No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is an enhanced port release on PS3 and Xbox 360 of the original 2008 cult favorite No More Heroes, a cheeky action RPG developed by Grasshopper Manufacture. Originally designed for the Wii system, No More Heroes was followed by a sequel in 2010 – No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle – which was also developed for Wii and features mostly the same basic open-ended plot structure and elements.
For those unfamiliar with the No More Heroes franchise, the storyline revolves around Travis Touchdown, a typical “otaku” or anime geek with a taste for wrestling videos who lives in the No More Heroes Motel in Santa Destroy, California. One day, after finding himself completely broke and unable to add to his vast collection of video games and wrestling movies, he meets Sylvia Christel, an enigmatic woman working for the UAA (United Assassins Assocation) who enlists him to locate and destroy ten government assassins. With no money and nothing to lose, Travis accepts the job and begins his quest to become the number 1 hitman in the UAA, discovering plot twists galore along the way and soon coming to realize that nothing – and no one – is what it seems. There’s a lot of adult themes present in No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise involving incest, prostitution and sexual abuse; the female characters are provocatively attired, and it’s impossible for old school Emanuelle fans to not notice the homage to soft-core porn actress Sylvia Kristel with its mysterious lead female character. For these reasons, along with the frequent graphic, gore-spurting violence that covers entire rooms in shades of red, Heroes Paradise is rated M for mature (like its predecessors) and is best enjoyed by older teens and adults.
The graphics of No More Heroes on Wii were crisp and aimed for realism, and Heroes Paradise now presents them in all their bloody glory in improved high definition. There’s a great deal of other tweaks, adjustments and additional features in Heroes Paradise compared to the original, such as different voice acting, slightly altered music, new side jobs and assassin missions for Travis to perform, the ability to refight defeated bosses, and plenty of other technical changes that make this enhanced port of No More Heroes a unique game in its own right.
Fans of action RPGs should be pleased with No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise and will no doubt appreciate its satirical black humor, twisty and involving plot and exciting battles. The original No More Heroes did receive a bit of negative criticism from some players who felt the game’s graphics and gameplay were repetitive stylistically, but if you’re into this style of game anyway then you’ll be in heaven, with plenty of hours of good, gruesome entertainment ahead of you.
OVERALL SCORE 9