June 23, 2012

Extra Credit – Cutting to the Heart of Lollipop Chainsaw

Pop Lollipop (by Shaun Hatton)
I tend to love and gravitate toward games that are divisive amongst the gaming community rather than those that garner more universal critical acclaim, and the most recent example of this is Suda51’s latest masterpiece, Lollipop Chainsaw, earning plenty of my love while also cutting some sharply divided opinions from the community.

But any art that sparks such differing viewpoints will forever be more interesting than art that everyone can agree upon, and thus has the potential to live longer through discussion and debate. When it comes to art that exists in part as a reflection of a variety of past works, enjoyment can come not only from the piece itself, but also from appreciating its references and inspirations.

Grasshopper Manufacture, Kadokawa Games, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have pooled their creative efforts to bring the world one of the most thoroughly enjoyable pieces of entertainment I’ve experienced this year and, if talking exclusively about games, even this console generation. But appreciation of a game in a vacuum is one thing – appreciation of a game in context of existing pop culture is something completely different, and quite frankly, is where this game shines.


April 25, 2011

Travis Touchdown In The Red Zone

No More Heroes Red Zone
Marvelous Entertainment unleashes video for No More Heroes: Red Zone Edition, the Japanese PS3 exclusive return of Travis Touchdown, which follows up on a technically troubled effort to bring the Wii title to HD consoles via the release of Heroes’ Paradise in Japan last year.

With Konami bringing an entirely reworked version of Heroes’ Paradise to North American PlayStation 3 owners this year – with the addition of PlayStation Move compatibility – it’s easy to imagine that Marvelous’ reveal of Red Zone with Move support stems from that same effort.

We had the chance to ask Marvelous about the relationship between the two releases today, and learned that Red Zone is in fact the Japanese localized version of the reworked Heroes’ Paradise Konami is releasing to North America – Marvelous also stressed that this new iteration of Heroes’ Paradise, and thus Red Zone, have very little in common with the original Japanese release from last year.


November 8, 2010

Q&A – Konami Talks No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise
No More Heroes led a series of unique and alternative experiences offered by the Wii when it released in 2008. The story of Travis Touchdown’s quest to survive the streets of Santa Destroy in order to rise to the top of the United Assassins Association, if only to get the girl, represented a wave of punk sensibility rarely seen in the industry and also exclusive to Nintendo’s console.

Marvelous Entertainment broadened the chance for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners to share in the bloodletting with the Japanese release of Heroes’ Paradise this year, and many of us have patiently waited to learn which publisher might plan to bring that HD love our way.

Recently it was revealed that Konami would answer the call, announcing a Move supported PlayStation 3 version. Not unlike starving dogs, we hungered for more details.

Luckily for us, both Marvelous and Konami production team’s Tak Fuji have merged forces not only to bring Heroes’ Paradise to North America, but also to answer our most pressing questions – as well as leaving us all with one I know many of you will offer answers to.

Get your Heroes’ Paradise fix after the break.


November 6, 2010

Grow Up and Blow Away

No More Heroes 2
As the year of gaming that is 2010 winds down, it’s inevitably time to add up the titles that shaped that time while questioning whether we moved forward, backward, or just spun our tires in the mud to see if we could wear down some tread.

For your reconsideration, the desperate struggle of Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes 2 begs not to be forgotten, despite its early release this year it is a title that lingers like the words spewing from the strip-club monologues that hang on the air like sweet cigarette smoke and still haunt me so many months later.

I recall some critical appraisals, which morphed from pre-release school girl excitement to post-release disappointment over an allegedly stripped down and simplified tale of revenge, which really took the jelly out of my donut at the time. Suda51’s original El Topo flavored inspirations searched for growth and development in returning to the streets of Santa Destroy. And if I could drag Sergio Leone into the mix, I’d suggest that the game shined with the challenging proposition of what happens when the man with no name returns to town – well known now to the inhabitants for previous actions and attitudes, an equal share of burden and pleasure found in the desperate struggle to realize everything arising from how that return challenges the narrative tradition it builds upon.

Travis Touchdown still returns with the hope of another poke and a smoke with Sylvia, but the climb up the ranks saw humor drip away as the game progressed, the absurdest and surrealist giving way to a new sensibility – dare I say the idea that Travis was becoming a man, burdened with the past and still left with more life ahead of him, full of doubts and sorrows and still sought desires that continue shaping him. From nostalgic economic diversions to the sorrowful encounters leading up to its loose fitting and fate unknown conclusions, and a final confrontation that defies offering the satisfaction a typical revenge story would, No More Heroes 2 reminded me that we’re all getting a little older this year, which was overdue for being said, or played out as it were.

Whether that notion caused some to revile is anyone’s guess, but as to whether the game is one of the more significant conversation pieces 2010 has to offer, there’s no question in my mind that it is.

August 18, 2010

Konami Publishing Heroes’ Paradise, Sorta

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , — Jamie Love @ 11:11 am

Heroes' Paradise
I Sincerely didn’t see this one coming, but word out of Gamescom is that Konami plans to publish the redux of No More Heroes in 2011 – at least for Europe and the PlayStation 3.

The news comes care of Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH, and calling it a “sword-based action title” the emphasis of the announcement slides almost entirely to Move support, though the dualshock remains at the ready for players who prefer it.

What this means for North America is a mystery at the moment, along with what this means for 360 owners in Europe.

July 15, 2010

Your No More Heroes 2 Overdose

No More Heroes 2
On the short list of import worthy releases from Japan, the Hopper’s Edition of No More Heroes 2 that Famitsu recently revealed for an October 21, 2010 release is in a league of its own.

Compensation for the wait for more Travis Touchdown offers up one very shiny yellow box that includes the game, an artbook, soundtrack cd, and an additional bonus DVD.

Our friendly neighborhood Marvelous Rep tells me that the added DVD contains two “animes”, one about the events of the original No More Heroes, and another detailing events during the three year space between the two games – plus a documentary about the Japanese voice actors.

Both the regular release and this hopped-up edition also offer a No More Heroes comic as a pre-order present.

May 28, 2010

Our Mango-Cherry Flavored Heroes Paradise Contest Winners

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:43 pm

Heroes Paradise Contest Winners
Gamesugar’s Heroes Paradise Contest came to a close last night, and I want to take time out right away to thank everyone who entered. We got a great response, which makes it easier to keep offering up more contests in the future. I also want to thank Marvelous again for giving us the opportunity to show that there’s plenty of love for No More Heroes and delicious gaming swag.

It was a pretty crazy morning here, we might have had a Mexican wrestler draw our five winners, or may have just put on masks while doing so ourselves.

Either way, here are our five winners, who will be hearing from us later this afternoon.

The congratulations go to – Mrmountie, Akari, Poofyslime, Nord and Joshhest.

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