A pair of cult classic action games were brought to the Nintendo Switch eShop on Friday after being shadow dropped during a Nintendo Direct. No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2 were originally released on the Wii in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
The games follow a slacker nerd named Travis Touchdown, who loves anime, professional wrestling, and engaging in battles to the death with other assassins.
Upon their initial release, the first two games in the series received high marks from critics but found themselves to be an odd fit on the Wii. Earned or not, the Wii had a reputation for being a kid-friendly console, and the series’ dark humor and over-the-top violence made it an odd fit for the system.
However, clever use of motion controls, endearing hack-and-slash gameplay, and a zany storyline that keeps players guessing all work to make No More Heroes an unforgettable series.
Let’s start with how the ports play. In short, they’re excellent, entirely faithful direct ports of the original Wii versions of these games. Thankfully, the original title is not based on the “Heroes’ Paradise” version that came out on Xbox 360 and PS3. The ports have both been scaled up to run in high definition, but, aside from that, they look much the same as they did over a decade ago when they first released.
The first game has been given support for normal controls, though the classic motion controls can still be used. For players who want a classic No More Heroes experience, using two Joy Cons without the Joy Con Grip is almost identical to the original Wiimote and Nunchuck control scheme of the first game.
Likewise, the second game, which allowed for Classic Controller support, still supports both Pro Controller and motion control schemes.
Have They Aged Well?
Both titles are clearly products of another time in a number of ways, but this isn’t inherently a bad thing. The first game has a sprawling open world that is largely devoid of life, as well as tedious and repetitive minigames that Travis has to do to earn money for fight entry fees. The second game is a bit more streamlined, losing the overworld and fight fees, but has sections where you control supporting characters and can’t play as Travis.
However, these things are part of the games’ charm, bringing weirdness and character to the forefront of the experience. More than just a brainless hack-and-slash adventure, the games are like a distilled form of punk rock in video game form. Travis’ antics are over-the-top, his numerous obsessions worn (literally) on his sleeve, and he speaks like he’s watched a few too many samurai movies.
If you played these games on the Wii back in the day, they’re well worth the asking price of $20 per game to relive. If you missed them and want to see how these bizarre action games became cult favorites, then this is the definitive way to play them. Besides, now’s a great time to catch up on the story before No More Heroes 3 comes out next year!