Heya, I'm Alex Giannavola, a 26-year-old writer and artist who digs videogames, anime, poppy punk rock music, diet soda, and nice people.
Favorite Games: Bioshock Infinite
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy IX
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
Mega Man X
Metal Gear Solid 4
No More Heroes
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Super Mario World
As many of us know, the original No More Heroes is making the jump to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. When I first heard this, I was immediately giddy with joy at the thought of my favorite Nintendo Wii title with a fresh coat of pretty HD paint. After the initial excitement wore off though, I started thinking about some things.
After playing an HD version, will I want to go back to the Wii for No More Heroes 2 in SD? Should I even get the sequel upon release, or wait for an HD edition of that too? Will the HD even look that good? Some of the screens Iíve seen donít seem to have kept that cel-shaded charm. The motion controls were actually kind of fun on the Wii; will the combat get too repetitive on a standard controller?
Letís have a look at both sides of this.
Bringing No More Heroes to other platforms gives a lot more people the chance to enjoy a great experience that I think shouldnít be missed. I want people to enjoy this game just like I did. I want people to not be able to pull away from their TVs for three days until they have beaten it, and then love it so much that they immediately do it all over again. Suda51 and company will earn a little more money for their efforts and hopefully get some more recognition, rightfully deserved.
This also gives the developers a chance to fix and add some things. Itís pretty mutually agreed upon that the open world aspect isnít NMHís best feature, and while Iím sure they wonít overhaul the whole thing, there are some little things they could do to make it a bit more bearable. Better control of the motorcycle comes to mind, as well as better driving physics in general. I would be fairly happy if I didnít come to a dead stop every time I hit the littlest thing, or even a wall. Give me a crash or something!
The one thing I always wanted is a boss select screen! This would make a great unlockable feature after you beat the game. For me, the best part of No More Heroes was its crazy bosses, from their quirky personalities to their unique fighting styles. I was always immensely satisfied after I figured out how to beat each one. I would love to replay my favorite battle, with Bad Girl, right now but I donít want to have to play through the whole game again to do it.
Another little tweak that would really help this game out would be a ďretryĒ option after those fights where you canít get hit even once. Those things were brutal, I donít think I ever beat even one. Came close, but no dice.
Trophies/Achievements are an obvious addition, and while I donít consider myself a trophy whore by any means, I am a little excited for this because NMH is one of the few games I can see myself getting 100% on. Except I bet theyíd make beating all those ďno-hit fightsĒ one of them, damn.
And of course the most prominent advantage of bringing No More Heroes to the PS3 and 360 is the upping of the graphics to HD quality. My main disappointment with the Wii version was that the graphics were nowhere near as good as those of the first trailer. If they made NMH look like that (while keeping some of the design changes) then I would be one happy hero.
My only hold-up with the graphics upgrade is that what Iíve seen so far doesnít look very cel-shady. I hope this is just my bad eyes or bad images, because I would hate to see this game go the way of regular polygons.
Obviously, bringing No More Heroes outside the realm of the Wii will change its control scheme dramatically. This is the one thing that got me thinking maybe this re-release wonít be quite as good as I initially thought it might be. Some have said maybe it will be compatible with Sonyís Motion Control or possibly even Microsoft Natal. Sonyís Motion Control I could see happening, but Natal? I donít think so. Iím going with the assumption it will be redone with standard controls.
I know motion controls arenít a lot of peopleís jam, and are almost considered a sin in the gamer community to not mind waggle that much, but I do believe No More Heroes on the Wii got it right. Its use was subtle most of the time with choosing the position of the beam saber. Motion controls werenít used solely a majority of the time, so it didnít feel overdone. They picked the right times to implement them, and it was extremely satisfying when you used them because of that.
Mapping the combat to the buttons while using motion just for finishing blows and wresting moves was a stroke of genius. These were methods of finishing that particular enemy off, and changing up the control to do it made it feel that much more epic. There was nothing better than taking a swing to take some guyís head or to slice him down the middle. I just donít see how they can make these moments feel any different from the rest of the combat on a standard control. When you get down to it, No More Heroes is a hack and slash game, without those deviations from button mashing, it seems it would get very repetitive very fast.
On a standard controller, the job mini-games would be more a chore than they already are. I was already tired of doing them after the first time I tried. Some of them might be better than others, but can you really imagine pumping gas using only control sticks? Well, using sticks for the graffiti cleaning job would remind my slightly of Jet Set Radio (even though Iím cleaning OFF the graffiti), and that can only be a good thing.
And I'm sorry, using the Wii remote as a phone was one of the coolest and most clever things they could have done. I nearly flipped the first time it happened.
Oh, and charging up your beam saber wouldnít be nearly as fun on a standard controller.
While Iím skeptical of a change in control scheme, Iím still extremely excited about this. I canít wait to see what they do with it. Day one purchase for me, definitely.
[BTW, I started writing this before the news of Ubisoft saying they wouldnít publish it. Hopefully another publisher picks it up, and some of the potential awesomeness Iíve mentioned can be realized.]