By LAUREN ORSINI and ANDREW HOFFMAN
Welcome to a new feature of the Bullet Entertainment page, where every week we take a look at an awesome videogame we’re pretty sure you haven’t played yet. Maybe it’s brand new, maybe it slipped under your radar the first time—either way it’s worth a shot. This week we’ll take a look at “No More Heroes,” made by Grasshopper Manufacture for the Wii.
First, why you haven’t heard of it: it wasn’t advertised. In the months before No More Heroes, originally titled “Heroes,” came out in January 2008, its publisher, Ubisoft, decided not to put money into advertising the game. They feared it wouldn’t sell and sure enough, it didn’t.
However, rather than slip away, the game went on to get many decent reviews, and holds an 83% positive rating out of 56 total media outlets, according to GameRankings.com. After that, gamers discovered the forgotten game and No More Heroes became a cult hit.
Instantly after we began the play-through, it was obvious that “No More Heroes” is deserving of that title. The game takes place in the fictional town of Santa Destroy California, where you play as assassin (and anime aficionado) Travis Touchdown. At the beginning of the game, Travis is the 11th-ranked assassin in the world. Your goal throughout is to get him ranked number one… by brutally murdering the competition. Gamers will love Travis for his everyman videogame nerd personality and ability to kick serious amounts of butt.
We spent most of the gameplay of this action genre game battling waves of enemies. For extra nerd points, Travis wields a light saber… sorry, “beam katana” as his weapon of choice. To battle, you simply swing the Wiimote in the direction of the enemy (Grasshopper Manufacture probably had this in mind when they inserted mini games where you use it as a baseball bat and trash collector).
But the best part of fighting is when a foe dies: as you slash someone in half or behead them, they spurt gratuitous amounts of blood and lighting while bemoaning their spleens.
What sets “No More Heroes” above other games is the attention to detail that Grasshopper Manufacture gave to style. Everything is over the top; the game breaks the fourth wall with outrageous names (one of Travis’s rivals, “Destroyman,” comes to mind), excessive blood and retro graphics and music.
Especially during battle, the game makes use of 8 bit graphics to show your stats and midi-like music, a stylistic contrast any serious gamer will appreciate. Overall, if you’re looking for an action game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, “No More Heroes” should be right up your alley.