No More Heroes Preview
No More Heroes box art

System: Wii

Review Rating Legend
Dev: Grasshoper 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 22, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Just in time to rescue the Wii from mini-game madness, Killer 7 team arrives with No More Heroes
by Matt Cabral

October 11, 2007 - Back in 2005, the Nintendo GameCube received a creative kick in the polygons with the release of Killer 7. The very mature, super-stylized, and ultra-violent title, about an assassin with multiple personalities and a hunger for his victim's blood, didn't exactly mesh alongside its Nintendo neighbors, Mario and Link. In addition to its decidedly un-family friendly presentation, it was criticized for an intuitive, but unconventional on-rails control scheme. Still, despite Killer 7's alienating traits it did enjoy critical and cult success due mostly to its amazing visual style, bizarre storytelling, and eventual access to a broader, more accepting audience on the PS2.

No More Heroes screenshot

Developer Grasshopper Manufacture-led by the twisted mind of CEO, Suda 51-has returned to shake things up again with No More Heroes. Sporting a similarly inspired visual approach as Killer 7-think Okami meets Jet Set Radio meets Viewtiful Joe-Suda 51's latest effort will exclusively-and ironically-bring its mature themes to Nintendo's newest fun-for-the-whole-family console. This, of course, is fantastic news for serious gamers searching for a cure to the Wii's mini-game affliction. But those Wii Sport-playing senior citizens that keep popping up in Nintendo's casual-gamer focused marketing campaign may want to sit this one out; No More Heroes is a violent, weird, mind-blowing ride-hold on!

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The funky visuals are supported by equally bizarro environments and characters; one boss baddie, dubbed Destroyman, actually dons a lethal beam-shooting cod piece. Players will assume the role of Travis Touchdown, a spiky haired, anime-loving dude who sports some slick, yellow-lensed shades that'd make Bono envious. Travis is a low-level hitman living in the fictional town of Santa Destroy, California. He's looking to rise up the hired-killer ranks by taking out the top 10 assassins; he starts the game as number 11. Selecting missions in any order you like in an open-ended world-which can be navigated on Travis' moped-like ride-you'll gradually encounter and hopefully take out the higher ranking killers. This being a Suda 51 production, you can expect the ensuing battles to be surreal mixtures of nut-job personalities, campy-in-a-good-way dialogueand way-over-the-top violence-fueled action.

No More Heroes screenshot

In fact, utilizing the Wii's motion-sensing tech, the action will take the driver's seat on this wicked ride. Travis' choice weapon-of-stylized-destruction is a plasma-beam katana, sort of a low-tech lightsaber that looks a bit like a fluorescent tube light bulb. Players will rapidly shake the Wii-mote to power up the blade right before unleashing a devastating flurry of attacks. Skilled Wii-mote wielders will even be able to deflect bullets-and groin-based projectile attacks-with the weapon. In an interesting use of the Wii-mote, attacks will hit your opponent based on the height of the peripheral; raise it high to slash at the face and chest, but if blocked, quickly lower it for some below-the-belt damage. In addition to the sword-swinging, quick-reflexed gamers will pull off some old school wrestling moves by following on-screen prompts. An action-packed and sweat-breaking boss fight might unfold with Travis deflecting bullets from afar, before moving in for some serious Wii-mote-waving swordplay, and then finally putting the smackdown on his foe with a neck-breaking finisher.

No More Heroes screenshot

No More Heroes, while not for all Wii owners-sorry, grandma-is definitely one of the most anticipated titles on the platform. Its brilliant blend of stylized visuals, quirky characters and inventive, immersive gameplay-not to mention Grasshopper's Killer 7 pedigree-should appeal to more seasoned gamers as well as anyone beginning to tire of the Wii's endless mini-game line-up.

By Matt Cabral
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Hack and Smash Your Way Through Santa Destroy, California: Unleash a lethal combination of sword slashes and wrestling moves in this fast paced third-person action game. Easy to learn, but challenging to master.
  • Roam a Sand Box Universe in Full 3D: Immerse yourself in a modern, highly stylized world. Roam the city on foot or slide around corners on your speed bike.
  • An Action Experience Unlike Any Other on Wii: Bring the pain and let your plasma-beam katana do the talking. You control the action with two Wii remote sensitive attack stances and an arsenal of close combat wrestling moves.
  • Interactive Special Attacks and Over-The-Top Finishing Moves: Complete special moves by matching your Wii remote's movements to the cues on screen. The crazier you finish off your opponent, the more cash you'll earn for your efforts.
  • Side Missions and Mini-Games: Complete side jobs for extra cash or just play them for fun. Features games like Pizza Delivery, Graffiti Blaster and Speed Bike Racing.
  • Highly Stylized Environments and Gameplay: Features environments that are both stunning and stylish. Gameplay gives a nod to the classic arcade games of the 80's, as well as the games of tomorrow.

  • Screenshots / Images
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