There's no doubt about it—the Wii is in dire need of some decent third party titles. That's why we find director SUDA-51's/Grasshopper Manufacture's No More Heroes so intriguing. A sort of Grand Theft Auto meets Killer7 meets light sabers, the game promised to bring action, humour and style to the Wii...without Mario or his friends.
So what did the critics think? Hit the jump for our Frankenreview to find out: not quite every review, but probably more than you're going to read anyway.
IGNYou've got the GTA free-roaming that is used for doing individual missions, exploring the city of Santa Destroy, and hitting up a few shops and training areas, which leads the way for the action-oriented story. If the game was based only on the open world style, it would have been a pretty sizable disappointment as far as we're concerned, as there are constant frame issues, pop-in everywhere, very little NPC activity, and a huge overall lack of polish...What it all boils down to is about 10 or so stores and buildings to go into, a handful of mission points that bring you into new loading zones, and some mini-game jobs which are fun, but hardly necessitate an entire open world.
The crux of the action is found in No More Heroes' numerous and impressive boss encounters, where you'll use these subtleties to your advantage, though they don't usually present a foreboding challenge until the final few fights. Yet they're still enormously entertaining, thanks to your opponents' melodramatic (and often hysterical) soliloquizing, interesting attacks, and pure wackiness. Holly Summers launches missiles at you from her fake leg, while Stage magician Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii locks you up in the box used for his disappearing act...
Never before have we played a game that felt so completely in love with being a game - text is rendered in an eighties pixellated font, your map's a sloppy digital display, the whole HUD ripped from Grand Theft Auto without mercy or apology; the ten best assassins table is the high score chart from a 1984 coin-op and the pause menu is like a scene from Tron.
4 Color RebellionThe music in is excellent. The No More Heroes theme is catchy and runs in several variations throughout the game. Fans of Lumines will recognize the song "Heavenly Star" by the Genki Rockets and you can even watch the song's music video from a tape in Travis's apartment...The voice acting is over the top and often hilarious. People have ridiculous accents, crazy rants, and seem to be doing nothing but spouting catch phrases. The dialogue is not good in an Oscar Wilde sort of way, but it is good in an "Army of Darkness" sort of way. No one really sounds like a real person, but nothing in this game ever feels very real to begin with.
InsomniaIn regards to the first point, what's happened here is that the remote/nunchuk functionality is used to mask how terribly shallow the fighting system is. So shallow, that it is quite possible to win half the fights in the game by — get this — turning your back on the TV and mashing the A button while vigorously shaking the remote in random directions.
Back to us—not dissimilarly from the public's reaction to Killer7, No More Heroes garners polar reactions. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a shot.