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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Wii
PUBLISHER:
Ubisoft
DEVELOPER:
Grasshopper Manufacture
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
January 22, 2008
IN THE SERIES
No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise

No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

 Written by David Taylor  on October 01, 2007

First Impressions: NBC's worst nightmare ? no more Heroes.


No matter what you might think of game designer Goichi Suda's (?Suda 51?) work, you certainly can't fault him for lack of originality. A few years back, Suda baffled the game playing public with his interactive acid trip, Killer 7 for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. The game, released by Capcom, was widely heralded as a ?like it or hate it? title that pushed video game storytelling in an all-new, David Lynch-esque direction. Fast-forward to today, and Suda is again up to his old tricks with his new Wii exclusive title, No More Heroes. With this new title Suda is taking Nintendo's system in a bold new direction. By taking many of the elements that players enjoyed about Killer 7 (the dark storyline, graphics and gore) and integrating them into a more user-friendly interface, Suda hopes to bring the Wii's casual gaming reputation to an adult market.



Players control Travis Touchdown, an anime nerd who lives in the west coast town of Santa Destroy, California. One day Travis decides to indulge his passion for Star Wars and purchases a lightsaber on an Internet auction site. After receiving the weapon, Travis decides to become a hitman. After killing another assassin named Helter Skelter, Travis earns the rank of 11 on the list of the world's top assassins. Ever ambitious, Travis embarks on a quest to eliminate the competition and become number one.

In keeping with a more ?casual? experience, the controls and interface are much simpler than those of Killer 7. Players are not restricted to a pre-determined track as they were in Killer 7. Instead Travis is able to roam around vast areas, from beaches to the pre-requisite warehouses (a seeming staple in the ?assassin? genre). Being a poster child for bad-assery, Travis is also able to ride around Santa Destroy on a motorcycle. In terms of combat, the A button performs a sword slash, B causes Travis to kick, and the Z button allows Travis to lock on to opponents (presumably similar to Zelda). The player can also perform special moves through following certain on-screen motions with the Wiimote and Nunchuk. Wrestling moves are also a part of Travis' arsenal.

Travis' lightsaber must also be charged from time to time (a fact that Lucas left out of Star Wars apparently). To accomplish this, the player can collect batteries or simply press the 1 button and shake the Wiimote.

One of Killer 7's most memorable aspects was its refusal to shy away from extreme violence. The game came under harsh criticism from individuals such as anti-video game crusader Jack Thompson. None of this seems to have affected Suda. No More Heroes will feature enough decapitations and disembowelments to make Leatherface turn green with envy. The game is predicted to receive an ?M? rating from the ESRB. Suda himself has widely stated that the game will be more violent than Manhunt 2.

No More Heroes' graphics possess a similar cell-shaded look to those of Killer 7. However, the environments and character models look much more detailed than Suda's previous game. The game also possesses a unique mish mash of Japanese pop culture and comic book styles. One villain wears a costume right out of a Justice League comic (complete with a literally electrifying cod-piece) while another is the crazy big-haired female anime character that otaku everywhere will be readily familiar with.

Final Thoughts
One of Killer 7's faults lay in its clunky interface. For many this interface distracted from the game's trippy and fun storyline. Fortunately it seems that Suda has learned from his past experience and is giving the gaming public a more accessible game with the same quality touches of depravity and eccentricity that his fans have come to love. Will this blend of adult and casual gaming work on the Wii? North Americans will find out in February 2008.


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