One of the more underrated action games from last generation was No More Heroes from developer Grasshopper Manufacture. The original No More Heroes released on the Nintendo Wii in 2008 with a sequel coming out two years after that. A port would later make it onto the PlayStation 3 but after that the series went quiet for some time. That was until a couple years ago when a spin-off released and it was announced that No More Heroes 3 was in development for the Nintendo Switch. That game is set to arrive in 2021 but if you’ve yet to play this cult classic franchise and want to catch up before the third game releases then you can now get No More Heroes 1 & 2 on the Nintendo Switch. After revisiting these two games I am quite fond of I can say that the Switch offers the best way to experience these games yet.
The main character in the No More Heroes games is Travis Touchdown, an assassin who just so happens to love video games, anime, and women. In the first game, Travis finds out from a woman named Silvia that he is ranked as the 11th best assassin in the world and wanting to be the best and maybe get lucky with Silvia, he sets out to kill those who are ranked 1-10. The second game follows a similar pattern but has Travis dealing with what he did in the first game. The original game is set in the open world city of Santa Destroy. This open map was one of my issues with this game in 2008 and it’s even more apparent now because it’s kind of boring and full of things that just seem to pad the game out to reach the 10+ hours that it takes to finish it. For most of the game you’ll be riding around the map and playing side jobs to earn money that you need to unlock the next assassination fight.
You’ll also be fighting lots of standard enemies during your playthrough and many times those are in linear corridor locations. The controls in this game work really well though as you aren’t forced to use the motion controls like you were on the Wii. Those are still an option via the Joy-Cons but if you’d rather use the Switch Pro Controller or just play in handheld with standard controls you can. Travis can attack enemies by swinging and slashing his Beam Katana which is very much a lightsaber. You have a high and low slash option as well as high and low kick buttons. You can also perform different types of wrestling moves on enemies and pull off bloody finishing moves. It’s a great over-the-top combat system that still feels good over decade later. The best part about these games is when you get to the boss fights against the other assassins. Each one is unique in their design and personality and were an absolute joy to cut down.
No More Heroes 2 follows a similar approach to the first game in gameplay but gets rid of the open-world in favor of a more focused approach. I really liked this better as it didn’t feel as tedious as the first game did. It also has some really cool retro style mini-games in it that are awesome. One other thing about the Switch version of No More Heroes that is a bit of a letdown is that it doesn’t include some of the extra content that was in the PlayStation 3 version. That’s probably because these are direct ports of the Wii version but I can’t say these are the definitive versions when there is still another out there with content that isn’t in these.
The graphics in both of these games running on the Nintendo Switch look better than ever. It’s seriously quite a big upgrade over the original Wii versions and even the PlayStation 3 version which had some oddities about it. Of course, for an action game performance is critical and both games target 60fps on the Switch and for the most part stay there. This was true whether I was playing the games docked on my TV or in handheld mode. The audio is really good too and I still got a lot of laughs out of the voice-acting. Not in a bad way but rather just the script as it is absolutely absurd. It’s also a product of its time so some people may not like some of the dialogue.
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle have made the jump to the Nintendo Switch in wonderful fashion. Both games look and perform the best on the Switch when compared to prior versions and they are still a ton of fun to play over a decade later. Some parts do show their age and I wish that it had the missing content from the PlayStation 3 version. Fans of hack-and-slash action games will want to play these though before Suda51 delivers No More Heroes 3 to us next year.
*No More Heroes 1 and 2 are available now on Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
No More Heroes$19.99
- These are the best looking and best performing versions of these games
- Very fun combat system that still holds up
- Memorable boss fights
- Entertaining story and voice-acting
- The open world in the first game is still pretty boring
- Missing content from the PlayStation 3 version
- Some of the dialog and moments might not land with some people