No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise PlayStation 3
Published by Konami
Developed by AQ Interactive
One of the more bizarre games to appear on the Nintendo Wii is No More Heroes. The game was released back in 2008 and the game is as impressive as it is strange. Perhaps just as strange is the fact that until now the game hasn't appeared on either of the other two main consoles and in fact the game's sequel has already appeared on the Wii. No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise is essentially the same game as the original No More Heroes, plus a few minor additions, which given the quality of the original game is actually a good thing.
Heroes' Paradise puts you in the shoes of the bizarrely named Travis Touchdown. Travis is portrayed as a typical down-and-out who happens to have a thing for Japanese anime and manga (essentially he's what would be considered an Otaku). After winning an online auction for a beam katana (kind of a funky looking lightsaber) he tries his best to impress a mysterious woman called Sylvia Christel. To do this he'll have to rise to the top of the Santa Destroy assassins list with a whole top ten of murderers in the way of Travis and top spot.
You won't simply go from assassination to assassination in Heroes' Paradise. In an odd twist, Travis has to pay a fee before he's given the details of his next opponent and he'll need to do a variety of odd jobs in order to raise the money. These jobs range from collecting coconuts and picking up trash to exterminating scorpions and killing specific people. Travis gets to pop to the gym for exercise and there are other locations in Santa Destroy that he can visit on his rather bizarre motorcycle. At first glance you may think that the game is trying to offer a Grand Theft Auto style experience (particularly when you can drive around Santa Destroy and carry out jobs to earn money), but on the whole the game is a very different experience.
The combat in the game feels as bizarre here as it does in the Wii version of the game. Combat isn't just a matter of hack and slash. You have to move the controller (or analogue sticks) in a particular direction to perform finishing moves and there are special moves that can be performed too. You can either play the game with the PlayStation Move or DualShock controller. Whilst the PlayStation Move controller works fairly well I don't think it adds anything to the experience and I felt much comfortable with the DualShock controller.
The combat in Heroes' Paradise is undoubtedly strange and to a large extent it's pretty difficult to put the nature of it into words. The quality of the combat is decent but the challenge outside of the boss battles comes from having to deal with multiple enemies rather than difficult ones. It's only when you're fighting the boss battles that you really encounter a real challenge and it's only in these battles that you'll make effective use of all of the nuances of the game's battle mechanics. Whilst the boss fights are undoubtedly the highlight of the game and are full of variety the other enemies that you'll have to wade through to get to them are really lacking in variety. Facing hordes of clones makes the game feel very repetitive at times but thankfully the quality of the boss fights manages to make up for this disappointment.
Heroes' Paradise is mostly the same experience that can be found on the Wii version of No More Heroes. Two of the most notable additions are the inclusions of a handful of bosses from the sequel to No More Heroes and a Score Attack mode where you'll get to take on the bosses from the main game again should you feel like it. These aren't major additions and certainly not worth paying for the game again, if you already own the Wii version, but it's a pleasing bonus for those who have had to wait to play the game.
There can be no denying that Heroes' Paradise looks sharper than the original No More Heroes on the Wii. To a certain extent that's probably down to the move from SD to HD but it's clear that the developers have certainly made improvements to make it look noticeably better. However, it's not the leap in graphical quality that you might expect. Santa Destroy still looks like a mostly deserted place and you'll only see a few souls walking the street (no doubt a legacy of the Wii hardware limitations). Unlike the Wii version of No More Heroes, Heroes' Paradise offers the uncut version of the game and as a result it has more gore than the version which appeared on Nintendo's console. The game suffers from some minor screen tearing in addition to a few graphical glitches. Load times are short but you'll encounter loading screens a little too often.
Support for deaf gamers is decent but could have been better. The game does offer subtitles although they are disabled by default. The game's subtitles don't have any character names or portraits placed alongside them and it's not always crystal clear who is speaking. Some speech in the game isn't subtitled but whilst this is disappointing it's not speech that's of major importance. The game makes good use of visual symbols to display information and deaf gamers will always be aware of how to perform the various finishing moves in the game because of this. Mission objectives are shown in text so you're always aware of what needs to be done in the game.
No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise is a fine addition to the PlayStation 3 games catalogue and if you didn't experience the game the first time around on the Wii it's certainly a game you'd do well to consider, particularly if you like the unusual experiences that a game from Suda 51 usually provides. If you have already played through No More Heroes before however there's not much here to warrant a second purchase. Heroes' Paradise is about bringing the game to a new audience and PlayStation 3 gamers will certainly appreciate having a game of this quality on their system.