I’ll be reviewing this game in a month or so, after it comes out, ostensibly because I always wanted to play the original Wii version, but hated the controls too much. Thus, I was rather excited to finally get my hands on NMH:HP, only for that excitement to be tempered somewhat, once I realized I’d be playing the game with the PS3 Move Wand and, um, screw it, nunchuck (seriously, Sony should just buy the naming rights to the Wiimote off Nintendo and call it a day already).
Still, I’m a professional (sort of), so I rolled up my sleeves and gritted my teeth to play the game all the same. In brief? Not half-bad, with surprisingly enjoyable controls. The longer version? Well, join me after the break to get my full impressions.
I really would have loved to have a chance to play this title with a standard controller. I just like standard controllers, and I wish companies would quit shoe-horning motion controls into every place they can. Using the Move Wand and nunchuck (I refuse to call it anything else, hell, I don’t even know what else I can call it [Editor’s Note: It’s called a Navigation Controller, Iain…]) was far from torturous though, not too bad at all really, if I’m being fair and honest. Anyone who’s played the original will presumably be right at home with these controls, as they don’t appear to be all that different than the sort of the thing we were seeing on the Wii three or four years ago. Flick right, flick left, spin around, jerk the controller like a dick. Standard fare, really.
Probably should clarify that dick-jerking comment before I move on. To re-charge your sword (note: it’s a lightsaber, but you’re not supposed to call it such) you whip the Move Wand up and down as if you were spanking the monkey. To be honest, and this may mostly have been on account of being in a public place, it was a little disquieting to stand there acting like I was playing a game of hand-hockey. And slightly annoying, once it became clear that you had to hold the Wand almost perfectly vertical, just to get the damn thing to work.
One last note about the control scheme before I move on. Despite being a game tailored for the use of motion controls, the actual extent to which you use them is quite limited. Small gestures are the order of the day, and certainly anyone hoping that you’d use the Wand to control the sword outright will be sorely disappointed. A better way to think of it is like the cap to a button combo, a few taps of your striking button, and a quick gesture to finish things off. I’ll still take a standard controller any day of the week, but this wasn’t bad. Not bad at all.
Now, for the actual game itself… meh. It really saddens me to say this but NHM:HP has problems. Game play was fine, no glitches to see, generally responsive and for what I played it was pretty fun. The story’s juvenile humor was good for few laughs, and the presentation of the narrative competent enough to prove engaging. When I say, “meh,” it is done with a sense of tragedy, because while I enjoyed almost everything about No More Heroes, the one thing I didn’t, really kind of bugged me. “What was that thing?” I hear you ask. It was the graphics.
Now before you crucify me for harping on about something so pointless as graphical prowess, allow me to explain. NMH:HP is a very, very, jagged game. Up-scaling the game to high definition has clearly been to the detriment of the title as there are sharp edges all over the place, and it took me out of the experience, straight away. Maybe once I’m gorging myself on the title in a few months my issues will fade away, but for the brief time I played the title at E3, it was incredibly distracting and a huge let down.
It’s stupid to think that I can be so crestfallen about a game for just one thing. As I said, I liked just about everything else about No More Heroes on the PS3, but it would be very disingenuous of me to ignore the graphical issues. To that end NMH:HP gets a middling thumb from me, hovering between up and down dependent on my mood. On the one hand, it looks like everything I was hoping for in a juvenile, gory action game, but at the same time I worry that I (and others) will be put off by wonky visual presentation that really takes one out of the game.
Sigh… and I was really looking forward to all those pixelated boobs