No More Heroes, when it was originally released on the Nintendo Wii way back in 2008, was seen as a beacon of light on the console which seemed set firmly in family territory before that point. It was aimed at the hardcore gamer and in most cases it delivered. It was odd that a game of this type wasn’t released on the HD consoles, but three years later and a year after Japan, we finally get a High Definition port of the original. But does it live up to legacy?
The game has you playing as Travis Touchdown - a typical otaku who lives in a motel room decorated by professional wrestling posters and anime collectibles living in near poverty because of this. After winning a beam katana online, he runs out of money and ends up meeting Sylvia Christel who offers a job to kill a drifter called Helter Skelter. This earns him the rank of 11th in the United Assassins Association and, should Travis stop killing, other assassin’s looking to take his spot will come after him. So comes a game of hacking and slashing in order to reach the top.
For the most part, the game is exactly as it was on the Wii. The story, the missions, the side-jobs, everything is the same right down to the actual gameplay. The game can now be played on either a PS3 control pad or, if you happen to have a PlayStation Move, you can also do it exactly the same as the Wii. Using the PlayStation Move, the shaking of the Move controller and slashing are done with motion controls with the remaining actions left down to the buttons.
So what changes are actually present in this version of the game? Well, obviously we have the game in HD, and while in places it does look better, there are times where it still obviously looks like a Wii game with low-resolution textures. The game does look good overall and does retain its unique style, but there is nothing in the graphics department that will blow you away. The game is now completely uncensored compared to the Wii version, with chopped heads and blood aplenty. Whether you think this is an improvement is down to personal opinion, but for me I preferred the black squares approach, which to my mind fits the style of the game.
There are a handful of other changes, such as the “Very Sweet Mode” which has the female characters wearing more revealing clothes once the game is completed, the ability to warp to part-time jobs and assassin missions once any of them have been beaten once, along with a retry option to try these missions again. Five new additional part-time jobs are also added and the player can also fight five extra bosses from No More Heroes 2 during certain points of the game. Finally, there is also a “Score Attack” mode that will let players fight all fifteen bosses to get high scores.
To be honest, a lot of these changes are quite superficial - If you have already played through No More Heroes on the Wii, there is very little here that will make you want to buy the game again. The HD graphics are nice, but to buy a game a second time solely for its visuals is hardly a compelling reason to shell out, while the additions are only good if you want to play through the entire game all over again.
On the other hand, if you have never sampled No More Heroes, this is the definitive version to get. The lack of Japanese voices is an oversight, but considering the package it is still an extremely fun game. While it does contain the issues apparent in the original game, there have been some changes implemented to at least help soften the blow that these issues create. The PlayStation Move additions are not going to make this the defining game for the peripheral, but at least it will give you an excuse to dust it off.