There are definitely things to love about Heroes Paradise for the right kind of gamer, but it struggles to measure up against any modern-day release in terms of how it plays.
- Mostly fun use of PS Move controls
- HD upgrade looks sweet
- Same brilliant writing as the Wii original
- Occasionally horrible use of PS Move controls
- Clunky vehicle controls
- Painfully repetitive gameplay between story missions
- Not enough new content to justify purchase for Wii NMH veterans
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Review:
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is fraught with problems. Some of them are intentional, as fans of the Wii original know very well. Some, unfortunately, are not, and it's that fact, coupled with the relative dearth of added content beyond what came in the earlier release, that makes AQ Interactive's Move-powered PlayStation 3 port a difficult thing to recommend.
A Disappointing Beginning
I really wanted to love this game. It repeatedly threatens to be awesome, but then something happens that makes you want to hurl the controller against the wall in frustration. Maybe it's three successive motorcycle crashes. Or spending more than a minute staring at screens and Yes/No prompts as your try to save your game. Or that damnable, newly added "boat signaling" minigame.
It could be any number of things, but most anyone who plays Heroes Paradise will be sorely tempted to turn off the console walk away at least once. Probably more than once.
The core game is largely unchanged. Suda 51's tale of Travis Touchdown, the eleventh best assassin in the world who, over the course of the story, fights his way to the top, is exactly as fans of the Wii game remember it. Nothing's been cut, though a few things have been added in the move to a new console.
In terms of the visuals, you're obviously looking at a much more attractive game here. While large portions of the user interface in No More Heroes maintain the original's 8-bit-style design, the world and the characters within it look greatly improved. Heroes Paradise might not give Skyrim much of a challenge, but the newly HD graphics suit it.
I Like To Move It, Move It
The Move controls suit the game perfectly as well, for the most part. The control scheme is essentially the same as it was with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk; most of the combat involves simple button-mashing, with the occasional swipe in one direction or another to finish off your opponent with some sort of dismemberment or elaborate wrestling maneuver. DualShock controls are also an option -- actually, it's the default -- but the Move option is definitely the one to go with if you can.
A number of boss fights from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle are woven into the fabric of AQ's port as nightmare visions that pop up as the story unfolds, sort of like playable cutscenes. More boss fights is a good thing in a game like No More Heroes -- it's really what the game is best at -- but there's so little context offered for these additions that those who aren't familiar with NMH2 are going to have a hard time deciphering what's going on.
Beyond the extra bosses, there are also some new secondary activities available. It's hard to screw up with assassin missions -- they're focused on combat, after all -- but some of the new side-jobs are controller-hurlingly awful. The Semaphore minigame springs to mind immediately.
On the surface, it's simple enough. You're signaling boats with two flags, which must be moved in different directions as a timer ticks down. The Move require waving the wand in one direction and pushing the analog stick on the Navigation Controller in the other, which is completely unintuitive. It also doesn't work roughly half the time, no matter how quickly you respond to the cues.
The best additions are the Score Attack mode -- which lets you fight all 15 bosses for points and leaderboard placement -- and the ability to replay the game's Ranking Fights (cutscenes too) from Travis' crummy motel apartment. You can also elect to warp to side-jobs and assassin missions once you've completed them once. Anything that keeps you off the back of the game's buggy, crash-prone motorcycle is welcome indeed.
Joey, Do You Like Menus And Loading Screens?
No More Heroes was a tough game to review for the Wii, and it continues to be difficult to gauge in its PS3 appearance. So much of the game's appeal is subjective and based on your nostalgic love for older, clunkier games. Personally, as close as classics like River City Ransom and Double Dragon are to my heart, I only view the onward march of technology as a good thing.
The older, clunkier games don't hold up well for me anymore, and NMH: HP is just as intentional a throwback to that sort of play as its Wii predecessor was. If you shudder at the thought of clicking through three menus to get to a slow-loading save screen and wrestling with the controls as much as you do with the Bad Guys, Heroes Paradise is most definitely not for you.
There are definitely things to love about Heroes Paradise for the right kind of gamer, but neither it nor the game it is ported from measures up against any modern-day release in terms of how it plays. Suda 51's original presentation is a brilliantly composed nod to video games and game culture, and it continues to be in Heroes Paradise, but that doesn't mean it's fun to play. Fans of the Wii game and fans of a more old school approach to game design will find a lot to love here; everyone else should stay away.