Home > Reviews, Video Games, Wii > No More Heroes (Wii)

No More Heroes (Wii)

Two months ago, I beat No More Heroes. It took me about 10 hours to complete, and I haven’t touched the game since. So why has it taken me this long to write about the game?

The simple answer is that I do not know how I feel about this game. I was hoping that taking time away from the game would help refine my opinion and give me the ability to, at the very least, recommend it to someone or not.

It didn’t. I am still just as torn as the day I ejected the disc.  At the risk of sounding overly negative, this game is objectively terrible.  Looking past No More Heroes‘ myriad of problems is a requirement to gain any enjoyment from the game.

The highlight of the game is combat, which utilizes motion controls rarely but effectively.  The A button swings the beam sword, B button grabs, and the motion control is used to perform finishing moves that add an element of physicality to the game.  I found myself swinging the wiimote harder and with more energy than necessary as I got into the battle system.  No More Heroes also features some interesting and memorable boss battles that are very well balanced.  As fun as the combat is, it gets repetitive as the game goes on.  The same enemies are recycled throughout the game and the “special” moves gained are either worthless or vastly overpowered, removing much of the fun and challenge.  As I played through the game, the combat remained very satisfying and I found myself initiating fights with enemies outside the story missions for enjoyment.

The story kept me wincing in pain throughout the entire game.  While the characters are quirky and interesting, the story seems to be little more than an excuse for cool boss battles.  While it does have a genuinely surprising twist towards the end, the game squanders that by attempting to shove what seems like dozens weird-for-the-sake-of-being-weird plot events in the player’s face in a span of a few moments.  It also features the cliche ‘unknown mastermind villian who has been working behind the scenes and ultimately reveals themselves as the final boss,’ which has been a major pet peeve of mine since playing through Final Fantasy VIII.

In between boss missions, the game forces you to wander around an open world city to earn enough money to unlock the next mission.  There are essentially two choices:  part time jobs or assassination missions.  The part time jobs are dreadful, consisting of inane activities like picking up trash or carrying coconuts.  These jobs are long (most if not all last 3 minutes) and don’t pay as well as the infinitely more fun assassination missions.  The city you are able to explore is almost devoid of life, and the few people and cars that do exist don’t interact with you.  You can hit a pedestrian head-on with your bike and they’ll react as if you had gently brushed up against them on foot.  The entire city would have been better off being a series of menus, as all the shops and mission hubs are spread out a great deal causing painful stretches of driving through empty streets.

Graphically, the game is pretty well done for the Wii, which is likely partially responsible for the sometimes insane loading times.  There is a low draw distance and quite a lot of pop-in while driving around the city, but otherwise the cel-shading is well done and creates a visually cohesive universe.  The voice acting in the game has a huge variance in quality.  The main characters and bosses generally had decent voicework, but the shopowners were simply beyond terrible and creepy.  Similarly, the music is forgetable with only a few catchy or memorable songs (one of them being Heavenly Star by Genki Rockets).

No More Heroes is a difficult game to write about.  The game has so many major flaws that it’s difficult to recommend this game to anyone.  However, I cannot understate the fact that I really enjoyed playing through the game, and despite my negativity above, I do not regret the purchase.  Rent it, and see if you like it.

  • Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: 1/22/08
  • Price: $49.99
  • See Also: Killer 7 (Gamecube, PS2)
  1. Tim
    April 11, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    Sounds great! Can I borrow your copy? Joking, but yet another reason why motion control kinda sucks and that ‘adult’ themed games just don’t work on the Wii. Now, driving go-karts with Mario themed characters does and I’ll see you on the track.

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