It’s always a happy day when niche console games get new leases on life thanks to belated PC ports. While Suda51 is something of a household name to many cult fans, most of his titles have been relegated to console hardware. This started to turn around when The Silver Case saw a release on Steam in 2016, followed by Let It Die and No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again a few years later. The PC audience was hungry and publisher Grasshopper Manufacture finally got the memo.
That’s what brings us to today’s release of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on PC. Both games had received HD ports to Nintendo Switch late last year and it seems Grasshopper is hyping up the upcoming No More Heroes 3 with ports on Steam. It could also signal that the third game will eventually find a home on the platform or it could just be a happy coincidence that this is happening right before E3 2021 kicks off. I’ll let you be the judge of what these releases mean, but how do they play?
Well, let me ask you this: can you play titles released within the last two years at maxed-out settings? If so, you should be perfectly fine with No More Heroes. The minimum requirements only ask for a GTX 750 Ti as the GPU, a card that is pushing seven-plus years of age. There’s that and how my completely overkill system (an RTX 3080 paired with a Ryzen 9 5900x) registered 1% utilization on both GPU and CPU during any gameplay with a completely locked 60 fps. Both titles just work.
So that’s great news, but what about all of the options and configuration settings? This is where things get a bit ugly. I’m not sure anyone would need to select lower visual settings for either of these titles, but you aren’t even given the option to do so. When launching the game from Steam, you’ll have the option to jump straight into the game or fiddle around with a configuration tool. If you opt to mess around with settings, you’ll find a tool that is so barebones, you may think it’s some meta-joke.
Under graphics, you’ll have the choice to toggle fullscreen and select different anti-aliasing methods up to MSAAx8. There are no resolution options, no graphical settings, nothing. It seems the game will render at your display’s native resolution, but it doesn’t actually support 4K. All of my screencaps come out to 1440p, which can be noticed somewhat in-game due to the text being a bit pixelated.
Under the audio tab, you’ll have volume sliders for sound and music. I would recommend turning the sound down a bit as the audio balancing in-game can be a bit much. During the first boss fight in No More Heroes, I could not make out what Travis was saying over the slashing of his beam katana. This same thing follows for No More Heroes 2, so just be prepared to mess around with these sliders.
Next up is the extras tab, which simply has an option for English subtitles. The Steam store page says there is support for multiple languages, but they may be on a system-level basis. Regardless, I toggled them off and the game randomly turned them back on once I got to the first boss. Weird, but hardly game-breaking.
Finally, the gamepad tab lets you invert both the X and Y axis and enable/disable rumble. You cannot reconfigure any buttons and there is no mouse and keyboard support of any kind. I’m sure mods might be able to change that, but it’s incredibly disappointing. It’s also strange how button prompts in-game can be triggered by different buttons, so B seems to double as A when using an Xbox Series X gamepad. Again, not a dealbreaker (unless you swear by mouse and keyboard only), but odd nonetheless.
I initially thought that maybe the configuration tool was just barebones, but this follows into the game. You cannot access any menu options until after the first cutscene and when you do, they are basically the same as the configuration tool. You won’t be able to toggle different anti-aliasing methods, but the sound levels, gamepad options, and subtitle toggle are all here. I’m surprised there are gamepad-appropriate icons for your selected controller, but this really is a no thrills port. It works, thankfully, and I didn’t experience any crashing in over an hour of testing, but there’s not much else to it.
All of those pictures on the Steam store page are completely accurate. The cel-shaded visual style does look great on a massive display, even at 1440p, but there isn’t any false advertising going on. You won’t see massive improvements over the Switch ports, which I bet these are basically direct conversions of.
With both titles going for $20 on Steam, I wouldn’t say buying either is a bad deal. PC players should expect more, but then what could Grasshopper really improve about Wii titles that are 11+ years old now? Each title retains its Wii art style instead of opting for the far uglier PS3 version, so that’s a huge plus. Other than that, they run and are fine.
I definitely would like to see mouse and keyboard support thrown in and maybe an actual resolution menu, but there’s nothing egregiously wrong here. Set your expectations low and you should be able to find fun in these incredibly basic ports.
TechRaptor played No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on PC using a copy provided by the publisher. The games are also available on Wii and Switch.