NO MORE HEROES PARADISE

No More Heroes Paradise
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NO MORE HEROES PARADISE



Written by Chris Price
31 Tuesday 31st May 2011

The eponymous smoked-aviator sporting antihero of the previously Wii-exclusive No More Heroes series returns, in HD – and he’s ready to splash fountains of claret about the place, all in an effort to be numero uno, #1 top assassin. PS3 exclusive No More Heroes Paradise severs (quite literally) its ties with the family friendly Wii, turning the language blue and the screen red, while employing Playstation’s Move hardware to have you whirling around your living, jabbing your wand at the screen and jerking it rhythmically like some sexually frustrated graffiti artist cracking open a spray can.

Battles involve striking with your beam katana (read as: lightsaber) is separated into high and low strikes, blocks. Close quarter fighting can employ ‘beat’ attacks to stun your opponent, allowing you to perform a wrestling throw that Travis ‘remembers from his past career’as the game continues. Once sufficiently weakened, baddies can be dispatched on the ground, or executed during a death move sequence with directional on-screen prompts. Additionally, clashes of weapons lead to furious waggling to overpower said assailant.

While not using any of the precision abilities of the Move wand, attacks are responsive and fast, and there’s a definite weighting of strikes, thanks to some meaty sound effects and split second slowdowns that emphasise each landed blow. Playing using the traditional PS3 Sixaxis controller does invite comparison with the likes of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, right down to the overactive camera panning, but still provides an engaging (less exhausting) experience.

 

No More Heroes tests your endurance; but not only physically but mentally.  In between each boss battle, you’re forced to indulge in a series of purposefully menial jobs to make enough cash to buy the assassins contract. Santa Destroy is a dated PS1-era city ripe with repetitive textures. Luckily, you’ll spend the majority of the time trying to reign in Travis’ superbike; one of the most awkward transport devices in recent memory.

These bridging sections, though thoroughly dull, seem to last just long enough to heighten the anticipation for the next action sequence. Whether this is pure dumb luck, or a meticulously crafted structure is open to interpretation. Much like Shenmue’s forklift driving sections, NMHP rations it’s action. The surreal Deadly Premonition has shown us that given enough absurdity in content, development weakness can be overlooked in favour of engaging narrative. NMHP constantly surprises and innovates over the ten boss battles, to keep you at a distance but wanting more. Travis’ charismatic, arrogant, sexually frustrated ‘Otaku in tinted Aviators’ vocally spars with each of the assassins before assisting them to shuffle off their mortal coil, giving a sample of each of their personalities. From corrupt superheroes, to wannabe country singers, each character is weathered a noble, yet always tinged with a touch of sadness – a fine level to balance.

Its capsular gameplay will keep beckoning you back for 30 minute blasts of swordplay. Played with the Move controller, it’s every bit as quirky and fun as the Wii original, but in failing to take advantage of almost any of the PS3’s hardware capabilities is sorely missed opportunity, with the distinct whiff of a lazy platform port. In its third outing, NMH has developed very little from Suda51’s Wii original (aside from the violence, and some improved loading times), but still bears all the hallmarks that’s made Suda51 one of the most individual game producers in the industry at the moment. It’s hyperactive and frustrating - but also captivating, stylish and sleek. Just like Travis Touchdown.

No More Heroes Paradise is out now on PS3

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