First look: No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise.

So, here is my first look, first impression, first try etc. of No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise demo for the PS3. It’s a port of the original No More Heroes on the Wii which came out in 2008.

I get the impression that I’m not quite….the target audience for this game. What makes me think this? Well …let’s see.

The game starts with the calibration screen – where it asks you to point and press the calibrate button. Point at what? The screen or the camera? It neglects to say, so I point it at the camera.

After some…deliberately vague and ‘edgy’ (to some 15 year old boys I’m suure) opening movie…thing. You’re some guy, who wants to shag girls and rides a stupid looking bike brandishing a….florescent light bulb as far as I can tell. And gratuitous swearing, ‘cause sure, that’s ‘edgy’ too right?

First looks graphics wise and this, to use gratuitous naughty words just like Travis, looks like shit. It’s blocky, repetitive, and dull environments wouldn’t even look impressive on a Wii – it mostly looks lazy. Or is it for some other reason? We’ll get to that. It screen tears like you wouldn’t believe, and screen tearing is usually something I don’t notice too much, so it ends up being pretty jarring.

The combat, which is explained to me through a series of tutorials that really go on for far too long, seems to think people are going to care about all this complicated high aim and low aim stuff. The controls you really need to know? T (trigger button) and the move button, both on the move controller. With these two buttons you can stun and attack, and if the game had left it at that – it wouldn’t have been so bad. But it adds layers and layers of needless complication that you never really need to use, or would need to use (good god, I’m not actually going to buy this game, I have sense) and just makes the tutorial outstay its welcome. One noteworthy element that sticks out for sheer ‘game designed for or by moronic teenagers’ is that to recharge your fluorescent light bulb you need to flail the motion controller like your giving someone a hand job. Nice, really! You must feel very clever, game developers.

The biggest irritation with this game, is that it is ‘retro’ styled. Remember when I mentioned that the graphics were crap? Maybe that’s some strange throw back to older games. Making the ridiculously linear room, after room, after room of the same god-damn black-suited enemies is a throwback too? Who knows? To me, it makes the game look crap and lazy.

The other element of ‘retro’ styling is that the games icons are retro pixel art, ‘cause that’s….cool right? Right? No I didn’t think so either… This ‘retro’ styling extends so far as to make the music be one repeating chip tune esque thing that never stops, and it grates.

So, after killing a whole load of identical black-suited men in blocky rooms with this irritating tune over it we get to an end stage boss fight. Some guy covered in tattoos and muscles that are awfully rendered, which I’m sure is supposed to be ‘stylised’ but egh. He pulls out another silly weapon that looks like a penis extension as much as Travis’ florescent light bulb thing is and we get to fighting. Aaaaand it’s just as repetitive, but takes longer because the guy has a silly length health bar, and all throughout it Travis is talking over the top repeating a whole bunch of crap that I’m sure is supposed to make his character more fleshed out or interesting or something, but if the game wants me to care so much don’t have him muttering over a fight I’m trying to concentrate on.

And the section ends, with some….woman leaning over taking photos of the tattooed guy’s dead body so you can ogle her butt for a whole 5 minutes or something. The ending message we’re left with ‘If I kill all these guys you’ll sleep with me right?’ No really, he actually says this basically word for word.

Unfortunately, this being a port of a game released a while ago that got, for some reason, really good reviews. Is it really people going ‘ohh, bloody edgy game with swearing on a Wii?’ ‘Cause that’s lame. There are now bucket loads of games with ‘retro’ styling now to cash into the, for some reason, now popular trend. Colour me unimpressed (and hey, might as well go with dismayed). People who buy this cheap crap because it ticks the ‘retro’ game box are to blame for the unending slew of this stuff.

So, to end! One word for the ‘too long and rant-y, didn’t read’ crowd: Stupid.

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