Byzantine Reality

Searching for Byzantine failures in the world around us

No More Heroes v. Assassin's Creed

Video games and I have had a long running on-off relationship. Sometimes I’m really into them and sometimes I just can’t play them. While I was on the last video game binge I got to play two eerily similar games: No More Heroes for the Wii, and Assassin’s Creed for the PS3. If you play video games at all you’ve likely heard of the latter, although despite all the hype it got, I really love the former a million times more.

Something odd about this comparison that I didn’t notice until I grabbed these images you see here is that both games are both published by Ubisoft. Probably not too consequential, but odd enough. Moving on…

Both games have a pretty similar idea in mind: you’re an assassin and need to kill between nine and ten “notable figures” (read: bosses) that stand between you and your ultimate goal. For each one, there’s some amount of pre-murder grind you have to do before you’re ready for the kill, and on both, the actual boss fights are pretty fun.

But here’s where these games go their separate ways. The first plus automatically goes to Assassin’s Creed for looking WAY better, which you would naturally assume is the case with it being on the PS3 and all, especially compared to No More Heroes on the Wii.

Unfortunately that’s really the only area where Assassin’s Creed sticks out. That’s not to say it’s a terrible game. The controls are fine and the cities you visit are sufficiently diverse, but nothing really seems to stand out. Contrast this with No More Heroes. No More Heroes puts you in at least nine unique areas for boss fights versus the four castles for Assassin’s Creed (albeit smaller areas in the former).

The big seller for me on No More Heroes is that it’s fun. In Assassin’s Creed you end up spending a lot of time climbing crap and interrogating people. This was great the first few times, but it quickly became so monotonous that I literally fell asleep while playing the game. Twice. No reason at all they couldn’t mix it up a little bit and have you do some new interesting crap. And then there’s the ending! I had no idea the game was even over when this happened! Sure you see the credits, but then you’re back in the room with your new powers and can get to new areas with new stuff to read…but that’s really the end of the game. Lame.

No More Heroes, in contrast, is fun. I certainly never fell asleep while playing it, for starters. The amount of grind is much lower in comparison and varies from stage to stage and the game in general doesn’t take itself too seriously. It certainly has the most gratuitous amount of violence and language I’ve seen in quite some time and it’s odd enough that it makes the game more fun. The story is so crazy that I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next, whereas with Assassin’s Creed you don’t really care until you get to the very last boss.

I think I’ve beat the point into the ground here. No More Heroes is amazing and if you have a Wii you need to go buy it now. It’s half the price of Assassin’s Creed, which you probably already have if you have a PS3, so you have no excuse.