No More Heroes

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No More Heroes
Nmhbox.jpg
Developer Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher Marvelous Entertainment
Rising Star Games (PAL)
Ubisoft (US)
Director Goichi Suda
Writer Goichi Suda
Producer Yoshiro Kimura
Artist Yusuke Kozaki
Composer Masafumi Takada
Jun Fukuda
Platform Nintendo Wii
Release date JP December 6, 2007
US January 22, 2008
EU March 14, 2008
AU June 20, 2008
Genre Action
Rating CERO: D
ESRB: M
PEGI: 16+


No More Heroes is an action game originally designed for the Nintendo Wii, written and directed by Goichi Suda and developed by Grasshopper Manufacture. It was released in 2007 (2008 overseas) and is the first game in the No More Heroes series.

Gameplay[edit]

No More Heroes's most prominent gameplay is "hack and slash" action using a beam katana in which the player character Travis Touchdown does battle with enemies and bosses. The combat is based around the use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck; the nunchuck is mostly used for movement while the Wii remote is used for attacks. Almost all attacks (which are divided between strong sword attacks and weak punch attacks) are done using the buttons on the remote; motion controls are only used for wrestling moves which are executed at the end of combos. Killing enemies also gives the player a chance to use the roulette wheel; if three matching icons are gained on the roulette wheel, various effects (mostly special moves) are activated. The beam katana loses charge after a while of combat and must be recharged by shaking the Wii remote vigorously.

Outside of the main action stages (the "ranking fights"), the player can do more leisurely activities around the town of Santa Destroy or in Travis' room in the Motel No More Heroes, such as shopping, training, or finding collectibles hidden around the city. The player also has to take on side jobs or action missions in order to raise enough LB dollars to buy their way into the next ranking fight. The game proceeds with this structure, alternating between the over-the-top action stages and the mundane reality of normal life in Santa Destroy.

Plot[edit]

No More Heroes follows protagonist Travis Touchdown, a misanthropic otaku who lives out of a motel in the town of Santa Destroy, California, who orders the Blood Berry beam katana off of an online auction. Finding himself out of money to buy video games, he takes on an assassination job to kill the assassin Helter-Skelter, inadvertently entering himself into the rankings of the United Assassins Association. Over the course of the game, Travis fights his way up the rankings in order to reach number 1, motivated by the prospect of having sex with UAA representative Sylvia Christel.

Development[edit]

No More Heroes was inspired by and builds off of the work Suda and Grasshopper had recently done on licensed anime swordfighting games Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked and Blood+ One Night Kiss. Many concepts from those games were reused in No More Heroes in a more polished form. The Wii console was chosen for the game due to the Wii remote sharing the (phallic) shape of the beam katana, further linking the player and Travis. A single early shot of the game showed that the art style of killer7 and Blood+ was originally going to be used for No More Heroes, but this was eventually changed.

No More Heroes was designed to be the antithesis of killer7. Suda has stated that while killer7 focused on political issues, No More Heroes was made to focus on social issues in contrast. No More Heroes also started its development while parts of The 25th Ward: The Silver Case was in development, and so further effort was made to make the games in totally different styles, although they do share some elements.

The game's violence was censored in all releases of the game except the American one, with the copious blood being replaced by black smoke and similar effects.

Legacy[edit]

No More Heroes sold particularly well for a Grasshopper Manufacture game at the time, mostly in the west. It was not as popular in Japan, where Suda and producer Kimura infamously stood in person at a display promoting the game by handing out free rolls of No More Heroes-branded toilet paper (to little effect). The western popularity, though, encouraged the creation of a sequel, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, which was targeted to western audiences and released in the US before it released in Japan. Many years later, the series would continue through further games as well. No More Heroes became by far the most well known game in the west to be written and directed by Suda.

Several of Grasshopper's other, non-Suda games carried the DNA of No More Heroes, particularly the trilogy of Shadows of the DAMNED, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Killer is Dead. No More Heroes' style of over-the-top action and vulgar comedy was somewhat stereotyped as the overall style of Suda and Grasshopper due to its popularity and the popularity of that trilogy. In reality, No More Heroes was a departure from Suda's usual style.