No More Heroes is a wankfest for gamers. There, I said it – what else do you expect from a keyboard warrior with a name like Vulgar? But why open with such crass when this is a family show?
Well, Travis Touchdown, the protagonist of the game, is sukebe; a pervert who collects anime figures, obsessed with wrestling and collects luchador masks as well as retro tees, and his recently rented collection of ‘questionable material’ is overdue.
That sounds like a stereotype, but Travis is far cooler than that: he’s an assassin, and a decent one too. Originally a Nintendo Wii exclusive – which is a shock in itself, No More Heroes is finally available on the Switch, courtesy of the marvellous people at, well, Marvelous.
No More Heroes Switch Review
The brainchild of gaming auteur Suda51 (also wrestling obsessed), he was also responsible for the likes of Killer7 and Lollipop Chainsaw. Suda51, a.k.a. Goichi Suda, is one of the few people in the industry known by name alone – coincidentally, they often tend to be Japanese developers…
Arguably a passion project of everything a hairy-palmed teenager would like; motorbikes, boobs, gaming, boobs, wrestling and boobs, the plot in No More Heroes revolves around Travis climbing the ranks of the world’s top killers. His motivation? To hook up with the femme fatale of the story, Sylvia.
He sports a Teddy Boy fashion sense, but donned in some wicked t-shirt designs, a cutting sense of humour and more importantly, he wields a beam katana (no similarity to any other franchise set in the stars, lawyers). Combat is simplicity in itself as you can perform energy-based attacks with a mix of combos and charged moves, as well as stun attacks.
Getting up close and personal in these third-person battles with henchmen feature many QTE where you will perform a finishing move which has your opponent explode in a confetti of coins reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, or you might pull off a suplex too, complimenting the wrestling fascination.
You Ain’t The Boss Of Me
The ‘main’ missions in the game are the assassinations on the top ten, and that is built around seemingly endless corridors, killing all the lesser enemies to unlock the next area. It’s incredibly repetitive, and the music more so. It does slightly push you over the edge.
No More Heroes‘ level design is pretty poor, and it’s not that distant from a PS2 game, but it’s the sheer variety, wit and absurdity of it all that makes it so enjoyable. While the primary levels are mostly the same throughout, I never tired of the button mashing and exploding blood pool of coins after splitting a suited villain in half.
Before reaching the boss of each level, you’ll get the opportunity to save the game; a process where Travis takes his place on the throne to have a dump, before moving on. Hence the vulgarity at the start of this review: if dicks, farts and boobies makes you laugh, you’ll enjoy No More Heroes.
Each boss feels quite epic in the build-up chat before the fight begins and it feels like an accomplishment to defeat them in a gruesome execution, moderately rewarded with Sylvia showing up and flashing some thigh. But the assassination game is a contradiction: you have to pay for the assassination.
Dollar Dollar Bill, Yo
No More Heroes isn’t a simple ten stage slash-fest, and then it’s over. To claim a life and climb the ranks, you have to pay a fee, and that means earning money. You’ll do random side quests such as collecting and selling coconuts to make enough to secure your place in the claret palace.
Jobs are just part of the filler, as is getting around town on your wannabe Akira motorbike. It’s not a bad bike – quite the opposite, but driving around town is a little like Deadly Premonition 2 on a skateboard, and there’s only so many people that can tolerate that, eh Zach?
Between side quests and assassination attempts, Travis can lollop around in his apartment watching clips from cutscenes unlocked, choose from an array of flamboyant apparel from his wardrobe and more. There’s a lot of in-jokes and pop culture references that I was mostly wiping the drool off my chops the more and more I played.
No More Heroes is most definitely a quirky title though, and there’s not much else like it. While the humour and insanity are on par with Japanese comedy, it’s entirely relatable for Western audiences. The writing is brilliant, but the acting is a little on the hammy side for a lot of characters, but it feels appropriate, given the content.
Not Everything Is A Remaster
Watching the opening cutscenes looked quite choppy, and that’s because it was lifted from the original and not much one can do to revamp it. A bit like those FMVs from the likes of Command & Conquer (ask your nan).
I wasn’t fussed on the visuals as was happy to be playing this on the Switch, so imagine my surprise when the visuals have been fitted with super sharp HD visuals. Sure, it’s not cutting edge, but No More Heroes looks nice on the Switch and is super smooth to play.
Ignoring Nintendo exclusives like Mario and Animal Crossing, people don’t buy the Switch for the graphics, and No More Heroes shows its age in presentation, but not so much with gameplay – it’s just so enjoyable, even if a little moronic doing the same thing again and again.
Though I picked up No More Heroes for the Wii, I only played it briefly as it was a bit of a ballache to swap out consoles or the time. This Switch version works perfectly in both docked and handheld – my experience was predominantly the latter and was super fun.
No More Heroes
If you missed No More Heroes the first time, or even if you already own it, check it out on the Switch. Sleazy, repetitive, quirky, nuts, but mostly Marvelous, which is quite fitting.
- Incredibly enjoyable 'in on the joke' gameplay.
- Fantastic characters - notably the bosses.
- Mad as a sack of ferrets (pro).
- If you're motivated by visuals, this shows its age.