No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise - Video Game Reviews
Why do we game? Well, for many reasons, I suppose. It’s a great escape from the pressures of life, some may say, or it’s a brilliant way to unwind. Many others may point to the fact that living vicariously through an imaginary character that we can control has a big appeal - it allows us to do things that we would, or could, never attempt in everyday life. Fair enough... but what if the character that you’re planning to spend your hours of living through is an unmitigated douche-bag?
We’re not talking the kind of character who is a generally bad guy because it serves the game for him to be so. We’re not even talking about a nasty dude who is really just not likeable. Rather, we’re talking about a character who is intended to be extremely cool, but the overcompensation that has gone into making him so has turned him into someone that you wouldn’t urinate on if he was on fire.
That’s exactly the kind of guy you get to control in No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise. Meet Travis Touchdown, an assassin who tries so hard to be cool that you just want to beat the hell out of him every time he speaks. Travis is on a mission to become the top assassin in the United Assassin’s Association; to do so, he needs to kill the ten people who are ranked higher than he is.
No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise is the first trip that this sword-fighting franchise is making to the PS3 – and it is basically a rather poor port from the Wii platform. In it, the player must lead Travis through various locations and take on tons of carbon copy enemies, using either the Move system, or the traditional controller. The action is not as fast-paced as one might guess, though - it is constantly interrupted by quick-time sequences that occasionally grant the player power-ups. That, and a bunch of inane chatter that becomes nauseating before long. It’s almost as though the developers thought they understood cool, and tried to demonstrate it by cramming tons of gore, huge numbers of expletives and senseless, inane soundbytes into the game. “Let’s make this game as adult as we can,” they probably said, and then just went off of the bad taste deep end. I am no prude... this doesn’t offend. It just seems desperate, like that one kid in the school yard who would do anything to be considered cool, but was really just pathetic.
Where the developers should have had their attention (rather than looking up rude words in the dictionary and giggling) was on more important stuff, like graphics and game dynamics, not to mention plot and player engagement. But that certainly wasn’t where the focus of the process was. Why improve the graphics when we can make it look like Travis is masturbating while he recharges his electrically powered sword? Why write a plot when we can introduce a bunch of lame snippets of expletive-ridden voice acting that actually make no sense, in terms of the plot and the language? Why try to engage the player when we can try impress him with our knowledge of off colour humour?
In short, it’s sad. It’s not annoying, or disappointing, or even frustrating... it’s just sad.
Maybe it’s cultural, but we don’t get how this character could appeal to anyone but the most juvenile of fans. It’s like sticking razor blades in candy - make the game appeal to an immature sense of humour, and then slap an 18 age restriction on it.
To be honest, using the Move controller with the game can be fairly fun, but it’s the kind of masochistic fun that ranks up there with picking scabs and cutting yourself.
In an attempt to be edgy - gritty, even - the developers produced a title that is pretty lame.
Sure, there will be a handful of people that enjoy No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise. They might even claim that the game is misunderstood. But the mindless, guided hack and slash of the title, combined with unlikeable characters and a failed attempt at being ultra-cool, added to lacklustre presentation and a plot so thin it couldn’t support a feather, plus, of course, the weird retro-chic presentation of certain game elements... none of these hide deeper meanings or even redemption for this title. It’s a poor game, plain and simple... it doesn’t even show any form of true originality. Play it if you must, but there are better games out there.
A disappointing first appearance of this franchise on an HD console, this gae leaves a lot to be desired.
Distributor: Ster Kinekor