Transform into Travis Touchdown in ‘No More Heroes’

By Rory McCarty

Contributing Reporter 

Travis Touchdown is a penniless geek living in a run-down motel in the city of Santa Destroy. But after he wins a beam katana — a futuristic weapon similar to a light saber — in an Internet auction, he naturally decides that the best way for him to make money is to become a professional hit man.  

So he sets out to make a name for himself by killing the 10 assassins ranked higher than him in the United Assassin’s Association.

That’s the premise of the recently released Nintendo Wii game, “No More Heroes.”

Players take control of the strangely-named Travis Touchdown as he cuts through endless waves of henchmen and rival assassins to become the number one-ranked hit man.  

Travis’ movement is controlled with the Wii Nunchuck’s thumb stick and beam katana slashes are done with a press of the A button. 

Arrows appear onscreen that prompt players to swing the remote in a certain direction to perform finishing moves on near-death enemies, as well was perform professional wrestling moves on stunned ones.  

It’s a more engaging take on hack-and-slash games, like “Dynasty Warriors.” The combat is intuitive and satisfying, and the strategy-based boss fights against the rival assassins are a blast to play.

As fun as they are to fight, the assassin boss characters are some of the weirdest in video game history. From the mailman-by-day, superhero-mercenary-by-night, Destroy Man, to the Grindhouse-esque Holly Summers, with a grenade launcher for a leg, they make up the oddest collection of guns-for-hire this side of a Quentin Tarantino movie.  

In between missions you are free to travel around the city of Santa Destroy on Travis’ anime-style motorcycle and do things like take part-time jobs for extra money. But don’t expect “Grand Theft Auto” levels of freedom from this city; the streets are desolate and there’s little to do aside from earn extra money.  

Part-time jobs, such as garbage collecting and gas pumping, are exactly as exciting as they sound and seriously detract from the pacing of the rest of the game. It’s a bit jarring to slice through an army of armed thugs and then spend five minutes mowing lawns.

The game is rated Mature, and it definitely earned that rating. Decapitated enemies erupt like sanguine geysers, spraying the immediate area with more blood than could physically fit into a human body.  

The subject matter is obviously mature and the characters curse almost as often as Jay and Silent Bob.  

And when you need to recharge your beam katana by shaking the Wii remote, Travis does so in a blatantly sexually suggestive manner.

The game is certainly a departure from the typically family-oriented games that are available in abundance on the Wii.  

But if you’re a Nintendo Wii owner looking for a more mature title (in terms of gameplay and content, not in terms of narrative), you’re not going to find a much more enjoyable game than “No More Heroes.”