In a surprise shadow drop during the Nintendo Direct Mini last week, Nintendo and Marvelous have released No More Heroes, the ultra-violent and sexy Wii game with a hard “M” for mature rating, on the Switch. Players take control of the original all-American otaku assassin, Travis Touchdown, as he battles his way through the assassins of Santa Destroy in a quest to be the best there is.
No More Heroes is a franchise that always intrigued me when it originally launched on the Wii back in 2007, but for whatever reason I missed out on it and its sequel. Nintendo and Suda51 have been hyping up No More Heroes 3 for the Switch for over a year now and I thought I would never get to play the series in its entirety. Thankfully that all changed and all is right in my world.
The game looks better than it did when it was on Wii, but it’s very much still a Wii game. There’s only so much polish and shine that can make it look better and the graphics have certainly not aged well. That being said, due to the art style of the game, No More Heroes has aged a bit more gracefully than other titles of its era.
Gameplay wise, the game is fantastic on the Switch. Faithful to its motion controlled grandfather console, the game offers motion control options via the Joy-Con controllers. The motion control inputs aren’t always perfect, however and I found myself sticking to button commands instead where possible. Thankfully, if you’d rather just use your Switch Pro Controller that works great and it was my preferred way to play the game.
In handheld mode the game runs just fine as well with no frame rate drops or hit to the graphics. There are quite a few quick time button inputs that come up during battle which are a little difficult to pull off when in handheld mode due to the Joy-Con’s short joysticks. Even still the game is perfectly suited for handheld and on the go play. Its side missions and mini games are great when you have a quick 30 minute lunch break and want to wrap up a few things.
Hooked up to my TV the game looks and play perfectly. The load times are much faster than the Wii version as well whether docked or in handheld.
The soundtrack, or lack thereof, can be a little jarring at times and too simple compared to what’s going on around you on the screen. All of the enemies also seem to share the same death scream, which got pretty annoying after the first few. The voice acting during cutscenes, however, still holds up quite nicely.
No More Heroes, aside from its graphics, looks like a perfect snapshot of alternative culture in the mid 2000s. All the angst and punk rock is here and on full display through its leading man. Even though I never played it when it originally released the game gave me a kind of nostalgia for my high school days, which would’ve been the time it initially released in the West.
The game design is also a relic of the past as well. There are some grind heavy moments when you will have to repeat side jobs or missions in order to acquire enough money to pay for the next story fight. No More Heroes forces you to play its mini games to get to the next part of the story and not all of these are created equal. A lot of these jobs are just flat out boring. This feels like artificial padding to make the game longer, which is the same criticism the game faced back on the Wii. It’s in no way unplayable but it does force the player to lose their pace.
The story is a Frankenstein creation that takes elements of spaghetti westerns, anime, and American comic books and jumbled them all together with the result being one strange concoction. As long as you don’t think too hard it works but it may be a lot to take in for newer audiences in 2020.
No More Heroes was one of the few M-rated games on the Wii, which made it a novelty. But now that it’s available on the Switch it stands shoulder to shoulder with quite a few similarly rated titles that are heavily popular on the console. Despite that, this game still deserves to be played for how over the top its action and gameplay are.
Despite its few flaws it’s a great experience and one that hack-n-slash fans shouldn’t miss out on. Santa Destroy looks a little better than you remember it, Travis is still as cringe-worthy as he was in 2007, and this time you can play with your Pro Controller so you won’t break your wrist shaking your WiiMote every time you need to charge your beam katana.
No More Heroes Review
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 7/107/10
Final Thoughts: GOOD
Suda51’s original vision is on full display here in No More Heroes. The Switch port is now the best way to play the classic title from the Wii era. It’s not for everyone but fans of superheroes and anime will undoubtedly find joy here.