Monday, February 4, 2008

No More Heroes - Finished the game

This game was an incredible experience. Someone said it best that this game is sort of like Blaster Master or Ninja Gaiden for the NES - games that weren't perfect but that were incredibly fun to play and everyone had to have. The difference is that both of them games had really compelling gameplay (okay, so Ninja Gaiden also sold itself on its story) to go with them. Here, the visceral feel of the gameplay is great, even if it isn't necessarily deep. But the story and game execution and details are what sells it.

I mentioned previously that the city of Santa Destroy feels lifeless. More than that, I share the opinion of other that is one of the worst level-select screens ever. While there are some neat details scattered around Santa Destroy (references to other games and punk music), having to drive in your bike from one location to the next is just tedious. Especially when you just want to earn some money at the side missions.

It is also probably a good think that the game doesn't try to pad itself out too much. The combat feels great. The graphics show your character performing all sorts of neat combos. The kills slice guys in twain and send blood splattering everywhere! You can mow down entire groups of enemies! You can send them to their doom with professional wrestling moves! Despite all that, the combat isn't very deep. There's high and low attacks and dodging and occasionally throws, but there isn't much meat there. You start feeling this a bit on the later bosses that have a ton of health where you just have to do the same thing over and over in order to defeat them.

All that said, I really enjoyed this game. Any adult who has a Wii and is more of a core gamer should check this out. The game is fully of crazy action and over-the-top entertainment. It is a send up of action movies and video games and just absolutely feels right. This is like one of those movies you start talking about immediately afterwards with your friends and say, "Did you see that? It was amazing!"

I usually don't hesitate to post spoilers because it is assumed here that I will be talking about my progress in a game which can include anything I have seen. But since so much of the enjoyment of No More Heroes is discovering the story and references in it, I feel I must put in this intermediate paragraph.

That said, there were so many great moments I experience in playing through this game and encountering all the bosses:

Destroyman was hilarious. A postal worker that thinks he's a superhero, complete with nipple guns and crotch rockets? And the way he makes Travis fall for his obvious tricks is a delight.

The death scene where Holly puts the grenade in her mouth and her head explodes is a classic 'oh my fucking god I can't believe that' moment.

The hilarious brain machine contraption in the next fight was just classic and sort of reminded me of Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I knew that this fight would end before it started, but I figured Travis (or the machine itself) would be the one to do it.

Rank 4 might have been my favorite fight. Half the level is a dream sequence where your character is the space ship in a shoot 'em up sequence. And the boss fight was probably my favorite in the game (only Destroyman comes close). It is just staged so well. From the set up as a date at the theater between Travis and Sylvia to the boss performing an on-stage magical act and you acting like an actual member of the audience to the fight itself which involves the magician turning the screen upside down and includes an interlude where you are put into and escape from a magical trick box, to the cinema after defeating him. As I said, it is staged incredibly well.

My favorite answering machine message from the video store is the one where they say that instead of returning the porno you rented, you instead returned a copy that cuts off two minutes into it.

If I had my suspicions that the boss fights in this game were a send-up of Metal Gear Solid, the final boss fight confirmed it. First, the games finishes demolishing the fourth wall by having Jeane comment on how if she told you her story, it would increase the game's rating which could delay it... and then they might have to call the game No More Heroes Forever (a classic video game in joke). Then Travis says to just fast forward through it. So you literally get a fast forwarded scene through tons of expository dialogue where Jeane reveals a life of abuse, incest, whoring herself out, training to be a killer, and getting her revenge. It was great.

Then in the "real ending" after defeating Henry, Travis argues that he can't reveal new plot now since the game is over and they have a great conversation about how the game should end to some totally kick ass music.

As you can tell, I found No More Heroes to be a great experience.

4 comments:

X said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rycar said...

More like you found No More Heroes to be a GAY experience, amirite?

Ah hell, who am I kidding -- I'm terrible at this crap.

Good read Red.

X said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Davíd said...

Look X, personal attacks like that are not cool. I haven't had to to any sort of comment moderation in the past but if you keep it up, I'll be forced to.