Ladies and gentleman it is upon us. The second coming of the man named Touchdown. All of us are awaiting this return with baited breath and alarming enthusiasm. For some of us it's bigger than a new Zelda, Halo
or Final Fantasy
. But why? The first entry in the series was critically acclaimed
, examined deeply
and has even spawned a HD re-enty of itself on the 360 and PS3
. Sure it's had its detractors too, not every game is perfect. The free-roaming sections have been called dull, broken and boring. The combat has been called repetitive. The story has been called epileptic or non-existant. Y'know, the game sounds all together broken from this.
But still it insists on being a great game in the minds of gamers and pretty much only gamers. Even more so if you're an otaku nerd who loves his anime, even if it is a huge parody of the aforementioned demographic. But back on topic! The first game is great, with flaws. The Second game is coming and when it does arrive I will be too, so let's get started on the top 10 moments in NO MORE HEROES!
Needless to say *SPOILERS*
I work haaaard for the money
So you're a brutal assassin hired to kill almost everyone in the city along with 10 particular nutjobs that seem stranger than anything you've ever seen. But... you got no money. OFF TO THE GRIND WITH YE! Yes, Travis isn't some sort of ball of charisma who happens to have cash to burn. These fights cost money apparently so you have to do what every schmuck without money does: GET A JOB! So many jobs, so little time. You'll be collecting coconuts, jumping into the ocean and finding lost cats in the neighbourhood. It's not really the jobs that are cool in themselves, most of them are boring. No, it's the fact that the game pushes this in your face that you MUST do hard monotonous work to get money for the fun stuff you do. Like us going to buy our games. We work hard tiring jobs (though the lucky among us enjoy our jobs sometimes) so we can come home at the end of the day, newly purchased game in hand, ready to go and veg out before dinner (or after, I'm no mind reader). It's neat to see something like this in the game. Not necessarily positive, but unique, quirky and fun to realise in its own right.
So you've just assasinated some bad dude, risen a rank and have made your way back to your hotel. And holy crap. If you had never known what Travis was about before, this puts it all in perspective. This little slice of heaven is where travis sleeps and lives and it shines through well here. This aspect of the game is often overlooked because it just seems like a nifty central hub. However, littering the walls, lining the bed and sitting all over the messy floor are pieces of Travis' otaku lifestyle. He's a nerd first and foremost and that helps the player feel drawn to him. He's messy, obsessed with anime and has a cat who you can play with. By the way, the cat is there for no real purpose except for a small story point later on. Anyway, this area is important because it lets you see what Travis is actually like rather than dropping the relevant info in your lap. Sure the game could just imply he's a nerd over and over again (and it kind of does), but this place lets you know for sure that "Yep, he's definitely cut from the same cloth as me." Also, there are some deliciously quirky
scenes in this room. Hilarity.
I dunno, when your main hero sits down on the porcelain hobby horse to save his game, your jaw just kinda hits the floor. Sure it was kinda over-exposed before the games release, but it's still great the first time it happens. I find that taking a dump is about as relieving as much as saving your game is so HA! For those who don't get it think about it. How much of a relief is it to know your game is safe and you can put it down for a while. Suda is a genius. Also note that every bathroom has No More Heroes scrawled in it so it make an appropriate starting game screen.
The Virgin Child Makes Her Wish Without Feeling Anything
I dunno why this moment has such a big impact on me, but I'm sure others out there may have answers. To me it's the closest we get to see of any assassins life outside of Travis own. The Conversation opens up alot about Dr. Peace's own background. It's not ever brought up again for any other assassins. Unique in the game is it's exposition of a character we'll never see again. I appreciate this scene alot.
Yep, this game has one of the most spectacular voice casts I've ever heard. Employ whatever bullshit famous voice actor you want from Hollywood or similar in your game. But real voice acting like this is hard to come by and astounding because it works. If anyone was concerned with getting really bad voice acting in this game, they were slapped over the face with numerous cut-scenes with a) ridiculous dialogue and b) bloody well delivered lines. It makes any gaming fan hope for this calibre of voice acting in more games out there.
Cop Out & Ending
8-Bits of Fun
It's funny, this game. The whole 8-Bit thing it had going on really never hit me until later on when I had made it well through half of the game. The 8-Bit theme it has going on is not just to be aesthetically pleasing to those of us with retro tastes and sensibilities. No it has more to do with the structure of the game itself. Really all your doing is trying to move through the levels. Ranks 10 through to 1 are representations of moving from level 1 to level 10. It's the structure with witch the game moves forward similar to old 8-bit games with strictly linear level paths. It also tributes 8-Bit music and the overall archaicness of old school gaming. It reminds us of the simplicity we once witnessed many moons ago. Bravo Suda. Bravo.
Travis.. the Loser
The man. The legend. The hero. There is no other protagonist out there I've ever seen that has come close to Travis in terms of sheer lovability. And there really is no other protagonist as pathetic. Travis is his own entity. He conforms to nothing but nerd culture and otaku habits. He really is a loser though. The only thing he fights for is the opportunity to have sex with a beautiful lady. He KILLS hundreds of people for small token of appreciation. It's completely selfish and stupid but god-damn I love him for it. He's endearing and brave if a little one track minded. It's not like he doesn't learn though. Towards the end of the game you see him constantly questioning his identity as a killer. He gets deep, but only through his shallow conquest. A man learning from experience and battle.
Aside from that, his heroic qualitie shine through as well. He's well spoken and charismatic. Charming but geeky. Stupid but loveable. A hero for sure. Just not a very good one.
Your First Slash
Let the bloodshed begin!
Suda's said this as one of the 5 things that make NMH2 so killer
. But think about it. Those who have played this gem know one of the mainstays of the game is the absolutely kickass
combat. Why? Because this game uses the Wii-Remote in the most sparring yet visceral way possible. I'll start by going through your very first enemy. The game introduces you to the A-Button first off. At first, you're hammering on the A-Button until you suddenly stop. This is different because most Wii games have you flailing around to swing the darn sword so much that you develop early cases of arthritis or tennis elbow. This game tones it down. Let's you A-button someone till near death watching a flurry of rage and flair from your on-screen avatar Travis Touchdown. Then the screen goes dark. A big 8-bit arrow is summoned forth for you to swing your remote in the same direction. You do so and suddenly the screen lights up again. Next thing you know a head is flying off some poor suckers shoulders, blood is spraying everywhere in a crimson fountain of death. Congratulations! You've just performed your first slash and you are now hooked on the combat system. There's system offers the PERFECT way to use the Wii-remote in a hack and slash combat situation. It also helps put you right in the action by having that very last killer slash performed by the player. Needless to say it blew my mind.
You knew this one was coming right? The main attraction of the game was always these ranked matches to get to the top. Every single moment culminates in being THESE ranked matches. All the money you've earned, the way you upgrade your Katana, the way you choose to train yourself at the outrageously homo-erotic Sensei's gym. It ALL culminates here. These battles are some of the most fun and thrilling you will see in a video game PERIOD. So much so that these are what kept most gamers playing. It's hard to explain why though. Putting it into words is strange because it comes off sounding like Mega Man. You learn a pattern, memorize, try not to get hit and take the fucker down. And the sense of achievement at the end is satisfying as hell. I'll try and take a stab at why they're so good though.
The introductions to each ranked fighter is fantastic. Their personalities are so verbose and over the top, that you can't help but fall a little in love with each (except for maybe Destroy Man... he's a dick). Fighting each of them without the cut-scenes, the game would lose alot of the affect it has. It's amazing how much of each character is conveyed in the cut-scenes, so it's easy to see why almost everyone who's played this is able to pick out a favourite character by personality. And when you lose or win, it almost feels personal. That right there is one feeling I can't explain. The boss battles in this game really excel because of this.
So there you have it. I've no doubt gotten it WRONG
in someone's opinion and even I admit I've probably missed alot of stuff (my writing may also leave something to be desired). But let's not forget why I did this. No More Heroes 2 is totally coming. You know it, I know it and we're waiting with Wii-Remotes in hand, ready to take on Santa Destroy's finest one more time.
Will the next No More Heroes be as brilliant and memorable as it's first entry? From the previews
we've seen so far, the answer is a resounding fuck YEAH! So for you there, reading this... Get Ready to press the A Button one more time... AND LET THE BLOODSHED BEGIN! read