Original and made 100% for the PlayStation 3; No, but No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise does offer plenty to gamers who tripped along to Suda 51’s other adventures from Killer7 to Shadows of the Damned. The original adventure seen in No More Heroes 2 is here along with some decent Move support and a handful of gameplay tweaks but what else? Why should gamers looking for this unique style of gameplay venture outside of Shadows of the Damned (which was designed for PS3)? Let’s take a look.
Gameplay – Win a beam katana online, become an assassin, kill the top 10 assassins to become #1. Yup, this is what Travis Touchdown is firing up his hog to set out and accomplish in a third-person hack-n-slash adventure that’s earned its Mature rating. An update to No More Heroes 2 released on Wii, Heroes Paradise brings the gameplay of the original to PS3 gamers and will see fans spending hours slicking of heads, watch blood flow, body parts fly and zaniness ensue. The action is way over the top, like a gory movie that moves beyond violent to humorous and over the top, just like Suda 51 wants. Collecting cards, power ups and moving through levels feels like an old-school arcade game at times. It’s fun … until gamers have to take on boring side-missions. Boring compared to missions which cumulate in boss battles where tactics are needed and there are no pushovers from 10 on down. So third-person running around while hacking and slashing with Travis’ katana in either traditional controller mode (boring) or with Move (sweet!). An added bonus are the online leader boards where gamers can rack up the highest score possible and brag to their friends, if they have any.
Graphics – Cel-shaded and pretty, an upgrade from the days on the Wii. The looks don’t seem to push the PS3 too much when compared to other cel-shaded titles but it looks good and very vivid. Body parts fly and blood flows in ways that can only be described as over the top and seen in crazy Japanese movies such as Robo Geisha or Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (the humor, bloodletting is similar) and it works. The games characters look great and so unique from moves to weapons and outfits while the levels and cloned henchmen are just blah and bland. The game suffers at times with glitches that are out of place but overall it perfectly shows off the crazy attacks and effects needed.
Sound – Some very familiar anime vets can be heard voicing all the assassins and they deliver perfect over the top performances that fit, they just fit the zaniness. The music keeps the pace moving and if fun while the effects at times will remind gamers of being stuck in a pinball machine or the 8-bit era of gaming with re-used pieces. The best sound is most def that which comes from Travis and his fellow assassin conversations, hands down.
Design – Perfectly flawed. Using the Move feels great and while it take a bit of getting used too it’s the only way to play to feel the head-lopping-off joy that is No More Heroes. Putting in side-missions to earn money feels like going to work to make money to buy the game to enjoy at home … why? Why make gamers do RPG-wanna-be side-missions instead of letting them just get to it? Questionable design that folks did wonder about on the Wii, but not much of a change here even with that feedback.
Miscellaneous – Konami taking the time to bring this puppy up to date and release on the PS3 is great to see and there are a few other titles from Wii that need the same treatment. They are mature, third-party developed games and I’ll leave it at that, you fill in the games.
Overall gamers looking for some crazy, almost arcade feeling action that is way over the top in violence, style and fun, go play No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise. It’s not a huge revamp from the original but for gamers yet to experience Travis Touchdown’s adventure it’s a hell of a fun ride. With so many games putting realism front and center it’s a joy to take a humorous, bloody trip with Suda 51’s gory little creation.