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 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.

February 10, 2010

Review – No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

No More Heroes 2
Margaret waits patiently on the rooftops of Santa Destroy, another female sniper, distinguished by her Gothic Lolita attire and the player’s knowledge that her song is enough to kill. Charging toward her like a bull causes her to fire bullets on cue, which are either blocked at the expense of blade energy or dodged.

When I can get in close enough for the kill, the action is a mash of hack and slash that lands like sloppy kisses to push her back, save for that precise and precious moment where our blades lock and I fall off the edge of the couch from the force of spinning the WiiMote.

During every fight I’ll end up standing on the couch before the end, consistently overcompensating the actions needed as my health drops lower and I run out of pizza slices. I’m earnestly sweating after nearly every encounter as if my life were on the line over this stripped down story of revenge. It doesn’t really matter if the story seems straightforward though, because it’s much more about the player than the adventures of Travis Touchdown this time around.


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