games. I can not really avoid this since I played these games in reverse order, but hopefully my comparisons can be of some help.

As soon as I finished my play through of No More Heroes 2, the first thought that crossed my mind was playing the original. Upon getting the original No More Heroes I was instantly able to start enjoying it. The gameplay is very similar to its sequel, you use the Nunchuk to move Travis (the games main character) and the Wii Remote to perform other commands such as attacking with the A button. After you have attacked an enemy enough times using Travis' Beam Katana, an icon (or two) will appear on screen indicating you have to perform certain motions with your controllers. Moving you controllers in the indicated directions leads Travis to perform "Death Blow" attacks and wrestling moves that usually kill your enemies. This is basically the combat for No More Heroes with the exception of slightly more advanced tactics like "Dark Stepping," but this is why No More Heroes works. The simple combat contained within both games makes them easy for anyone to enjoy.

One of the major differences between No More Heroes 1 and 2 is that the original does contain an overworld, unlike part 2 where you basically have a map where you pick your next destination and automatically go there. Many have already commented on the problems the overworld from the original No More Heroes has. This includes slowdown, invisible walls, collision detection problems, and so on. In all fairness I did experience all these problems, however these problems never really hurt my enjoyment of the game. As a matter of fact it made me wish that Desperate Struggle had contained an improved version of this overworld instead of just a map to make selections from. Again, No More Heroes' overworld is not perfect but not having one in Desperate Struggle made that game seem smaller in size.

Another notable difference that the original No More Heroes has over its sequel are its boss battles. I have to agree with most people that feel the bosses contained within the original are more memorable than those in Desperate Struggle. Maybe is is because bosses like Holly Summers, Bad Girl, Jeane, and others in the original No More Heroes are established slightly better before you fight them than those in Desperate Struggle. One thing I will admit about the bosses from the original No More Heroes is that many tend to feel a bit cheaper at times as compared to those in Desperate Struggle. They also tend to take longer to beat, most notably Henry, which I found to be a pain at times. So an advantage Desperate Struggle has, although some of the boss fights still feel cheap at times, is that they don't take as long to finish and are almost always fun to fight.

One last thing worth mentioning is the mini-games in No More Heroes. Unlike in Desperate Struggle, the mini-games in the original No More Heroes are in 3D like the rest of the game and not in 2D. Some people really seemed to hate the mini-games, but personally I did not. I fully understand that mowing lawns and filling cars up with gasoline among other things is not terribly exciting, but it is also not the most boring thing you will ever do. I guess most people had a problem having to replay these mini-games (or side-jobs within the game) over and over again to earn money, since it is necessary to pay entrance fees to fight bosses. Honestly, I had no problem with this, I actually wish Desperate Struggle had retained the requirement of entrance fees for boss battles since it helps extend the games length a little.

In all fairness I really enjoyed both the No More Heroes games about equally. The original No More Heroes though has a few advantages over its sequel. For one the bosses are more memorable and the game also contains an overworld that I feel Desperate Struggle should have had (albeit improved). If you still don't have No More Heroes, do your self a favor and buy it now. Then when you finish playing it, go buy No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle, I think you will enjoy both games as much as I did.
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