When your character looks like he’s jerking off with furious vigor just to recharge your primary weapon, you know you’ve got a gem of a game on your hands. Such is the case with No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise, the enhanced PS3 port of the original 2007 Nintendo Wii game No More Heroes. Look, the game isn’t perfect. It had flaws in the original Wii version, and it has flaws still in the HD PS3 version. Flaws aside, the No More Heroes franchise, Heroes’ Paradise included, provides an incredibly violent, immature, clever, and unique experience, which goes a long way towards making up for the technical flaws of the game.
The game starts off with an intro cutscene that catches you up to speed on Travis Touchdown and his top-assassin aspirations. For those of you who have played the original Wii versions, you already know what the game is about. For first-time players, you get a great introduction to the character and his goals. The graphics of the cutscenes and the game itself are in some ways improved, while in other ways diminished. Yes, it’s in HD, but it’s HD graphics of a port, not graphics redone from the ground up. This results in a sharper image, with the only problem being that it can at times make the polygons and doohickeys and thingamajigs look more obvious. For a PS3 game, this hardly taxes the system, and leaves much to be desired graphically. A full graphical overhaul would have gone a long way in solidifying this game as a PS3 great.
The overworld of the original No More Heroes returns in the enhanced port, along with all of the things that made Suda 51 remove the overworld in No More Heroes 2. The city of Santa Destroy is sparsely populated by a few recycled NPC designs, so don’t expect a bustling metropolitan city of the future. Don’t expect the driving mechanic of the overworld to do you any favors, either. It’s functional, for the most part, but will occasionally glitch you into having to resort to your secondary mode of travel: Chevro-legs. The side missions necessary to pay for your assassin-hunting missions return, with some new (and ultimately forgetful) additions. The biggest improvement is in how the game handles mission failure; no longer do you have to restart from the very beginning when you fail, like in previous iterations of the game. Most of the fun of the game will not come from the overworld and its side missions, however.
The fun of the game is in directly working your way up to each assassin. Each assassin is reached by going through his henchmen, resulting in a boss battle (the assassin) at the end. Each gauntlet is self-contained, and incredibly fun. The combat is seemingly simple, but the various attacks and defenses can be mixed and combined to great effect. A big change in combat is that Dark Side Mode is not instantly activated upon receipt. You can now stock up to three Dark Side Modes and activate them at will, which makes the gameplay easier, if less spontaneous. When you’re actively working your way up the assassin rankings…well, that’s where the game shines, and that’s what makes it a really great game.
This is not the game to buy if you want to see stunning PS3 HD visuals. This is not the game to buy if you want a smooth, full featured, interactive overworld. This is not the game to buy if you have anything over the maturity level of a 15 year old (an immature 15 year old, at that). This is a game to buy if you love old school gaming, immature humor, and fun fighting mechanics. This is a game to buy if you love these things, but can overlook the graphics and overworld.
|Sub-par PS3 graphics|