A man stands before a large group of enemies out to do him harm, all carrying weapons of some sort. Our hero is wearing sunglasses, a leather jacket and a take-no-shit scowl on his lips. He pulls out his own weapon, a beam katana, a similar weapon to a lightsaber except with multiple "blades", and he prepares to fight.
As he starts to run at his attackers his mouth opens and he bellows:
"RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE SUNDAE!!"
Not your usual battle cry, eh? But nothing about this game is usual.
No More Heroes is the latest game by director Goichi Suda (known simply as Suda 51 to his rabid fanbase) and his Grasshopper Manufacture team. They’re behind some of the strangest games in recent memory, like Contact for the DS and Killer 7 for the Gamecube. Killer 7 is the only game I can remember ever out-bizarring me. Every part of it was strange, from the controls to the story to the enemies. Never mind the dialogue. It ended up being more of an interesting experiment than a good game.
But No More Heroes looks to be the most accessible of all, if you can call it that. Even so, Suda 51 says his biggest influence on this game was Jodorowsky’s El Topo.
In the game you play an anime and wrestling dork named Travis Touchdown. He wins a beam katana on Ebay and decides to become a hitman. On his first job he kills another hitman named Helter Skelter and is ranked #11 by a mysterious association that sets up death matches between the world’s top assassins. So now you try to ascend to the top of the list, for the money involved, and the kicks, of course.
What else is strange? Well, you use the bathroom to save the game. Your ride is an Akira bike that you use to get around town. You go to the video store (Beef Head) and rent wrestling videos to learn new moves. You can cuddle up with your cat on the couch and play with it. You use the Wii remote as a cell phone and have to hold it up to your ear. Points are handed out for dispatching enemies, and they look like huge pixels from an Atari 2600 game.
All this and of course killing hundreds of enemies in bloody (but no less silly) fashion. Oh, and it is really bloody. You’ll be lopping off heads and slicing bodies in half, and each slash will spill a ridiculous amount of the red stuff. For once we’re getting a more brutal version that the Japanese version… over there the blood will be black and filled with coins.
So to say I’m excited for this game would be a helluva understatement. We need people to try and make original games like this, and we especially need it on the Wii, which is otherwise a barren wasteland for third party games. Let’s hope it plays well and offers us something new.
For a glimpse at what it looks like in motion, check out the clip below.
No More Heroes hits North American stores February 2008. Is the world ready?