Missed Part 1? Go read it here. But don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. Outside of explaining Travis Touchdown and going over the first three plot-relevant kills (the 11th assassin, Death Metal, and Doctor Peace), not much happened. So now, Travis has to get ready to face the eighth ranked assassin, but before that he needs to collect the money required for the entrance fee.
See, No More Heroes is a wide open sandbox. It’s not nearly as intricate or detailed as Liberty City. Still, Santa Destroy has a few places of interest. I’ll take a moment to list them here.
-Near the No More Heroes Motel, there’s Beef Head, Bishop’s video store where Travis can buy different new VHS tapes (true collectors don’t care about DVDs!). Watching those tapes can give him new suplex moves, which can help quite a bit against the bosses of the game.
-Just around the corner, behind the motel, there’s Doctor Naomi, gadgeteer extraordinaire, who will work on new beam katana models and upgrades for Travis, given that he shills out the amount of cash she demands. She can make a beam katana with five laser blades, the best weapon in the game. Also, getting the final, true ending, requires that Travis buys everything she has to sell him. You might say she’s hot, really hot… but beware, she’s 63.
-The ATM used to pay the entrance fee for each Ranked Battle is located on a building in front of the No More Heroes Motel. Travis can easily run there to pay his fee and go back to the motel to get ready.
-The Thunder Ryu Building is owned by Travis’s old wrestling coach and mentor Thunder Ryu. At any moment, you can go there and, for a small sum of money, Ryu will train Travis to increase either his beam katana combo attack, his overall strength, or his Life Bar (represented by a pixel heart).
-Area 51, a place where Travis can buy all kinds of jackets, shirts, pants, given he has the money of course. This is not GTA, you can’t just kill the store owner – nor can you put a bucket on his head – and steal everything, as tempting as it may be.
-As the game progresses, blue Ms will appear on the map. Those are bonus fights, similar to the Rampage! mini-game in GTA: Chinatown Wars, where Travis must kill as many opponents as possible without getting hit once. There are neat rewards for completing these.
One of the more interesting and important side-quests here is the search for Lovikov Balls. Inside the Gold Town Bar, located behind Thunder Ryu’s building, you’ll meet a drunken Russian guy (how not stereotypical), who goes by the name Randall Lovikov. He will offer to teach Travis new moves each time Travis brings him seven Lovikov balls. There are 49 Lovikov balls to find around Santa Destroy, and Randall has seven things to teach Travis… though they all involve beating up Travis somehow. The Lovikov Balls are not marked on the Santa Destroy map at first, but meeting Lovikov reveals them on the map with orange dots. You can spend quite a bit of time looking for them as you travel around town. Lovikov will then teach Travis a few things of interest:
-How to display the position of enemies on the small map in the corner;
-How to perform a jumping slash by shaking the Nunchuk;
-How to run by pressing B (and unlike Huang in Chinatown Wars, Travis can run for a while, and regains energy when he walks instead of running. Travis is also pretty fast when he runs);
-How to increase Travis’s Dark Side Mode limit (those are quick power-ups that Travis can gain after defeating an enemy, if he's lucky);
-How to increase the range of Travis’s wrestling grab;
-How to know your maximum chain of hits at the end of a Ranked Battle;
-How to perform a jumping down attack.
There’s also K-Entertainment, the building where Travis gets his assassination gigs. By heading to that building, he can select a mission, after which he leaves K-Entertainment, heads to the location of the mission, and does whatever was asked of him. These usually give out great rewards. New gigs appear after every ranked battle, and the ones that have been completed don’t vanish, so you can replay them as often as you want, which is really useful near endgame, where the entrance fees for Ranked Battles get rather high. Although I really wonder how often I’m gonna have to kill that fucking pizza place owner for him to get the hint that we don’t want him around. I mean, there are three missions centered on that!
the Job Center, where you can choose between nine different jobs; those are
mini-games that reward you based on your performance, and range from mowing a
lawn to picking up garbage to capturing cats who have escaped to picking up
scorpions. Every time you go do a job, you’ll be greeted by some guy who
worships a god of whatever you’re about to do. Eh, it’s still better than
Scientology. In both cases, gigs and jobs unlocked during your first
playthrough will not have to be unlocked again in all subsequent playthroughs.
|Collecting coconuts till the next kill.|
|In the big table of fighting elements, beam katana|
beats flaming baseball bat. Come at me, bro.
|I... I don't feel right fighting a high-school girl...|
I mean, she's a killer like the others, but....
I guess I still have to, let's keep it up...
Wait wait wait. Travis, cold-blooded killer with a beam katana, who will breeze through armies without breaking a sweat, and showed no mercy whatsoever for Death Metal and Doctor Peace, wants to spare a young girl who could very well kill him? As in, he has a “moral code”? Tssk, that’s so out of place in the NMH world. You want a moral code, go read a Batman comic. Oh no, wait, Frank Miller fucked that up. Um, you want a moral code, go watch, uh... Superman? Oh no, the recent films fucked that up too. Go watch... I don't know, DuckTales or something. Anyway, Travis decides to spare her, only cutting off her hand.
|...No. I have the feeling that you'll grow up to become an|
amazing American ninja-like assassin with a huge body
count, and quite frankly, I cannot deprive the world
of your talent. Who knows, you might even help Travis
Even when Sylvia and the UAA cleaners show up, Sylvia wonders why Travis kept Shinobu alive. He replies that he’ll wait for her to get stronger, because he’ll only be satisfied when she becomes a greater challenge, and only then will he kill her. When Sylvia tells Travis that he is crazy with his blood knight ideals of fighting against people stronger than him, Travis replies that she’s crazy too for arranging these fights… Aha, right in your bitch mouth, Sylvia! Seriously though, you do end up hating Sylvia by the end of this (and you’ll find out why by the end of the story). But in the No More Heroes world, everyone’s wrong anyway.
|Drop your gun! Come and fight me with the weapon of a|
real man, like your pals down there who also had beam
|Come on, as if I was gonna fall for that trap!|
Two seconds later: *falls for that trap*
|A boisterous baddie blasting a blue beam... bleh! Good|
thing it isn't the red one that comes from Destroyman's
crotch, that would be a whole new kind of groin attack.
|Travis, you idiot, you need to remember the vital rules|
of life! Don't wizz on the elctric fence, dont step on the
obvious mine, don't barbecue your neighbor''s dog, don't
spend all your time whining abour video games...
|...Yeah, like that.|
|No screenshot of this battle can|
do her justice. On the right is her
promotional art picture. Remember
her, she's the first one to knock some
sense into Travis.
This girl is not playing fair in-battle, but she’s one of the more level-headed assassins out there, even questioning Travis on why he does all this. I mean, just getting into some kind of game where you have to kill very real humans? All this time, Travis gives no fucks about who the other assassins are, all he cares about is to see their heads roll. I mean, who would be fucking stupid enough to go headfirst into a competition and not give a damn about killing people?
….That’s… Hackman, oh fuck… I don’t want to remember this… Okay, look, I’ll go back on this later. Is that fine? Alright.
|"Never forget me."|
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the game.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
|I can'r make a joke about this scene. It's beyond me.|
But of course, as long as this quick ceremony is over, Travis decides to keep up on his quest to become the #1 assassin. Why? Hasn’t this shaken you enough, man? Won’t you stop there? I mean, there has to be more to this quest of yours than this flimsy reason! You don’t become the #1 at something just because you want to! Except in video games! And dude, just because you're in a video game doesn't mean you must treat your own life like a video game and- and- and and and-......... and...
I think this review is going to take a lot of turns that I don’t like… but you’ll have to keep reading, as there are still five assassins to go, and much more of the story to unravel. See you Friday for Part 3.