[Review] No More Heroes – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Publisher: Marvelous
  • Release Date: 28/10/2020
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by Marvelous

Video Review

Introducing: No More Heroes Switch Review

What happens when a guy with a taste for blood and a Laser Katana seeks to become the top-ranked assassin in America?  No More Heroes happens.  Put on your slick jacket, zip up your fly, and press A to activate your LED Light-looking weapon as you don the not-so-heroic role of Travis Touchdown on his journey through and up the ranks!  Remember to always Trust your Force, and run, don’t walk, to the Garden of Madness!

You’re A Joke! [Slicing and Screaming]

He doesn’t get mad. He gets sadistic…

No More Heroes’ story takes place within the, rather barren, city of Santa Destroy where several ranked Assassins live, waiting for assassins of lower ranks to challenge them.  Luckily, they’ll all get their day in the spotlight when Travis rolls into town.  Travis Touchdown, our main character, is striving to be the top-ranked assassin after realizing he’s flat broke, and a woman at a bar talks him into going to the top.  From there, Travis hopped on his complicated motorbike, grabbed his Laser Katana, and set off for the top 10 assassins of America.

But before you can fight each of the 10 baddies, you have to earn enough money to participate, according to the Assassins Association.  How do you go about this?  Cleaning up garbage, wiping graffiti from building walls, filling cars with gas, cutting lawns, but that’s not all.  After completing any of these jobs for the first time, you’ll get to do some…riskier tasks that pay about the same for some reason.  After you earn enough with your blue and red collar jobs, you pay the fee at the ATM and meet the next Ranked Assassin at their specified battle-place.

You won’t learn much about Travis, or the overarching story, from each individual, Ranked fight except the final.  The only other important points in the story are delivered via intro video that really feels like it got more effort than the story throughout the rest of the game.  You never learn much about where Travis came from, the reason for the Assassins Association, or how any of these actual crazy people were ranked.  This was an interesting premise, an interesting world, that was really struck down in favour of making everything look as “cool” as possible and it shows. 

She Smelled Gooood…

Vroom! Vroom!

The gameplay of No More Heroes is fairly simple.  You have high and low katana slices, which will open up these quick-time events where you can decapitate your enemies, and high and low physical attacks, which activate these other quicktime events where you wrestle your enemies to the ground.  All around, it creates a fairly unique battle system that doesn’t get boring too quick, and wasn’t overstretched to include too many other mechanics. 

A great deal of your time with No More Heroes will be spent trying to earn money for each ranked fight.  A chore-I mean-new job will open up after each ranked fight, completing that will open up 2 assassination missions in which you get to go FULL homicidal maniac and slice some dudes up.  After repeating either set of jobs several times, you’ll have enough to buy the next ranked assassin’s time and fight them for their spot on the top 10.  Do this 10 times and you’ll finally make it to your final fight.

The focus of the game is definitely slicing and dicing dudes while doing its best to stick to a somewhat coherent story.  Unfortunately, in the service of making something LOOK cool, the story definitely took a hit.  While the gameplay and story battle it out for who should be the highlight of this game, No More Heroes ends up ditching both for nothing really.  It created an interesting world, but making everything look cool took away from the depth of that world.  It makes me hopeful for the sequel which hopefully didn’t deliver any important plot points via FRICKIN’ FAST-FORWARD! [still kind of salty about that]

Final Thoughts

I care a little…

No More Heroes is definitely a Suda51 game.  Something fairly solid from beginning to end that lets the gameplay eventually push the story out of the way to strike a pose, get a few comments about how cool it looks, then continue being normal.  This can be pretty annoying when you just want to understand the world which created these several Assassins.  There were many interesting characters that were killed off without us knowing close to anything about them that would probably have had some interesting story arcs!  At least the sequel came out at the same time so hopefully we can learn a little more about the world No More Heroes opened up for us.

Trust your Force, everyone.

Pros:

  • Fun Core Combat mechanics
  • Compelling Boss Characters
  • Crass humor we should all be surprised was released on the Wii
  • Upgradable Sword

Cons:

  • “Style over substance” design
  • Story details delivered via unintelligible fast forward
  • Sylvia’s constant interruptions

Verdict

No More Heroes is a fine game but it’s “Style over Substance” design makes it hard to follow at times.


Why not read our review of the sequel?

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