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Cody Giunta
04 Jun, 2011

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Review

PS3 Review | More blueberry cheese brownies than you can shake a laser beam katana at.
No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise has taken an interesting path to arrive on the PlayStation 3 today. Conceived of by the fertile and imaginative mind of Suda 51 (whom PALGN recently had a chance to talk with), the original No More Heroes first arrived on the Wii, where it was met with modest sales and a lot of enthusiasm from players and critics alike. Its follow-up, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle again took roots on the Wii last year, a title which we at PALGN enjoyed quite a lot.

Now, those quivering to find their fix of this action-packed pastiche of Japanese and gaming culture on a HD console may have their blood lust satiated with the remake of the first game of the series, in the form of No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise. While the game itself may be a few years old, and there aren’t too many fundamental gameplay changes, No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise is nonetheless a vibrant, wickedly funny and gloriously insane game. It’s also a very welcome move to have it exposed to a wider audience.

So cool that he doesn't even look back to check that they're dead.

So cool that he doesn't even look back to check that they're dead.
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For those who are uninitiated into the story of No More Heroes, it’s worth explaining just a little bit. You take on the role of Travis Touchdown, a guy who has a love of Japanese culture, wrestling and a lot of geeky culture. He also considers himself something of a warrior, and strives to become Santa Destroy’s greatest assassin. After winning an online auction for a beam katana, Travis takes to the streets and becomes involved in the United Assassin’s Association, where he must kill twelve other assassins to become the greatest of them all. Keeping a watch on his blood-letting efforts all the way is Sylvia, a woman who Travis has no shame in declaring his amorous desires for.

As with the original, gameplay in Heroes' Paradise is a combination of sandbox-style exploration, set missions and fighting sequences, as you take on the league of assassins. To face the assassins, you must earn enough money to progress forward, which requires you to complete side-missions and odd jobs for funding. Once you've earned enough, you will be directed to where a ranked assassin hides out, and will have to mow through their mooks to reach them. The combat from the Wii version is also translated for use with the PlayStation Move controller. Most actions are done with standard button presses, but those lethal finishing katana slices and a variety of brain-crushing wrestling moves are done with a swing of the Move controller. On top of your katana attacks and wrestling moves, you also have the ability to save up for super powerful attacks that will rid the screen of your enemies. A change in this version of No More Heroes allows you to save these up for use at just the right moment, as opposed to their automatic implementation previously. The only real difference between playing with the full Move setup and what you can find in the Wii version is the lack of the speaker microphone as seen on the Wii, which sounded whenever you had a call from Sylvia. It's not essential to use the Move controller, however – Heroes' Paradise supports using a standard PS3 controller as well. Doing so does take a little bit of fun out of the finishing moves, but it's something that doesn't come anywhere near wrecking the experience.

At this point, some players may get the urge to batter up...

At this point, some players may get the urge to batter up...
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Visually speaking, No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise undoubtedly trumps its predecessor. The core cel-shading art style is maintained, but it's been significantly scrubbed up for this PS3 rendition. Most striking of all is that the colours seem a lot more vibrant, and there is a lot less aliasing than that which was present in the Wii version. In saying that, however, the environments of Santa Destroy still seem to have a bit of a blandness and lack of detail about them. However, the character models themselves look a lot more impressive and ooze individuality – right before they ooze the blood from the limb that you just sliced off. And, oh yes, there is definitely blood in this version. There were some worries that we would once again be faced with a bloodless and censored version of the game, but this has been averted big time. Though there was a certain kookiness in having black mist and coins spew out for the Wii game, the blood-letting definitely gives a different feel to the gameplay and is nicely over the top. Special mention must also be given to the beam katana effects, which are also noticeably improved.

Sound design in Heroes' Paradise is virtually identical to the original. The same mix of j-rock and dizzying guitar riffs permeate through the game once again, though there are some tracks that appear to have been moved and swapped around, perhaps for licensing reasons. In any case, it melds well with the game's general vibe and spoof of geek and Japanese culture. All of the various grunts, groans and screams of agony from enemy characters are also more or less consistent with the original's efforts.

...clearly that's what Travis is thinking too...

...clearly that's what Travis is thinking too...
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The long-term appeal of the game will depend a lot on whether or not you've played and finished the original. The progression of the story and gameplay are as such that those who played the Wii version may not have a lot of incentive to dive back in. There aren't any startling new revelations about Travis and his cohorts, and there are no major new fight sequences integrated into the plot. However, those that are taking on the game's unbridled insanity will have a great deal of fun taking on the assassins and becoming immersed in the game's surprisingly good story. In saying that, there are some new additions that were most certainly not present in the original. Firstly, you will be able to find five new odd jobs with which to earn cash to fight other assassins. Additionally, there is also a new score attack mode which allows you to select bosses to fight in a similar way to a standard fighting game, with the benefit of online leaderboards to rank not only the citizenry of Santa Destroy but of the entire world. Lastly, you'll also have the opportunity to fight five bosses from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. The method for engaging with the sequel bosses is best discovered for yourself rather than being spelled out in a review, though it's extremely fitting given the kind of game that No More Heroes is.

No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise takes the original to a HD platform but doesn't radically alter it. In some ways this is a good thing, as the original was a great piece of mayhem in the first place. However, if you are thinking about double dipping then there may not quite be enough changed about it to go for another round, but what is here is very welcome. The significant graphical upgrade, the addition of some new jobs and the chance to fight bosses from Desperate Struggle are all reasons to be excited. However, it is probably the return of blood that will have the most impact. When the red stuff does fly it is a bit gruesome, but more often than not it's bloody hilarious and played for laughs rather than realism.
The Score
Though not radically different from the Wii version, No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise remains a blood soaked, mayhem filled title that is definitely deserving of a look-in for those who are yet to experience the world of Travis Touchdown. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Content

No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise launch trailer
18 May, 2011 I know a lot of gamers out there don't have much patience...
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Preview
22 Feb, 2011 On the way to scoring a Touchdown?
No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise screens
05 Jan, 2011 Mo' screens, no mo' heroes.
4 Comments
2 years ago
PALGN wrote
And, oh yes, there is definitely blood in this version
I was gonna get this with or without it, but hell yeah! The 'bloody' death scenes for the bosses are soo much better then the coin explosions.

So this is pretty much confirmed to be the Japanese 'Red Zone' version? Any news of extra beam katana's and a model viewer(obviously what we all want right... right? icon_razz.gif)?
2 years ago
I saw a bunch of DLC for this on the PSN before, including a model viewer and various beamsabers and magazines.
2 years ago
Great review Cody! You really give a good idea of what the game is like, and make plenty of comparisons to the Wii version. I can tell that you certainly appreciate this series.

As for the DLC, I did a write up about it in the Heroes' Paradise thread.
2 years ago
Game is amazing if u do not have a wii than buy it. Best reason to have a Move if u ask me
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  15/09/2010 (PreLoaded)
Publisher:
  THQ
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2007

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