Shaun of the Dead, a parody of the zombie thriller Dawn of the Dead, threw the F-bomb out nearly 300 times in the course of only 2 hours. This is probably the contender for most cuss words ever in a feature film, and while beyond the point it transitions us to the next game in discussion: Killer 7. Killer 7 is the one of many games in Capcom’s legendary “5 GameCube exclusives” to defect to the Playstation 2 in hopes of finding a wider audience. Though this is also beyond the point, it had a top notch script ahead of its time that could rival many Hollywood grind films. The gritty tale of assassination and vengeance was told with vibrant cell shaded graphics and a dirty script. Where Shaun of the Dead takes the cake for movie language, Killer 7 delivers the same for gamers.
Alas though, as much of a hit Killer 7 was with critics, it was not met with the same enthusiasm from the casual gamer, the GameCube’s prime audience. This, along with Okami’s lackluster sales, drove Clover Studio into the ground and was soon disbanded in 2006.
But Shinji Mikami, creator of famed Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series, refuses to give up on his fans. Capcom has opened up a new studio for him and his team to bring the world No More Heroes, the spiritual sequel to Killer 7.
The vibrant graphics detract the impending sense of doom and insane violence
As described in an earlier article, a spiritual sequel is just that, a sequel in the theoretical sense. It feels the same, but it’s not. That being said, No More Heroes (NMH) is vastly different from its predecessor. The first and foremost difference will be the focus of the game’s plot. Whereas Killer 7 focused on political issues, Goichi Suda (director) says that NMH will focus more on social issues, like poverty and gang families. Gameplay wise, NMH is a far cry from what Killer 7 was. Whereas Killer 7 was a linear shooter, NMH will be a completely free roaming experience, much like Grand Theft Auto. This game world of fictional city “Santa Destroy, California” can be traversed on foot or by any other vehicle that the main character can see, with the minor exception that he cannot carjack or steal cars.
Helter Skelter; those with funny names are the first to die
The story of NMH deals solely around Travis Touchdown, probably the most creative name in video game history. Travis wins a beam sword on the internet and uses it to kill Helter Skelter, thus earning him entry into the UAA, an organization for assassins. (Interesting enough, UAA also stands for “University of Alaska Anchorage”. Coincidence? You be the judge!) The game then goes on to let Travis (aka: you) go on and kill the “10 assassins” in any order until you are the only one left, and thus at the top of the ladder in the UAA. Sounds like a stock “cut and paste” story, but knowing Goichi Suda it will have twists, turns, foul mouthed villains, and some really cool characters.
Controlling Travis sounds to be engrossing while simplistic. The nunchuck controls Travis’ movement (like most Wii games) while the wiimote will control the beam sword. Suda has stated that the game will not recognize exact movement of the wiimote, but will be able to distinguish between many varieties of height and angle slashes. Most attacks will be controlled with the A button, but certain events such as finishing moves and sword locks will involve much move involvement from the player (i.e.: movement). It has been stated that the beam sword will not be Travis’ only weapon available to him. A variety of different swords have been confirmed, but no word has been said regarding the inclusion of guns or other melee weapons.
Scantily clad women, lightsabers, kung fu kicks; sounds like a day at the beach!
Now we get into what makes NMH a winner. The extreme, over the top, downright disgusting violence. Killer 7 had a hefty amount of guts and blood, but that left Suda with a bad taste in his mouth. He wants more! He’s stated that he wants NMH to be as violent, if not more so, that Manhunt 2! A game that already received the AO rating based on its violence! Hopefully Suda will be able to pass censors, or else we may never get to see his Tarantino-esque slasher epic.
A neat note is that Quinton Flynn, the voice of Raiden from the Metal Gear Solid series will be lending his talents to NMH. Expect a more professional vocal performance from NMH, as opposed to some other games with scripts more ambitious than the actors.
The little bit of info that Capcom has given anyone regarding NMH makes everyone want it. Want it badly, so badly it hurts. Luckily, the wait is only until sometime in 2008 for those of us in North America. When asked when in 2008, Suda only says “definitely before spring.”