Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No More Heroes

After much anguishing over the idea, and much research of various internet reviews of the game, I took the plunge and picked up No More Heroes for the Wii. I can safely say after about six hours into it (much of it just exploring the decent-sized in-game city of Santa Destroy), I am quite happy with this decision.

The game at its core is an hack and slash game, with the player chopping though henchman as Travis Touchdown, an assassin working his way up the charts like a Rupert Holmes single in 1980. The style of the game is waaaay out there, and it works, but it really is about as graphically sophisticated as an Atari Jaguar title.

The fun factor, other than the aforementioned exploration of the city (there's not much there, really, I'm just an exploration junkie), is in the combat. The A button slashes, the B button kicks, and holding the Wii remote up or down determines if the action is a high or low hit. Score a few successive hits and you can make a finishing blow by slashing the Wii remote in the direction indicated by an arrow on the screen. Stunned opponents can be finished with some sweet wrestling moves performed by moving both the Wii remote and the nunchuck in tandem in a direction indicated by screen arrows.

There is more depth to the combat than this, of course, and all sorts of bells and whistles. Travis's hotel room serves as a base and allows for changes of costume (mostly in terms of a huge variety of T-shirts either bought or found), playing with a cute pet kitty, watching TV, or other things. Saving the game is done by copping a squat on the porcelin throne. Recharging the beam katana weapon is done by waving the Wii remote left and right, but on the screen Travis makes more of a no-longer-the-master-of-his-domain gesture. I kid you not.

The bosses and other characters I've met so far are all very well done, and the overall package of the game - the fun and challenging combat surrounded by a very quirky world - works really well, and is just the sort of refreshing hardcore game experience the Wii needed. No More Heroes is really a lot of fun, and hopefully a good indication of a much better year in terms of variety for Wii owners.

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