No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture/Feelplus
Publisher:  Konami

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Quentin Tarantino created an anime and then someone made a game out of it? 

Probably not, but if it ever did happen I'm guessing the end result would be something like No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, a game full of personality, humor, charm and over-the-top violence that suffers a slew of technical issues.

You play as Travis Touchdown, the 11th best assassin in the world during his quest to become the number 1, to do this you're expected to break into the competitions' base of operations armed only with your beam katana, kill off their goons and fight each ranked assassin in a duel to the death. The combat is your standard hack-and-slash fare, only, flashier and bloodier then most your enemies are usually slow to attack and give you ample time to dispatch them before they even throw their first blow, when their health drops to zero you're prompted to move the analog stick in certain direction to perform the finishing move, but this doesn't always register, it's especially infuriating when you're using a throwing technique that requires using both analog sticks and the game just doesn't register one of them

This is only the first of many technical issues, the game is prone to extreme framerate drops, which also results in input lag, there were times when I was tapping the attack button, but the game thought I was holding the button down, another common issue in this game is the lock-on mechanism, it's quite possibly one of the worst I've seen in ages, there were times when I was chasing down an enemy, I press the lock-on button and Travis decides to focus on the guy behind me instead of the one I was aiming at, it led me to some very cheap deaths and it can be a real issue during boss fights.

Speaking of boss fights, at the end of each stage there's a boss fight with the other ranked assassin, these are usually duels, but sometimes the games throws you a curveball and changes up the boss fights, this variety helps keeping the game fresh, especially considering how cheap some of these duels can be, in the harder difficulty settings it takes over 150 hits to kill some of the bosses, but they can take you down quite easily, one of them even has an instant-death move where you're prompted to rapidly tap a button and if you fail you'll have to restart the battle... and he did this move three times in a row (not counting all the other times there weren't consecutive) it definitely breaks the pace and just feels like a very cheap move.

When you finish a stage you can explore the city of Santa destroy either on foot or on your bike, accept jobs which are either combat side-missions or tapping/timing mini-games, explore the town for unlockable items or purchase new upgrades for your katana or your character, this is a nice break from all the constant fighting, but I felt this mode was very undeveloped, outside of what I mentioned there's really nothing to do, you can't even run over civilians, they just seemed mildly annoyed by your hit and run attempts, doesn't help that the bike controls are pretty buggy, It gets stuck often and to the point where you'll have to do the rest of your journey on foot.

The game's premise is extremely silly, but the game knows this and even revels in it, every character you meet is either goofy or completely balls out crazy and you'll soon discover that the assassin profession is open to everyone, from country singers, to schoolgirls, there's even a cosplaying boss, the dialog is extremely funny and often profanity-ridden, my favorite character being your advisor, she's always telling how you're going to die a horrible death and then the very next sentence says you're awesome.

Technically this is not a good looking game by any means, there are plenty of jaggies and low resolution textures, though artistically the game looks awesome and the music is pretty good as well.

Stylistically this is certainly a unique game, the combat can get a bit repetitive but the game knows this and tries to spice things up with a sandbox that could've used more work, but the real problem here are the technical issues, this is definitely a case of style over substance.

Trivia: When in Travis' home, if you look closely, you'll see he owns a Sega Genesis, complete with a Sega CD and a 32X, that's a pretty neat touch

- Great art style
- Interesting characters and funny dialog
- Combat is flashy and bloody
- Sandbox mode offers nice variety

- Slew of technical issues bog down the game, some of them resulting in cheap deaths
- Some of the bosses are pretty cheap as well
- Poor graphics by PS3 standards
- Despite the variety it brings, sandbox mode is a little underdeveloped

Final Grade: B-

Like the game itself, the packaging just oozes style, the cover is very attractive featuring Travis and every female character in the game in a seductive pose and to this day whenever I look at my PS3, my gaze just tends to naturally shift toward this cover.

Opening the case you'll find the blu-ray with an equally attractive artwork on it and a very promising manual shaped like a comic book, but again, the like game itself when you actually get into it, it doesn't quite deliver what it seems to promise, yes, there are comic book panels, but only four pages of them, the rest are instructions on how to play the game, nothing too ground breaking but still nice to have, thankfully the pages are nicely colored and a many of them feature more artwork from the game.

The packaging may not come with any extras, but when the developers and publishers put as much work as they did for this title you don't really need them.

Packaging Grade: B+


  1. Never played the port. I have however played through the original countless times. One of my all time favourites. I can't recommend it enough.

    1. The game is pretty good, it's just a shame this PS3 port leaves a lot to be desired

  2. Sounds like a cool game.