Best of the Wii: Our Top 10 Third-Party Wii Games

#4 - No More Heroes

by Alex Culafi - September 25, 2012, 1:38 pm PDT

Yes, more heroes.

No More Heroes is the game that put Suda 51 on the map. Sure, he directed Killer7 and some other games before that, but if one game made him a known quantity, it's NMH. It's easy to see why: despite borrowing elements from a bunch of other works, No More Heroes is a game no one else has done before.

An open-world hack-and-slash game, No More Heroes stars Travis Touchdown, an otaku and a pro-wrestling fan who wins a beam katana in an online auction and, upon running out of money to buy video games and wrestling videos, decides to take on an assassination job for money. Upon completing said assassination, though, he discovers that doing so places him in the 11th rank of a governing assassination association, and decides to work his way up to the coveted top spot. This involves completing a series of around 10 boss battles, which you do by challenging the assassins after murdering a hoard of their minions.

The ridiculous assassins are the game’s main draw; their ranks include a Native American karaoke singer with a gun of gold and a 76-year-old woman wielding a massive energy cannon. Each boss fight takes place on a unique battlefield, and requires equally unique tactics to win. One boss, Bad Girl, launches condemned criminals at Touchdown using a baseball bat, and requires careful responses to her attack patterns. Another, Speed Buster (the previously mentioned old woman), is completely invulnerable; until her cannon is decommissioned, you can only reach her by running through alleyways and buildings to dodge her attacks.

However, earning the right to fight one of these bosses requires meeting a steep entrance fee. To earn the necessary money, Travis can participate in side-missions (such as killing a plethora of minor enemies as fast as possible) or one of many chore-like mini-games. These activities are a lot of fun to play, though, and their inclusion helps prevent monotony throughout the game.

 

No More Heroes also diversifies gameplay in other ways. You can comb the massive city of Santa Destroy to discover all the hidden collectibles outfit Travis with extensive clothing options and styles, and even upgrade his moves with a more powerful or energy-efficient beam katana or new wrestling moves.

Though its genre has been more “by the numbers" in recent years, No More Heroes’ twists on the hack-and-slash formula make it stand out. In addition to using the Wii Remote to slash with Travis' beam katana, you can pull off various wrestling moves (my favorites) by making an enemy vulnerable. In addition, getting enough hits on an enemy allows you to swipe the Wii Remote in a non-screen direction to slice weakened foes into bloody bits. These gameplay traits are only two of the many variables that keep NMH’s combat diverse and interesting, though. For instance, Travis may find his katana running low on energy; to recharge, the player shakes the controller in a masturbatory manner as Travis does the same to his katana on-screen.

No More Heroes earns its place on this top 10 list through its level of style, unheard of in any other game on the console. Its quirky humor, gleeful attitude toward violence, excellent boss fights, interesting story, and absolutely fun gameplay make Suda's baby stand out among hundreds of other Wii games. To say the game carries a mantra of style over substance simply misses the point: in No More Heroes, the style is the substance.

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Talkback

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)September 05, 2012

If only Monster Hunter Tri's online play hadn't been region-locked - I would most likely have played that game to death if I were able to join in with the avid MH3 community that resides on these forums.

ejamerSeptember 05, 2012


One of my favorite and most-played Wii games!  Also largely the reason I bought a 3DS, because after hearing that the series is going to be a 3DS exclusive (at least up to this point) in Japan I'm trusting that a Monster Hunter will eventually be released on that console over here too... if not, it would be a huge disappointment.

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

If only Monster Hunter Tri's online play hadn't been region-locked - I would most likely have played that game to death if I were able to join in with the avid MH3 community that resides on these forums.

Speaking of the MH3 community, I need to give a huge shout out to people like Maxi, GK, Kytim89, and Mop it up who extended my play time by hundreds of hours as they offered a group of fun people to meet online and game with. They also taught me a lot and helped to cover up my noobness (most of the time). To all of you, thanks very much!

GKSeptember 05, 2012

Hehe one of the main reasons I want a 3DS & MH 4 is to revive our club.

But yeah, region freedom & headset support would have brought the online experience of Monster Hunter Tri a lot further.

CericSeptember 05, 2012

I enjoyed playing with Everyone as well.  My biggest problem started becoming them not allowing more than just a party into a room even though they supported multiple hunts...  Maybe they'll fix that for the new version.

ejamerSeptember 05, 2012

That would be a nice addition, and would make group hunt nights a lot more enjoyable.

SeacorSeptember 08, 2012

I had an awesome time playing Monster Hunter Tri with many of the NWR forum members and staff (until my Wii crashed).  I had dedicated many hours to the game and reached the mid to high level 20s and my Wii crashed.  Nintendo was unable to recover any of my save data and I therefore I had lost all MH data (you can't backup MH data to SD card).  Unfortunately, I never played the game again as I did not want to start over from scratch and risk another hardware crash and data loss.

MaxiSeptember 08, 2012

I had the same thing happen Seacor but I was considerably farther along when I lost the data. My main character was pretty much done as far as sets go but I was just looking for certain talis.I was HR480 at that point but I got back playing and I am up to HR 110 now.That was back in April. If you kept playing I think you would have been higher then my current character and likely more well equipped then my current one. I have no problem playing on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

ejamerSeptember 08, 2012

Quote from: Maxi

I had the same thing happen Seacor but I was considerably farther along when I lost the data. My main character was pretty much done as far as sets go but I was just looking for certain talis.I was HR480 at that point but I got back playing and I am up to HR 110 now.That was back in April. If you kept playing I think you would have been higher then my current character and likely more well equipped then my current one. I have no problem playing on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

I'm in a crunch at work for the next week, but would also be happy to play online with Seacor (and others) if it helps him quickly get to higher HR levels. Once you start getting better equipment, the single player campaign goes really quickly since you can burn through hunt quests. You'd be back up to your old HR level in no time!

Evan_BSeptember 12, 2012

Monster Hunter Tri is number ten, Silent Hill is nine, and Muramasa and Trauma Team rank above it? Maybe it's because I'm a Horror/RPG fan, but I seriously don't see those games outranking them. It's probably because I'm a Horror/RPG fan...

My top-ten list goes as such.

10 ) Goldeneye
9 ) Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
8 ) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
7 ) A Boy and his Blob
6 ) No More Heroes
5 ) Muramasa
4 ) Sonic Colors
3 ) Little King's Story
2 ) Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
1 ) Monster Hunter Tri

Remember, this was voted on by the staff, so the order depends a lot on who played what. I have no doubt Monster Hunter is a quality product, but it's a pretty niche experience and thus fewer people had played it, causing it to only be 10th on our list (and having been there when we finalized things, I'll tell you that it only barely made it on the list at all).

Evan_BSeptember 12, 2012

I understand that, certainly, and I didn't mean offense, or anything. Everyone's going to have their own top ten list, which is why I mentioned mine and why I'm not raging at yours. I just think it's a shame if a niche experience is hitting giant dinosaurs with weapons...

I'm an RPG Horror fan, as I stated prior. :)

SeacorSeptember 14, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

Quote from: Maxi

I had the same thing happen Seacor but I was considerably farther along when I lost the data. My main character was pretty much done as far as sets go but I was just looking for certain talis.I was HR480 at that point but I got back playing and I am up to HR 110 now.That was back in April. If you kept playing I think you would have been higher then my current character and likely more well equipped then my current one. I have no problem playing on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

I'm in a crunch at work for the next week, but would also be happy to play online with Seacor (and others) if it helps him quickly get to higher HR levels. Once you start getting better equipment, the single player campaign goes really quickly since you can burn through hunt quests. You'd be back up to your old HR level in no time!

Thanks all, but I think I am going to wait until 3G or 4 arrives before I start playing MH again.  Perhaps, with the new console they will allow you to actually backup the game save file or even better, auto backup to a cloud service.

GKSeptember 15, 2012

Don't know about you guys but I found the list useful. Found Muramasa: The Demon Blade for under $15 on amazon & threw in Sin & Punishment: Star Successor along with it to help with the free shipping.

SorenSeptember 21, 2012

Goldeneye #5?? Ehhh it's a good game, don't get me wrong. But top 5 Wii third party good?

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 21, 2012

Quote from: Soren

Goldeneye #5?? Ehhh it's a good game, don't get me wrong. But top 5 Wii third party good?


I'm with you. Fun game and great online, but be that as it may it still wouldn't grace my top 5 third party Wii games.

AVSeptember 26, 2012

I really enjoyed NMH but the sequel really is a much better game in every aspect, streamlined gameplay and better boss's.


I am also surprised no mention of motion controls, I so love slashing in that game. So satisfying

Pixelated PixiesOctober 01, 2012

Zack & Wiki was a revelation. It was one of the few early Wii games that understood what the Wii remote was capable of and, working within those constraints, was able to utilise motion controls in service of the gameplay rather than just for the sake of it. It also didn't hurt that the puzzles were awesome and that it was one of the best looking (if not sounding) third party efforts on Wii.

Great choice!

So, any guesses for #1? You'll find out Wednesday.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

So, any guesses for #1? You'll find out Wednesday.


House of the Dead: Overkill?

MrPhishfoodOctober 01, 2012

Ah Zack and Wiki. I don't think Capcom made a lot of money from this which is such a shame because its such a great game. It was like Capcom's very own Professor Layton.


its a shame where wasn't enough people to appreciate it on the Wii.

pazuzu17October 01, 2012

Isn't Retro "3rd Party"? or am I missing something obvious.  If so, could somebody please point out what makes a title 3rd party...
Since Retro is likely "1st Party" my guess for the no.1 spot would be Red Steal 2.  Not my particular fave in the list even though a very good game, NMH2 or Little Kings Story would be my joint faves.

TJ SpykeOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: pazuzu17

Isn't Retro "3rd Party"? or am I missing something obvious.  If so, could somebody please point out what makes a title 3rd party...
Since Retro is likely "1st Party" my guess for the no.1 spot would be Red Steal 2.  Not my particular fave in the list even though a very good game, NMH2 or Little Kings Story would be my joint faves.

Retro Studios is 100% owned by Nintendo, so they are first party.

Third party means they are not owned by the console manufacturer. However, a first party game could be made by a third party developer (i.e. Excite Trucks is a first party game but was made by Monster Games. Essentially any game not listed here can be considered third party: http://nintendo.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_games#Wii

pazuzu17October 01, 2012

Quote from: MrPhishfood

Ah Zack and Wiki. I don't think Capcom made a lot of money from this which is such a shame because its such a great game. It was like Capcom's very own Professor Layton.


its a shame where wasn't enough people to appreciate it on the Wii.

It's funny, my favorite part of owning the Wii and its collection of gems has been the exclusivity.  Playing games such as No More Heroes, A Boy and His Blob, Xenoblade and Little Kings Story - just to name a few - has been amazing, innovative and more importantly, fun!  Yes I own a PS3 on the side, but honestly, most retail games have felt - while engrossing - trite, mindless and a chore.  The Wii has been my saving grace this gen!

pazuzu17October 01, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: pazuzu17

Isn't Retro "3rd Party"? or am I missing something obvious.  If so, could somebody please point out what makes a title 3rd party...
Since Retro is likely "1st Party" my guess for the no.1 spot would be Red Steal 2.  Not my particular fave in the list even though a very good game, NMH2 or Little Kings Story would be my joint faves.

Retro Studios is 100% owned by Nintendo, so they are first party.

Third party means they are not owned by the console manufacturer. However, a first party game could be made by a third party developer (i.e. Excite Trucks is a first party game but was made by Monster Games. Essentially any game not listed here can be considered third party: http://nintendo.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_games#Wii

Thanks genuinlly for the heads up.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: pazuzu17

Isn't Retro "3rd Party"? or am I missing something obvious.  If so, could somebody please point out what makes a title 3rd party...
Since Retro is likely "1st Party" my guess for the no.1 spot would be Red Steal 2.  Not my particular fave in the list even though a very good game, NMH2 or Little Kings Story would be my joint faves.


The distinction, as far I'm concerned, is that games made by console manufacturers are 1st Party, those games made by others companies owned (either partially or wholly) by a console manufacturer are 2nd Party, and those which are made by companies not affiliated with the console manufacturer (CM) are 3rd Party.

In reality though the lines are more blurry. There are games for instance which are developed by a 3rd party but which are produced, financed or marketed by the CM. There are also cases where the CM brings a 3rd party in-house to work on a project (Next Level games for instance have worked on several Nintendo properties). There are also cases where the CM and another developer will work as equal partners and the distinctions become even less clear (take Other M for example).

Retro would be considered 2nd party as they are owned by Nintendo. They wouldn't therefore be 3rd Party. While that means they aren't technically 1st party, given their close contact with Nintendo and their work on high profile series' like Metroid, Donkey Kong and Mario Kart, most fans like to think of them as a western division of Nintendo proper.

TJ SpykeOctober 01, 2012

Actually, 100% owned means they are first party and are no different than EAD in terms of first party status. Second party means partially owned or exclusive to the CM (Rare under Nintendo was second party but is now a Microsoft first party and how Insomniac Games used to be second party to Sony). PP, why do you think Retro isn't first party? They are the same as NST, Monolith Soft, Nd Cube, etc. If a company is wholly owned (or majority owned), then they are first party.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: TJ

PP, why do you think Retro isn't first party? They are the same as NST, Monolith Soft, Nd Cube, etc.


I don't know, that's just always been my understanding.

Retro Studios is a first-party division of Nintendo.

Second-parties would be like Rare and Silicon Knights were (Nintendo holds stock, but does not own). I'm not sure of any companies that are like that now, but I think places like Skip, Game Freak, and Genius Sonority are similar to that.

Glad0sOctober 02, 2012

Obviously #1 will be either Red Steel or Carnival Games. I'm leaning towards the latter.

broodwarsOctober 02, 2012

I have no objection to Zack & Wiki being on this list. I don't know if I'd put it this high, but it's certainly an excellent game, and one of the few to actually show the potential of what the Wii could have done if just about everyone involved with Wii game development gave more of a ****.

Quote from: Glad0s

Obviously #1 will be either Red Steel or Carnival Games. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Wow! You're good!

I will tease something of a curve ball that will be revealed at the end of the week. But until then, we've got the first-party #2 (Tuesday) and #1 (Thursday), and the third-party #1 (Wednesday).

Quote from: Glad0s

Obviously #1 will be either Red Steel or Carnival Games. I'm leaning towards the latter.

We Cheer.

TJ SpykeOctober 02, 2012

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: Glad0s

Obviously #1 will be either Red Steel or Carnival Games. I'm leaning towards the latter.

We Cheer.

We know you like it, lol: http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/17446 (the game has an average of 56 on Metacritic, 24 points less than your score. You have the second highest score for the game, behind only Nintendojo).

KhushrenadaOctober 02, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

So, any guesses for #1? You'll find out Wednesday.

I didn't check to see if there was any requirement excluding Wiiware games and if there isn't, I'm guessing the #1 to be World of Goo.

We're going to have a separate thing for WiiWare soon-ish.

ejamerOctober 02, 2012

Quote from: Glad0s

Obviously #1 will be either Red Steel or Carnival Games. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Poking fun at Red Steel is fine, but Red Steel 2 was good enough to be on the list. Wouldn't be my number one game, but Monster Hunter Tri wouldn't be scraping by at number ten on my list either. The flip side is that I doubt enough people played the game for it to receive many votes.

My guess for #1?  Well, let's review the list so far first...

10. Monster Hunter Tri
9. Silent Hill Shattered Memories
8. Muramasa: The Demon Blade
7. Trauma Team
6. A Boy and his Blob
5. GoldenEye 007
4. No More Heroes
3. Boom Blox Bash Party
2. Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
1. ??

Hmm... Tough to say.  There are a bunch of good games that could fill that slot.

I'm going to guess Little King's Story takes the top position because it's a great game that seems like it would appeal to the majority of NWR staff members - even if the controls should've been better.

Shame that we didn't see Tiger Woods/PES representing sports games with unique control schemes on Wii or any niche titles like House of the Dead Overkill, Dead Space Extraction, Dawn of Discovery, or the excellent Tatsunoko vs Capcom... but you can only pick 10 games and in a majority vote like this niche doesn't usually fare very well.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

We're going to have a separate thing for WiiWare soon-ish.

Awesome. Look forward to seeing this, as WiiWare seems constantly under-appreciated. Sure, the service has significant problems and isn't a healthy environment for developers. But there have been some extremely good games released via WiiWare... games that not enough people bothered to try because of the platform.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 02, 2012

I can see Little king's Story winning as it was a pretty awesome game, but I feel like there was some definite corners cut with the game. I found the control issues to be a constant source of frustration. For a pointer based controller I still think it's ridiculous that they went with the scheme they chose, but what is unforgiveable is that a pointer based scheme wasn't even included as an option. Having to call everyone of your villagers back again when all you really wanted to do was select and move specific units was a real pain.

ejamerOctober 03, 2012

Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised to hear what the most popular third-party Wii game was based on the NWR staff poll!  Won't spoil it for people who haven't already heard the podcast.  A very fun game and deserving of recognition, even if it's not one I would've put at the top (maybe not even on) my personal top 10.


Also, the podcast intro is delicious.

The podcast (which is on the Connectivity feed early, like all of them have been usually) was a treat to edit.

xcwarriorOctober 03, 2012

HOD: Overkill was an awesome game. It wouldn't be #1 third party Wii game, but it's in my top 10 for sure.

Monster Hunter Tri is #1 by far. but well that is a given.

SorenOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

The podcast (which is on the Connectivity feed early, like all of them have been usually) was a treat to edit.

Whoever made that intro deserves all of the internets currently in existence.

EDIT: I even managed to double post. Epic fail...

SorenOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: NWR_Neal

The podcast (which is on the Connectivity feed early, like all of them have been usually) was a treat to edit.

Whoever made that intro deserves all of the internets currently in existence.

EDIT: Now I know. I just kept rewinding it because it was so good.

Give credit to Josh for the idea of doing the intro of Zach and me, and then I stitched it in with the song to try to make it flow.

ejamerOctober 03, 2012

Two Wii games that will always be linked in my mind are House of the Dead Overkill and MadWorld.


These mature games (if it's even reasonable to call the intentionally vulgar, puerile, obscenity-laced humor that permeated both games "mature") were published by Sega and contained absolutely incredible soundtracks and in-game scripts. They represented different genres, but shared a slick "style over substance" approach and top-shelf humor - making them stand out from the typical family-friendly fare that Wii owners were used to.


Despite a small media splash in gaming circles, neither sold well by any account. Did the M rating limit their audience? Were people put off by the relatively shallow gameplay instead? Maybe Wii just really wasn't a platform that could support interesting third party developers? The truth is probably some combination of those and other factors.


However, I'm still glad to own both games years later and would easily recommend them to anyone (over the age of 18). The gameplay of House of the Dead is probably more enjoyable, but hearing Bender do voice over work on MadWorld is well worth the (low) price of admission.




"A toothless crack whore said: Give me a chicken dinner!"

Pixelated PixiesOctober 03, 2012

I totally called it.

broodwarsOctober 03, 2012

Overkill's a good game, but "best 3rd party Wii game"?  Eh...I don't think so.  I'd probably give that to something like The Last Story, GoldenEye, Silent Hill SM, or RE4 Wii.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Overkill's a good game, but "best 3rd party Wii game"?  Eh...I don't think so.  I'd probably give that to something like The Last Story, GoldenEye, Silent Hill SM, or RE4 Wii.


I agree. I called it based on Neal's love of that game on a previous podcast I had listened to, but it certainly would not be my favourite 3rd party Wii game. Fun game, but not a great one. Personally, I would have chosen either Monster Hunter Tri or Shattered Memories.

Who's Neil?

Pixelated PixiesOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Who's Neil?


:-[

I caught it and changed it almost immediately after posting it...but obviously I just wasn't quick enough, lol.

I have a mate called Neil so that's just how I'm used to spelling it.

No big deal. :P

I expected shock at this. Just know it was a team effort. Everyone had to vote for it to make it this high.

Also, in regards to some other games mentioned as possible #1s, some of them were ruled out (The Last Story was a Nintendo game in 2 out of 3 major territories) and one of them won't go ignored.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

No big deal. :P:

I expected shock at this. Just know it was a team effort. Everyone had to vote for it to make it this high.

Also, in regards to some other games mentioned as possible #1s, some of them were ruled out (The Last Story was a Nintendo game in 2 out of 3 major territories) and one of them won't go ignored.


I assume then it was eligible for consideration in the top 10 Nintendo games or no? Otherwise that seems a little unfair for TLS.

Also, was Monster Hunter Tri in the same boat as TLS? I think Nintendo might have published it in Europe.

It was eligible for the first party top 10, but the voting took place before the game's North American release so not many people had played it.

TJ SpykeOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Overkill's a good game, but "best 3rd party Wii game"?  Eh...I don't think so.  I'd probably give that to something like The Last Story, GoldenEye, Silent Hill SM, or RE4 Wii.

Xseed Games may have published it here, but The Last Story is first party as they own the IP.

SorenOctober 04, 2012

As a sports gamer I think Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 deserves a big shoutout as far as top third party games. The Wii version constantly outperformed the HD versions in gameplay and reviews. Was there any other multi-console game other than this series that could claim that?


Which is big when you consider just how bad the sports game landscape ended up being in the Wii. (I still think NHL 2005 and MVP 2005 are the best hockey and baseball games respectively on Nintendo, and they're Gamecube games).


11 managed to improve the Wii Motion Plus controls that were first implemented in 10 and even added a first person mode that was as close to the real thing as you could get (it was actually suggested you place a golf ball on the floor for reference). You had online, plus mini and disc golf. It was always a perfect gift for my dad. Or anyone else's dad who loved golf for that matter.

HotD Overkill is not nearly as funny as it thinks it is, and in terms of gameplay, it's the same old mindless light gun shooting that we've seen before. I do think its great production values and absurd soundtrack deserve accommodation. While it's not even my favorite Wii game from this developer (that would be Geometry Wars Galaxies), much less one of my top third-party Wii games overall, I'm glad we're giving it some attention and showcasing the unabashed love that many staff members have for the game. It's a cool, interesting choice that I can respect under protest.

BlueStormOctober 05, 2012




I am kind of jealous of all the games I didn't have the chance to try this generation.  My hope is to buy more third party offerings in this next generation.    One of my favorite games from third parties this time around was The Williams Pinball collection.    If they could have dumped the interface and added online leader boards I think it would have deserved an honorable mention:)  Here is to hoping for Pinball Arcade and and a Zen studios pinball game on WiiU.


My hope is to pick up a lot of the 3rd party titles mentioned if I can find them.  As a bonus, many of them will most likely be a good deal cheaper. 


Thanks for running the features, they've been fun to listen to.

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