No More Heroes Wii

No More Heroes Wii
Nintendo fans prepare for a bloody slap to the face (and maybe a suplex) from Suda 51, a gaming iconoclast known for his stylised design, surreal aesthetics and ultra-violent tendencies. This self-declared punk designer, who named his new title No More Heroes after a Stranglers’ song, has always had an "art-first” attitude that can be a love/hate affair. Killer 7, his first game released outside Japan, received mixed reviews largely due to the decision to make it an "on-rails” shooter, a restrictive design rarely used anymore (though the extreme violence also put some people off since it debuted on the kid-friendly GameCube). This time out, Suda 51 — btw: his full name is Goichi Suda and in Japanse, "go” means 5 and "ichi” is 1 — and his Grasshopper Manufacture crew have crafted an open-world game. Albeit one that spends much of its time lovingly satirising sandbox genre conventions, especially side missions, which he has made as mundane as possible. The goal is to become the number one assassin, but to get there you need to raise enough funds to pay your way into the challenges, so you must collect coconuts, pump gas or mow lawns. NMH stars Travis Touchdown, an American hipster-geek slacker inspired by Jackass’s Johnny Knoxville, who is obsessed with Japanese pop culture and Lucha Libre wrestling. He orders a "beam katana” (see: non-copyrighted light sabre) off eBay and proceeds to use it to become the best assassin in the California town of Santa Destroy. The game is replete with oddball touches — you save your game by going to the toilet, collect designer T-shirts and can play with a kitten while chilling at your crib. Not to mention that Travis’s fave anime is called Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly, the fourth wall is continually broken and the boss battles are ridiculously (if unrealistically) bloody. It’s also big on pop culture allusions — the Star Wars-esque weapon, the bad guy baseball players with "Warriors” on their jerseys, the Tarantino-esque ultra-violence that puts Kill Bill’s House of Blue Leaves battle to shame. It’s not perfect by any means — the graphics could be sharper, the motorbike controls could be (way) tighter, the town more populated and, of course, the story more logical — but it’s the Wii’s coolest game yet, not a common adjective for a console that makes you waggle your arms in the air. (Grasshopper Manufacture/Ubisoft)