Artificial Continuum

Friday, January 29, 2010
Hey everyone. So I'm being told that I haven't posted in, oh, what is it now? 2 months? Maybe even 3? We may never know. However, I recently bought a copy of No More Heroes Desperate Struggle for Wii, and damn, I can't stop playing it.

Oh No More Heroes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Unlike in the last installment, this game actually has a well thought out story. You are Travis Touchdown, the assassin who walked away from a huge tournament of assassins 2 years ago, because you grew tired of the spectacle. Well 2 years later you're back, and literally EVERYONE wants a piece of you, the "Crownless King". As Travis begins his trek back up to the top of the ranking matches, he is instantly hit with the murder of one of his dear friends, Bishop. This sends the disturbed Travis into a frenzy, killing endlessly until not a single person is alive to stand up to him.

The story starts out very interesting, but then floats away as you fight the other ranked opponents. Sure, every now and then it's fine to ignore the story and just enjoy the action, but the problem persists when you realize that the story doesn't actually develop until the very last hour or so of the game. This isn't a big issue, however, as the game isn't looking to wow you with an epic story of betrayal or some kind of Shakesperean story of love, lust and revenge. No, this is your basic tale of guy gets murdered, friend seeks revenge, friend ends up falling in love, manages to get said revenge, and totally gets with the hot chick. Basic story, but it is oh so delicious.

Suda 51 and Grasshoper Studio are both very famous for making games that have a focus on presentation, and boy, does it ever show. The game is simply beautiful, from the varied arenas that you fight in, right down to the very last panty shot, this game has a ton of detail. The art style was definitely a good choice, making sure that the Wii's struggle against HD console's didn't show one bit during the entire game, making sure that the style immersed you and never let go. The idea here was definitely to wow you with CG and the weird and wacky characters in the game. Let's just say they handled it, well, perfectly.

From the blood spurting out of the last guy you maimed, down to the stadiums and flowery fields you fought in, this game didn't skip a beat. The world is wonderful, providing new areas and never reusing an old motif or the like. The only issue that Suda and Grasshoper had was that the enemies (not including bosses, mind) mostly looked the same. There wasn't a whole lot of variety in them, and they all pretty much shouted the same lines as they were being split in half. It was never THAT bad, but seeing the same opponent get cut in half twice and having them both shout the same things as they perish? That tends to make me think, are all people wielding crowbars like that?

The smoking gun of the game, the gameplay. Suda 51 and Grasshoper did a good job of going back and fixing what didn't work for the first game, adding in new moves, making seemless gestures between strikes and slashes, and even allowing you to switch targets. The Gameplay has certainly been fixed, but has it really improved? In the grand scheme of things, no. You are still hacking and slashing the same guys as the last game; this time, however, you're a little faster with the dodging and button mashing. And although the fights themselves aren't particularly clunky or obnoxious, the fact that Suda had to put in 200 of them in one area does tend to make the ingenuity scale take a massive nose dive.

That's not to say that all fights are tedious, ooooooooh no. Let's not forget about the greatest point of the game, the Boss fights. Damn. I can't really say anything because they were so awesome! There wasn't a single battle I didn't like, and since there were something like 14+ of them, Suda did an extremely kick ass job of keeping them all different in their own way. No two bosses were alike, and every boss required a different strategy. Some bosses you had to take cover and take your time with, others you had to strangle out otherwise they would destory you in a matter of seconds. Either way, there wasn't a single bit of monotiny between these fights. Nice job, Suda 51.

For a non-mainstream game, this one deserves it's props. Many times better than it's predecessor and definitely a contender for Wii's game of the year. It's got a lot to live up to, going against Mario Galaxy 2, Other M, and even a possible Zelda title. But I sincerely hope that NMHDS can live up to the hype. If you've got some extra cash, go get it, because this game is too damn good to put down.



Anonymous said...

Very true, but i'd metntion the way they raped shinobu's ability to jump in game. Other than that, AWESOME.

Blog Archive