No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise [Available on PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii]
ESRB Rating: M
Developer: Feel Plus/Grasshopper Manufacture
Release Date: August 16, 2011
PSN: Downloadable Content
PlayStation Move Compatible
Parent Talk: No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise is inundated with explicit violence, blood, profanity. NMH has a crude, comedic, over-the-top story and bizarre characters, making it much different than the typical violent action game. This game is not suitable for children.
Plays Like: A super-violent, anime-style version of Grand Theft Auto.
Review Basis: Completed the game on the “Mild/Normal” difficulty setting, also finished the original NMH releases on Wii.
No More Heroes was, and still is, an action gem for Nintendo Wii. Its brilliant fourth-wall-shattering story and over-the-top ultra violence made it a cult classic. Sadly, Nintendo fans can no longer claim exclusivity to Suda 51’s product. This PlayStation 3 remake finally allows Sony fans to enjoy Travis Touchdown’s exploits. But are you better off sticking with the Wii original?
An HD overhaul. No More Heroes is one of Wii’s great, early action titles, but far from visually impressive, even for Wii. The PS3 version brings a much-needed makeover. Lighting and effects are improved, and Travis’ model is more detailed. The streets are active with more NPCs and textures are improved.
+ The complete, original adventure on PS3! If you haven’t played No More Heroes, do check out our review here for story and gameplay details.
+ Trophy support. Wii unfortunately doesn’t support achievements of any kind, so the PS3 version may entice newcomers.
+ PlayStation Move and Dual Shock support. Heroes’ Paradise welcomes both formats, successfully bringing the original motion and standard control to the table. The Move integration functions well and mostly replicates the Wii experience. There’s little more satisfying than chopping down hordes of bad guys. The standard controls work too and offer a suitable alternative for those who care not for motion control.
+ Replay cutscenes and boss battles. The ability to revisit any boss fight makes collecting trophies easier too.
+ New Score Attack mode and online leaderboards. Score Attack is a fun distraction from the main game, though hardly essential to the game.
+ New boss battles. In addition to the original NMH villain cast, Heroes’ Paradise brings several bosses from NMH2, including Matt Helms and Alice Twilight.
+ Replay missions immediately if you fail. In No More Heroes, you had to exit the mission and re-select it. This makes the process less tedious.
+ A value pricepoint of $40.
+ Fantastic voice work and music. The soundtrack is the definition of pulse-pounding.
+ New Game Plus motivates you more to replay the game.
+ An excellent, over-the-top, gratuitous story. It pays homage to anime and cult films breaking the fourth wall at every opportunity. The insane characters and funny dialog make it one of the most unique action games this generation. Travis Touchdown is a hard character to sympathize for, but he’s certainly memorable.
– Repetitious enemy cries. The few voice clips said are funny, but not after a hundred times.
– The side jobs quickly become tedious and slow down an otherwise fun and fast-paced game.
– You can’t quick jump to a location, except when you retry a mission.
– The new bosses face you immediately after the story mission boss fights. This eliminates any tension leading up to the encounter.
– Santa Destroy now has more NPCs roaming the streets, but they’re basically all the same characters. The PS3 is plenty more capable than this, yet Grasshopper chose not to exploit that.
– The PlayStation Move controller requires constant calibration and is not much better than the Wii remote. It also lacks a speaker, so the phone call scenes lose their gimmick.
– Driving is awkward and sometimes broken. Several times my bike got stuck on something in the environment. Collision detection is spotty.
– Horrible screen tearing and other visual problems. The presentation is significantly upgraded, but a remake should never be buggier than the original. Screen tearing persists throughout the game and slowdown plagues the combat and tense cutscenes. This remake lacks polish and should have spent more time in development. Again, the PS3 is a perfectly capable system, so these problems shouldn’t exist. Hopefully Grasshopper will release a patch soon.
Despite crippling technical problems, No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise is a great action title worth experiencing. The Wii version is the cheaper alternative, but the PS3 version boasts trophy support, standard controller options, and extra content. Pick whichever suits your interests more.