Sunday, 21 December 2008

No More Heroes - Wii

The man behind No More Heroes, Suda 51, is known to gamers across the world as the guy who brought us the fantastic Killer 7 videogame in 2005.

Earlier this year, the Japanese legend turned his attention to the Wii and brought us one of the finest platform exclusives of the year.

Set in the town of Santa Destroy, you are Travis Touchdown, an Otaku with an unhealthy obsession with trading cards, action figures, anime, and pro-wrestling.

After winning a beam katana from an internet auction site and meeting the beautiful Sylvia Christel, an agent for the United Assassin's Association, you become embroiled in a quest to become the number one assassin in town.

Problem is, there are 10 others ranked above you. So you set out to slice and dice your way to the very top of the city's assassin's league, meeting all sorts of strange and disturbed characters along the way.

However, to get access to the other assassins, you have to pay money - a lot of money - so you'll have to do a bit of work on the side to raise the necessary funds.

Luckily for Travis, there are plenty of jobs needing done around town, everything from collecting coconuts and litter collecting to mowing people's lawns. While these activities could get boring, each mission only takes a matter of minutes, so they never feel like a chore.

The Wii's unique controller has been used to great effect and the battles are great fun. Tilting the Wiimote makes you perform either a high or low attack, while finishing moves are completed by flicking the controller in one of four directions. It works well and is extremely satisfying.

Another nice touch occurs when Travis' mobile phone rings - you have to hold the Wiimote to your ear to hear the conversation, which is another neat touch.

The heart of the game is obviously taking on the other assassins, and it's here where the game really shines.

These missions are great fun and some of them are just plain weird. I don't want to spoil the experience for you if you have yet to play No More Heroes, but let's just say you'll be amazed at some of the characters you'll meet.

When not taking on the other assassins, you are free to travel around Santa Destroy at your leisure. Don't expect a bustling metropolis like Grand Theft Auto's Liberty City, there's not a lot of traffic or pedestrians about, due in part to the Wii's graphical limitations.

Still, it doesn't detract from the experience and it's still fun to drive your fantastic looking bike around the streets.

On your travels you come across T-shirts - usually hidden in bins - and there's a clothes shop where you can buy new gear like shirts, sunglasses, jeans and jackets. You can also upgrade your weapon if you have the funds in place.

After your shopping spree you can head back to your motel, where you can change into your new clothes. You can also watch videos, feed your cat, examine all the cards you've collected and save your game - by sitting on the toilet.

Although you can't freely wander around you motel room, at lot of detail has been included, and the shelves are crammed full of gundam-style robots, a Nintendo 64, and anime figurines.

Suda 51 has not only created a game which plays well, but it also looks and sounds fantastic. Along with the game's great looking main characters, No More Heroes is also peppered with fantastic retro visuals and sound effects.

Surprisingly this fusion of different styles works extremely well and it's fair to say that you'll probably never have seen anything like it before.

No More Heroes has been out in the UK since March and is one of the best Wii games on the market. You should be able to pick it up for a decent price these days, and it really is well worth taking a punt on.

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