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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur

No More HerosSystem: WiiPublisher: UbisoftPrice: $49.99Rating: M (Mature)

Recently, I have been lamenting the overabundance of family fare in the Wii and the lack of titles with a more mature orientation. Someone was listening to me, and whoever you are, please call me so I can send you a fruit basket.

Hopefully this will be the first in a line of releases for the Wii with an adult audience in mind. Somebody should realize by now that most games and systems are bought buy people who would be considered part of the adult bracket (mainly men) with disposable income and start targeting them more.

Anyway, No More Heroes jumps right into the action with the fairly strange, yet oddly believable, premise that the main character, Travis Touchdown, a huge anime fan who’s also into professional wrestling, bought a beam katana off an internet auction and decided to become an assassin to make some money, and then accidentally became the 11th ranked top assassin.

Travis then decides to try and work his way up the ladder to become the number one ranked assassin of the UAA (United Assassins Association) at the prodding of a girl named Sylvia who works for the UAA setting up ranking fights between assassins.

It’s essentially a sandbox game, like the GTA series wherein you can go around and do what you want between missions. After each ranking fight you receive an invoice for the amount of money you need to raise to enter the next ranking fight, and all your time between each fight is spent raising money to enter the next. There’s a lot less to do than in the GTA games, but you can consider the time between each ranking battle a break in the action, a brief respite to let the adrenaline high wear off. During the lulls in action you can buy upgrades for your beam katana or get training at the gym to improve your stats. Also, you can buy videos from the local store to learn new wrestling moves, or different clothes to customize your look. Or you can just head back to your room at the local motel and play with your kitten. Seriously, you have a kitten. Her name is Jeanne.

The controls take advantage of the Wii’s motion control, but not fully. By pointing the Wiimote up, Travis enters a high stance with his weapon held up; pointing it down puts Travis in a low stance, holding his weapon down ready to perform a slow sweep with it. Controlling your stance is important for getting past your opponents’ blocks.

When performing a wrestling move or a throw you move the Wiimote and the nunchuck in the directions of arrows that appear on the screen to pull off the move. The ranking fights consist of entering an area and cleaning enemies out of room after room until you reach the assassin you’ve been sent to duel, kind of repetitive.

Humor plays a big role in the game, albeit crude humor. A message on the character’s answering machine from the video store states that instead of returning the video he was supposed to (a sex ed tape of sorts), the tape he returned appears to be a “man humping a pillow” followed by the main character looking over at his pillow with an anime character printed on it. Saving in the game, meanwhile, is done by using the toilets with a banner made of toilet paper asking if you want to save, covering any sensitive parts that would inadvertently give the game a higher rating.

It’s not the best Wii game, and, in fact, it was being made for the Xbox 360 until the developers decided to try and take advantage of the Wii’s motion control, but it is addicting, amusing and hysterical, and will hopefully help sway other developers making higher-rated titles to consider the Wii as well. It’s worth buying, but if you’re on a budget, I highly recommend renting it for a weekend you don’t have any tests to study for or essays to write.