Where To Go Next: No More Heroes

By Ishaan . February 8, 2009 . 12:12pm

Let’s look back to the past for a minute. Back to 2006, when the Wii was still considered a “fad” and the best core third-party game we had on the system was Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Back when EA wasn’t prepping a Boom Blox sequel and a Wii version of Dead Space. Back when MadWorld and The Conduit didn’t exist. Developers refused to take risks on the Wii and instead of good games that took advantage of the console’s radically new input device, what we received were buggy PS2 ports and a wider variety of shovelware than we cared for.

 

It was a depressing situation to say the least, and one that the enthusiast press didn’t do much to help by constantly ripping on the Wii’s hardware, which was weaker than that of its competitors.

 

 

Then, along came Project Heroes from Suda 51 with its shining armour and fine words. The debut trailer for the game showed off an enigmatic pair – Helter Skelter and Travis Touchdown – facing off in duel to the death on a dark rooftop against a gorgeous sunrise backdrop. The trailer never made it very clear as to who these two were or what the mysterious woman – Sylvia’s – role in game was.

 

Following a quick name change, details regarding the game started to become clearer over the next year. For one, it was now titled “No More Heroes.” The game revolved around Travis Touchdown, an otaku living in the town of Santa Destroy, who had managed to eBay a lightsaber (WTF?) and defeat the 11th ranked assassin of the United Assassins Association with it. This allowed him to move further up the ranks of the association by taking on more fights until he was Rank #1, and Travis had set out to accomplish just that. Villains ranged from a postman with a sinister supervillain alter-ego to Holly Summers, a woman with a prosthetic leg that hid a rocket launcher.

 

Needless to say, most were quite taken aback by the game’s unique setting and didn’t know what to make of it. However, those who were familiar with Suda’s work – Killer7 especially – welcomed the chance to dive into another of his crazy worlds.

 

In a Western market where high-definition FPSes and online multiplayer reigned supreme, No More Heroes dared to be different and gave us what no other game could: a completely intentional and hilarious mockery of the medium and its fans with humour and in-jokes custom made for our kind. Riddled with pop-culture references and stereotypes that only we’d get, at the heart of No More Heroes was something a lot of us felt was missing from videogames: Pride. Pride in the medium. Pride in its history. And most of all, pride in its influence because NMH signaled the start of “core” third-party Wii support after its release.

 

To me, No More Heroes will always be the starting point for the improving third-party situation on Wii. Naturally, other developers were planning games for the system by the time NMH was announced, but at a time when other companies were begrudgingly admitting that they “might have” miscalculated the Wii’s success and would “test the waters,” Grasshopper Manufacture was blowing its horn loud and clear and signaling to Wii owners that they could count on their game to provide an experience that couldn’t be replicated on another console.

 

 

When the game finally released, it was almost everything that I had hoped it would be. The humour…the Star Wars references…the scene with Travis stroking the anime poster on his wall exclaiming, “Moe!!!” It was another of those cases where you felt like someone had made a game just for you. Thanks to its unique premise and word of mouth, No More Heroes quickly became a fan-favourite and even went on to sell a decent number of units.

 

Months later, Marvelous teased that they were going to announce a game “the whole world was waiting for” at TGS. While I’m sure a lot of us secretly hoped it was NMH2, we tried hard not to get our hopes up. We had no idea if the first game had done well enough to warrant a sequel and at the time, Suda-san seemed very excited at the prospect of developing his new horror game with EA as a partner.

 

Naturally, I nearly cried with joy the day No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle was announced. Not just because Grasshopper Manufacture was making another NMH game, but also because this meant that they could potentially address every single issue present in the first game and give us more of what we all loved about it, making Desperate Struggle one of those cases where a sequel actually improves upon what made the original fun in a meaningful way.

 

While I’m fairly certain Grasshopper knows exactly how to go about developing the sequel, I couldn’t resist the desire to post my thoughts on the series and where I’d like to see it go. Partly because I love NMH so much, and partly because I’d love to see it get a little more exposure. Keep in mind that this isn’t a review of NMH, and neither is it a knock against Grasshopper’s work. Just a few things I find myself thinking about whenever I enter a No More Heroes discussion. It’s also very subjective, so feel free to pitch in with your own thoughts in the comments.

 

More Cultural Stereotypes: We’ve already covered the French with Sylvia.

 

How about the Chinese next?

 

I’d love to see a part of Santa Destroy resembling Chinatown with an underground clan of Chinese assassins who give you crazy side missions like kidnapping an important political figure’s daughter or hunting down a traitor to the organization. Of course, we’d need something akin to the hilarious voice-acting from the original Tenchu on PS1 to top it off. Maybe they could even throw in a couple Ninja Turtles references. This would provide an awesome backdrop for taking on sidequests (thus eliminating the boredom that eventually arose from carrying coconuts all over the place) and also cater to the game’s sense of humour.

 

Better Combat: Suda-san has already expressed an interest in using Wii MotionPlus for Desperate Struggle and I really hope he goes through with it. I’d love to see a non-Star Wars-related game make use of the device for a satisfying dueling experience, and NMH seems perfectly suited to do it. While the bosses in the first game where a blast to take on, the swordfights against the generic baddies tended to get a little repetitive at times, so it would be great to see a wider variety of enemies and have more moves at your disposal (Shinobu’s “sonic sword” is a good example).

 

Mapping the A button to quick katana slashes and mapping B along with swipes of the Wii remote to pull off the more powerful moves might work out as far as a control scheme is concerned. Combining the two could allow for a great combo system and the B-swipe moves could be used to deflect bullets as well. Allowing players to deflect bullets themselves would probably feel very satisfying. This could be achieved either via bullet time or – better yet – slowing just the bullets down a tad so you can see them coming. I would also suggest generous use of the rumble in the Wii remote for duels as a substitute for force feedback. This leaves us with the wrestling maneuvers, which could be in the form of quick-time-events that are triggered upon getting close enough to an enemy.

 

The Story: While developing The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan said one of the primary themes of the sequel was one of escalation. This essentially boiled down to Batman having to deal with a far more dangerous adversary than he did in Batman Begins – one that actually arose in response to the Batman’s existence – and also the fact that just about everything in the sequel was “bigger and better” than in the first movie and explored on a deeper level.

 

Suda-san has voiced similar sentiments about his own sequel. His comments on how Travis is now “serious about fighting” and is “fighting for revenge” would seem to indicate that he intends to evolve the character beyond just the chauvinistic, sex-deprived otaku (not that there’s anything wrong with that) he was in the first game.

 

Now, I’m sure there’s a lot of ideas floating around in peoples’ heads about how NMH and Travis should evolve, but personally, when I think of “escalation” with regard to No More Heroes’s world, what comes to mind is, surprisingly, Killer7. There’s been no indication of whether or not Killer7 and No More Heroes are related in any way at all, but I would love to see some sort of connection between the two being explored. The world of Killer7 is crazy enough to be part of a No More Heroes game, and going up against Heaven Smile would be awesome. Heck, maybe you could even run into Harman Smith. It would also provide some great fanservice for us Grasshopper fans and at the same time, tie two of Suda’s games together very neatly.

 

The Look: Let’s face it. As charming as No More Heroes was, the artwork left a lot to be desired.

 

 

Santa Destroy, which was depicted as a happening, colourful city filled with neon lights and orange skies in the announcement trailer was actually quite barren ingame, with very little to see. Colours were washed out; there were generous amounts of grey and brown everywhere, and save for the few trees and landmarks that broke up the monotony; the entire city felt quite unpolished.

 

On the other hand, while the characters themselves were quite colourful, a lot of the finer details in the textures were apparently lost due to the hard-edged cel-shading filter the game engine used. Don’t get me wrong…No More Heroes was meant to be a gritty game. A perfect balance of the depressingly pessimistic and the utterly fantastical. Just…it would have been nice to see a little more colour and detail everywhere, and if the image below – from a couple fans importing the NMH characters into Gary’s mod and stripping them of the cel-shading – is any indicator, the same cel-shader we all know and love so much might actually have gotten in the way of that. Perhaps a slight toning down of the cel-shading effect is in order?

 

 

Grasshopper need only look to the Project Heroes trailer for inspiration. That first trailer did a terrific job of blending hot and cold colours together and creating the look that got so many of us excited for the game. While I understand that the Wii isn’t a powerhouse when compared to the high-def consoles, it would be amazing to see something close to that trailer realized in realtime with some of those amazing lighting effects.

 

 

Much to the delight of its fans, Suda has already committed to addressing the majority of the issues that were present in the first game…the lack of activity in the open world, the graphics, the lack of blood in the PAL version of the game. It takes real conviction to admit that there were faults in the game that needed to be fixed, and it’s great to see that Suda and Grasshopper aren’t above looking out for fan feedback while developing Desperate Struggle.

 

Best of luck, guys…although, you probably don’t need it. We’re buying your game either way. Oh, and Ubisoft? If you’re publishing this game, try giving it a decent marketing push, would you?

 

Images courtesy of Marvelous and MrWhiteFolks.



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  • Traveler

    The Wii still has a pathetic line up of shovelware. I am glad there are people out there that actually care enough to release games like Madworld, No More Heroes, and Tenchu, but that isn’t enough to save this console. Five our of two hundred is not a good ratio. It still is a fad, but it’s almost dead already. It is a sad sight to see, but that is what happens when you try to trick (yes; Nintendo pulled this off brilliantly) the masses into buying a console that really has nothing going for it. With that being said, No More Heroes was a brilliant game that I will not soon forget.

    • lostinblue

      well, regarding the “isn’t enough to save the console” ever looked at how many crap games came out on the PS2? did they bother you? I actually had to import most of my library, also because local stores didn’t sold the good games over here.

      I don’t care about shovelware, it can come in whatever quantity it does, and those third party’s are only fooling themselves… what I want is good games, and I feel they’re coming in enough quantity to keep me satisfied. I don’t play shovelware by comparison, although I agree the companies who release them are pretty stupid and show zero respect for the end consumer… But I expect some “crap” to come with any market leading console, which is fine providing there are games to counter that, and there are.

      I’m sad to see the “interwebs” still going at it as a fad, and sad to see coments predicting it’s “almost dead” (wishful thinking? :X) when last december was bigger than the last, and it is selling more than the competition; if this is a fad what are the others? a fad that never began?

      • Wiihater

        It’s a fad with the mainstream market. Go and ask anyone working in retail about who’s really buying the Wii. Do you think that Nintendo’s new audience is going to stick with them in the long run? The fickle masses are not enough to sustain Nintendo in the long run. I’m curious to see what they have to do in a few years when they can touch their current comparative sales. This Wii bubble will burst.

        • lostinblue

          The software sales data shows a healthier console than ever. DS bubble burst too (you even heard Japanese developers saying so in interviews), and what did that mean? shovelware won’t sell as easily anymore, meaning you have to put effort into it. Thank god it bursted. Thing is, there’s a point where you can’t call it a fad anymore and it’s a sucess, of course it needs software to go along with that, so why not demanding the software instead?

          Masses are always fickle, look at where the PS2 masses are now? where the SNES masses went and stuff… no such thing as client fidelity in the long run for either console. But Wii is not a fad.

          Also, I don’t think that nick is the best for you to hold ground on your arguments. Starting with… Why hating a platform? does that mean instead of good titles you want it to have shovelware? Doesn’t make much sense on that alone.

        • daizyujin

          Apparently they are going to try to enter the Arcade scene in Japan with some kind of Wii based machine that allows for downloadable games. Now they are not happy with owning and destroying the console and handheld markets with inferior hardware and slowing all technical innovation to a crawl, now they want to do the same with the arcade scene.

          Seriously, Nintendo has no f*ckin shame. They are the devil of this industry. Mark my word, it will be 10 years before we see a console of any real leap over the PS3/360. Nintendo has prooven that the consumer is an idiot that will buy any overpriced piece of crap if you can show a commercial of grandma playing it and name it after piss.

          They sell their products a full price while bragging they cost nothing to make, they rehash old products instead of making new and innovative ones, and they brag about how they don’t pay their employees sh*t. I am sick of it. LostInBlue, you want to know why some people hate Nintendo, it is crap like this. I don’t care if MS wins, Sony, or if Sega comes back and does it, I just want Nintendo to fall. There I said it.

          • jarrodand

            Arcades are hardly the bleeding edge of technology anymore… hell, successful arcade formats tend to last longer than consoles even (NeoGeo, CPS2, Naomi, etc). There’s actually only one arcade board in existence (Sega’s Europa-R) that outperforms Xbox 360, which is 3 year old tech.

            If Nintendo can revive arcades the way they’ve jumpstarted interest in handhelds and consoles this generation, it’ll be a boon for the market. It’s on life support as is.

          • lostinblue

            Taito X2 is essentially a PC too, it beats both consoles to the punch.

            But yeah, I agree with you; and to make things worse, Sega Naomi is out (no more GD-ROMs being manufactured too), atomiswave (cheap naomi) is out, System 246 (arcade PS2) is out, triforce and chihiro never got off the ground. Arcade Wii fills a pretty big gap here if well exploited; that said I don’t think it will but here’s hoping.

          • daizyujin

            There is also Lindburg and System 357 which by the way could possibly outpower the 360, but that is speculation, Sony has yet to show any real leap in power over the 360.

          • andrew

            It’s not always the most powerful console that wins. It’s quite rare to see that happen. It not about the system, it’s about the games.

        • J.B.

          I agree with this statement in whole. As a matter of fact it sounds exactly like what I’ve been saying since I finally got a clue and sold my Wii at the start of 2008.

          It isn’t good enough to make sales in the long run. If you simply look at Nintendo’s plummeting stock it’s impossible to deny that their glory days will soon be over. They had a good thing going but they fucked it up when they snubbed the people who, like myself and many others, have supported them for decades by purchasing consoles and the occasional stinker (Virtual Boy anyone?)

          Nintendo is the new Sega, only Sega ended on a good note.

    • andrew

      What are you talking about? The Wii is the #1 selling console so far. The only thing it needs is more M+ games.

  • 108

    I agree with Traveler. It’s nothing but ports and shovelware, with a few minor exceptions. The only reason it’s selling so well is because of the price, the game it’s bundled with, and because Nintendo figured out the right way to advertise it.

    • lostinblue

      X360 is cheaper these days, so that’s not the deciding factor; just like being cheaper and launching cheaper wasn’t a deciding factor for Gamecube. (in fact, look at how it fared against the more expensive PS2)

  • lostinblue

    Cheers, great article.

    I actually have some worries about NMH2 though, namely the promises of a more “open” city, I know it was empty and all, people would walk by get run over and continue walking, I couldn’t talk to them, and there were like… 5 npc’s or so walking down the streets too, but it had a soul.

    Because it was empty it didn’t detract for the rest of the game… it was just a hub, I don’t know if I’m being clear regarding this but… let’s put it this way… I think games like Grand Theft Auto get lost by the bling, their sandbox nature is stronger than the rest of the elements, as is oblivion; I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but when a game like GTA has people ignoring the mission system and just doing random stuff in the city and never finishing the game is a big design problem in my book, as is (albeit acting as a gateway drug too) knowing that a lot of people played 70 hours of oblivion until they dropped it, and haven’t even touched the main-quest of the game… I feel a lot of US games get lost in their own liberty and concept of “liberty for liberty, because we can” and with Santa Destroy, being empty I think we really focused where it’s at… the setting, the humor… the characters… the story.

    I don’t want to see that diluted in the sequel, since I think those are the elements that made No More Heroes so good, I want better, bigger, badder and all that, but when you ask me “what’s the No More Heroes experience” I’ll certainly not paraphrase the city landscape… and that’s fine for me, as is for every guy who liked the game I think, no one liked it for what it wasn’t, we liked it for what it was. (not to say I want a 2D point and click overworld map, though! but I require no focus in the city and if it is a focus color me mild-concerned)

  • http://www.twitter.com/Celedin Celedin

    Ishaan, you’d definately get a kick out of this old interview:
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=184821
    I think that’s a great one to look back on and see how things are now.

    I didn’t mind the lack of blood in the PAL release, apart from a lot of cutscenes looked really… empty.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Wow, so I wasn’t crazy! There ARE a bunch of Killer7 references in the game. Thanks for the link. Back in the day, I’d religiously read every bit of info I could on NMH, but I must’ve missed this.

      …you know, a No More Heroes anime could work.

      • lostinblue

        Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly! (Marvelous said at one point the PWLBJ could happen :p)

    • http://several-hours-into-the-game.blogspot.com/ Nika

      Same here with the Blood. I only learned that there had been blood in the original game untill after I finished playing the game. All the time I thought that strange black pixels were the intended visuals.

  • Aoshi00

    No More Heroes is quite fun, but I must say the humor is just too tongue-in-cheek for me, kind of like the Simpsons Game.

    It’s funny you should mention RE4, I haven’t touched my Wii in months until I recently picked up the Wii version of RE4. I haven’t finished it on Gamecube and have been meaning to, it’s a pain to put in the GC memory card and hook up the wired controller, so I thought I would get the Wii ver/ w/ the pointer control. And of course w/ Mad Wolrd and Conduits, we have something to look forward to. (Heard Tenchu Shadow Assassins is not that good..)

    I think the problem w/ NMH is the target audience.. I don’t delve into sales figures and whatnot, as long as it’s a good game, I play it. Casual gamers would not be interested in this game. My manager recently got a Wii for his 7 yr old son (w/ 2 game, Lego Batman & Mario Galaxy), his son got tired of it.. The system might be sold out everywhere, but for me, I think the casual games are a joke, good games are just far too few and remakes far too many, especially now they’re porting all the GC games w/ added remote control, which ironically would sell because many did miss it the first time around on GC.

    • daizyujin

      The most pathetic thing is that these “Wii-makes” (JESUS I HATE THESE STUPID TERMS) are selling more than the GC versions did. Of course we got the first one in 2006, it was called Twilight Princess.

      • jarrodand

        Twilight Princess released first on Wii. Gamecube owners are lucky they didn’t cancel their version entirely.

        • daizyujin

          The fact it released on the Wii first is irrelevent Jarrod. The game was created for the Gamecube, finished, then held back, retooled, then released at a later date. You can’t really use the technicality that they held back the GC version as an excuse to say it is not a Wiimake in the same vein.

          And to say that GC owners were “lucky?” Come on man, you sound like consumers should be kissing Nintendo’s feet. Consumers should never feel that they are “lucky” that a corporation gives them somethign, especially when they had already basically promised it. Releasing the Gamecube version was essentially doing the right thing, a rarity in this industry.

          • jarrodand

            The GC version was put on hold when Wii R&D started, then both versions were finished in tandem. It’s not really the same as RE4 or the New Play Control releases, as it was multiplatform from release and not budget priced.

            And GCN owns are “lucky” to even see a TP release because most often late term 1st party releases just get cannibalized entirely for the next gen. Dinosaur Planet, Cubivore, Perfect Dark Zero, ICO, Eternal Darkness… there’s many examples of this.

  • EvilAkito

    I thought that the core gameplay mechanics of No More Heroes were great, but I think the sequel can benefit from adding more distractions.

    Everyone complains that the city is too empty and boring, but I still enjoyed driving around through it. My only complaint is that there just wasn’t enough to do. The bike track was a lot of fun, but other than that, there weren’t really enough places worth visiting the city. What I’d like to see the most is an arcade that you can visit and play meta-games, like maybe a light-gun game using the Wii’s IR, or a 2D beat ‘em up rendition of No More Heroes. Stuff like that would really add to the experience.

    I have mixed feelings on including Wii MotionPlus. It could definitely make the combat more interesting, but I also think it would be unwise to require the peripheral. On the other hand, however, if it’s not required, but still available as an option, it may come off as being useless and gimmicky. It’s hard to say if it could really be implemented effectively.

  • Nekobo

    Best original third party Wii game.

    I’d hit up the sequel in a heartbeat. Just touch spruce up the overworld (less glitchy, more interesting), keep the frame rate steady, and maintain the insanity.

  • shion16

    i just love this game
    it so unique,so different and so funny
    i love the battle system, the boss fights are cool
    And travis touchdown rocks as a main character

    I CANT WAIT FOR NMH2

  • Chris

    I found the combat in No More Heroes pretty weak. Sure, it was clever, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was just kind of walking around long twisting dungeons mindlessly attacking and defending with my brain off on vacation. Though it did make Wii more like 360 and PS3. It was a whole lot of style over substance!

    • lostinblue

      I class No More Heroes as the oposite, a case of real substance in a game, in a way a lot of pretty mainstream games are not.

      BTW and since we’re talking about the first game… there’s a article I can’t recommend more:

      -> http://schlaghund.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/no-more-heroes-is-not-punk/ (it also has a link for other good article towards the end of it)

      brilliant.

      I also love how Suda51 takes words out of context and uses them in another way altogether, for example, remember when Travis approaches the first killed (deathmetal) and defines his mansion as “paradise” and the old assassin retorts “this is no paradise, it is a place to die”… remember that?

      They’re talking about diferent stuff there, Travis with a fascination for power is defining all that as a end goal and thus “paradise” and the old man is putting things into perspective with other suda games and Suda’s universe, as if beating some sense into the young killer.

      For instance… for Flower Sun and Rain (sequel to Silver Case) paradise is Loss Pass, (lost past) a place for assasins to forget their past and it comes in sequence with the kill the past theme; which means… Santa Destroy is not paradise, nothing on Santa Destroy is; but Travis doesn’t know that, this said, it’s meaningful that Deathmetal clearly knows… Gives other depth to the whole talk, really.

  • GIAFGC

    Wow I don’t know what’s happening with the Wii but last I checked it had a great 2009 lineup with games from Marvelous, Sega, and Namco Bandai. And then there’s games like Deadly Creatures, Tenchu, and Monster Hunter 3. And to add to that we have games coming out later than 2009 like No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle and probably Dead Space and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers.

    • daizyujin

      Yeah and notice still nothing but garbage and remakes from Nintendo. I feel like I am in a parallel universe, what with all these great 3rd party Wii games.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        @daizyujin: There are plenty of good first-party games on the way, you just need to wait it out like everyone else. Sin & Punishment 2 – which, in all fairness, no one saw coming – is one of them. Also, please try to refrain from slinging personal insults at people in the future.

        • jarrodand

          Punch-Out is pretty big too, though it’s technically outsourced (like S&P2). I think EAD is probably waiting for Motion+ before unveiling more internal games though.

          • daizyujin

            I hope you are right, I havn’t seen EAD do much in the way of major titles as of late. Hell even SSBB was outsourced and that was a huge title for Nintendo. It sure strikes me as a much more important title than PunchOut of S&P2.

          • jarrodand

            Well, Smash Bros had both internal and external staff working on it. EAD, HAL, Game Arts and Monolith were the core contributors, but they even had staff from companies like imageepoch and Paon contracted on it. It was almost like Nintendo’s Shenmue in terms of that, it had a stupidly huge amount of staff and budget wrapped into the project.

            The last real core game we got from EAD was Mario Kart last spring ( a warmed over Animal Crossing port doesn’t count), so yeah, they’re well overdue now.

        • daizyujin

          Perhaps I am in a minority but I could care less about Sin and Punishment 2. I never was a fan of the original. Oh and if you want to talk to me Ishaan, please email me, it isn’t necessary to tack that on to your post in a completely unrelated topic. I didn’t say anything here. It feels like now you have it out for me.

  • Tin Man

    I purchased NMH the day it was released and it remains my favorite Wii game. I see a common thread of criticism running through the article and responses regarding the Santa Destroy overworld, and while I never felt that the lack of interactivity with Santa Destroy negatively affected my enjoyment of the game while I was playing it, I’m definitely open to more sandbox elements in Desperate Struggle and can see how they would make the second game even more fun than the first. The quality of assassination missions, chores, and ranked fights was so top-notch that these other deficiencies only occurred to me in retrospect. Despite my love of the game I’ll openly admit that most of the activities that required being outside were highly tedious—for instance, it was agony to navigate the entire town to track down unopened dumpsters and Lovikov Balls, especially considering that it was necessary to do this on foot due to the dumpsters and balls usually being hidden in easy-to-miss back alleys. Considering how much work went into the dozens of individualized storefronts and residences that line the streets of Santa Destroy, it seemed like a terrible missed opportunity not to add some sort of exploration element, even if this would ultimately be less of a way to add more depth to the core gameplay and more a front for more missions, mini-games, character interaction, or just a big treat for those who love attention to detail.

    It wasn’t all bad, of course. Santa Destroy was a fairly big place and I could spend good chunks of time just cruising around on the Schpeltiger. The town swung from charming—in places, it resembled the kind of past-its-prime suburban small business district I’ve seen so many times—to comedic (think Burger Suplex), and I could just ride and ride and continually be surprised by little things I’d never noticed before. This was especially fun after discovering the secret motion-based controls for the bike like making large jumps and cutting sharp 90-degree turns. What I would really like to see improved in the second game is not so much the how much fun can be squeezed out of Santa Destroy but what can be done with the items that are made available in the game. I was disappointed that the video rentals didn’t actually let me see clips of Mexican wrestling or mini-episodes of Pure White Bizarre Jelly, and further disappointed when I realized that Travis’ apartment was completely static and couldn’t be altered or rearranged—I couldn’t even zoom in on the little trinkets in the bathroom and bedroom or Travis’ wrestling masks or anime figurines. I suppose this means I would almost recommend an Animal Crossing-esque element where I can acquire furnishings and decorate the apartment with them. With Suda 51’s aesthetic and sense of humor, the possibilities for what could result from this would undoubtedly be endless and probably be pretty awesome.

    I’m not against the implementation of MotionPlus in Desperate Struggle, but I loved the feeling of only using the Wiimote for the killing blow. It remains the most satisfying use of waggle I’ve experienced in a Wii game, and I honestly don’t want this to be replaced with a tedious (near-1:1?) beam katana battle system that reshifts the focus of battle onto strategic swordplay and off of the simple joys of slaughtering hordes of paper bag-faced goons. Save it for the next Zelda/Star Wars/etc. game, where it can be integrated without drastically changing the feel of combat (unless said drastic change would be for the better.)

    Great article, though. I know the game has been moderately successful by niche standards, but the NMH fanboy in me still wants to see the game get all the promotion and praise it can get.

  • http://shinleejin.deviantart.com/ ShinRekka

    NMH was a great game and one of Wii’s best. It had lots of faults but considering what it was, it was really great. It’s Suda’s best selling game but I wished that more Wii owners bought it. With NMH:DS being released next year in 2010, the longer development time should help them improve the game alot. They definitely need to make the open world feel more alive than a hub-type place. More interaction with ppl, indoor areas, jobs, random events, fights, games, etc…..just anything to make it feel more alive would do. I wouldn’t mind having new cities to go too either. The gameplay is already good imo but more tweaks and new features will be great.

    And I hope most of the Wii owners here who liked NMH try and get Madworld. God Hand was f’in awesome and Madworld looks like a mix of God Hand and NMH……that right there is instant purchase for me. Plus it would help the Wii game developers looking to make core games for the Wii if it sells good.

  • daizyujin

    I admit I really had fun with this one. On the otherhand, I think a lot of hardcore gamers overrate it. For every cool thing it did, there was a problem. This is the problem when a system has virtually no games to relate to a hardcore audience, people just scavenge for scraps.

  • neo

    Hi. Well one thing i love your article about NMH’s. I would like to point out one issue that should have been in part one or now in part 2. The use of real time weather and night time effects? Come on now, these dev’s should know by now that something like that will do a game better justice to more gameplay options?

    Most games only use snow, rain and what ever effects they use to make a game a little real. But it would be real nice if NMH’S 2 HAD THESE EFFECTS IN IT! Have rain, snow, thunder, fall, halloween events? They can use these effects for more game play wise like i said early, to make the bad guys different. Items or weapons that ”T” can use can rise in certain days or nights, you get the point.

    I have said my part. Thanks for your time to read this. If any one out there got their view or idea’s for NMH’S 2 speak up now? Because you never know Suda could be reading these comments and making some tweaks? peace out!

  • CreatureX

    Oh man! The bitter tears from the Wii haters is too f’n funny! LMAO!

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Don’t ever do that again, daizyujin.

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