No More Heroes: Moe~!
If you played the original Wii version of No More Heroes, congratulations on already having the top tier experience of this phenomenal title. I’ve you’ve played the Switch version of No More Heroes, congratulations on experiencing a solid remaster that was able to implement the beloved original control scheme. You don’t really need to be sold on this game. You know it’s incredible. You know the mad genius of Suda51 is to be eternally praised. You’re just here to see if the PC version holds up. And to an extent, it certainly does.
For the uninitiated, No More Heroes follows aspiring assassin Travis Touchdown as he systematically defeats the top ten killers in the United Assassins Association (UAA). By defeat, I mean violently slaughter in uniquely gruesome ways with his beam katana. From shirtless dudes with big swords to baseball bat-wielding sweet lolita girls, Touchdown mows them all down, letting nothing stand in his way to becoming #1.
Of course, those fights are expensive to set up; however, there are thousands of employees in the UAA, and with all the fees tabulated, the entry prices are actually a bargain, all things considered. So, outside of these all-important ranking fights, Touchdown will have to take on part-time work to earn enough LBs to pay for them. In between slaughtering cronies and taking down the big bad bosses, Touchdown will be collecting coconuts, mowing lawns, and picking up garbage. Do a good enough job as a third-rater, and he’ll move up to first-rate work, AKA hitman duties. For those who can’t be bothered to visit the job center, there’s always dumpster-diving — a surprisingly lucrative side gig. In the very least, it’s a great way to find (old) new tee shirts.
And so, players will spend their time alternating between outlandishly violent battles to the death and driving around the sun-bleached city of Santa Destroy, taking on odd jobs, dumpster diving, training at the gym, and spending quality time with Touchdown’s adorable kitten, Jeane. In terms of balance and pacing, it’s both a fun adrenaline rush and a chill way to decompress from the day’s stress.
For those who have played No More Heroes, I have some good news and some bad news when it comes to the PC port. I’ll start with the good news — the graphics are much, much better in this version. They’re even a step up from the Switch version, despite all signs pointing to the distinct possibility that this, well, *is* the Switch version. Obviously everything is still a bit boxy and square, but the colors pop a bit more, everything’s much sharper, and smaller details are a whole lot clearer. I spent an awful lot of time running through routes I’d played dozens of times on my Wii much slower than I normally would just so I could take in all the little things I’d previously been unable to see over a decade prior. In this particular aspect, the PC port is absolutely a step up in the right direction.
Now for the bad news — those glorious Wiimote controls simply don’t translate to your PC controller of choice, and there’s no option to play with mouse and keyboard. I opted to play with my Steam controller to have a little bit of fun with the trackpad, but it just wasn’t the same. That’s not to say that I couldn’t play the game or anything, because of course I still had fun, but the motion controls are an integral part of the joys of No More Heroes, so they were certainly missed on a regular controller. Now, YouTube tells me it’s possible to connect the Switch’s joycons to a PC and even get motion controls with them, but I do wonder if going to all this trouble is worth it on PC when the Switch version of the same game exists — not to mention the still perfectly good Wii original.
Additionally, I’d like to mention that there were a few issues I experienced at launch that have since been patched (hence why this article was published over a month after launch date). Initially, I wasn’t able to get No More Heroes to run on my Windows 8.1 desktop (yeah yeah, fight me), although I had no trouble getting it to run on my Windows 10 laptop. Eventually, the dev team was able to fix the issue, and I’m happy to report that No More Heroes plays smoothly on the older OS.
Some players mentioned bugged achievements and baseball not working for them, but I personally did not experience those problems. Regardless, the dev team has been as prompt as a sizeable company can be (considering at least three separate organizations have to approve the game’s updates). If you’re still experiencing issues, chances are they’re already on the case or, if sent an email detailing the issue, they will be.
Remasters can be a bit tricky to rate — certainly the quality of the remaster should be thoroughly scrutinized, but the game itself should count for something. No More Heroes stands out as one of the few adult-oriented titles on the otherwise family-friendly Wii and is still regarded by many as an absolute must-play on its original console. It was ported well to the Switch due to its ability to replicate the purely delightful motion controls, making for a thoroughly enjoyable time. The PC version is by far the prettiest of the three, but without the original control scheme, it’s hard to recommend over the Switch remaster or even Wii original. If PC is your only option to experience what is otherwise an incredible game, then by all means grab it; just know there are better ways to play No More Heroes.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Switch, PC (reviewed); Publisher: Marvelous (XSEED); Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture; Players: 1; Released: June 9, 2021; MSRP: $19.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of No More Heroes provided by the publisher.