Originally landing on the Wii in early 2008, No More Heroes was met with critical acclaim and has since become something of a cult hit for punk rock game visionary Suda 51 and his studio, Grasshopper Manufacture. The game has since spawned a sequel, a first for the studio, in 2010’s Desperate Struggle. Now there’s talk of a mobile game in the works, but first, Konami will be bringing Travis Touchdown to the PS3 later this summer with Heroes’ Paradise.
While I managed to get my hands on the game last month at E3, playing games in overcrowded rooms for hours on end doesn’t always make for ideal conditions. Now having played the demo in the comfort of my home today, I have some concerns for the impeding PlayStation 3 release of Grasshopper Manufacture’s celebrated Wii title.
If you’re familiar with the original game, merely being the game’s opening and Death Metal boss fight seen in the original No More Heroes, the demo won’t provide much new for you to experience. While the full game sports a variety of added features such as five boss fights from Desperate Struggle, new side missions, and a boss rush mode, you’ll just have to settle for new controls and high definition graphics.
Amidst a sea of gorgeous graphical powerhouses, No More Heroes certainly wasn’t the prettiest game on the market back in 2008 – even for a Wii game. If you’ve been hoping for a release on the high-definition consoles, developer feelplus and AQ Interactive have remedied this by improving the graphical quality considerably for the PlayStation 3 release.
Also new to Heroes’ Paradise are Dual-Shock and PlayStation Move controls. Unfortunately, neither set up feels quite as comfortable as the Wii remote and Nunchuck setup — at least to me. While the PlayStation Move will do little to persuade you if you weren’t a fan of the occasional waggle in the original, you very well may dig the new gamepad set up.
When attacking enemies with his beam-katana Travis has the ability to perform a finishing move that eviscerates his target, creating an incredibly gory fountain of blood. In the Wii original this was controlled by a simple directional swipe of the Wii remote. This has been replaced by a click down on the R3 button and a directional movement of the right analog stick. I found it uncomfortable to say the least.
Something else I found disappointing about playing with a Dual-Shock was the lack of a speaker on the controller. Before boss fights the head of the United Assassins Association, Sylvia Christel, calls Travis by phone. During these short sequences the French fox delivers hilarious monologues to both prepare Travis and amp the player up before the coming battle.
In the Wii original players would hold their controller up to their ears like a phone for what was something of an immersive, smile-inducing moment as you attempted to listen to the French woman’s crazed ramblings through the Wii remote’s tinny speaker. While new players won’t be missing anything, hearing it through a high-quality sound system just wasn’t quite as magical.
By the time I was starting to get used to the controls the demo was over. It’s unfortunate too because No More Heroes is a game that only gets better the further you get into it. Perhaps Konami is painfully aware of the title’s almost universally panned open-world and only wanted to give players a taste of the game’s most enjoyable aspects – the crazy narrative and awesome combat.
Regardless of any control issues the game may have, at its core Heroes’ Paradise is still the same fantastic game it’s always been. If you’ve yet to try the series out, now is your chance. The graphical updates, added features and budget price I’m already sold on the title and will be eagerly awaiting it’s launch on August 16th.