No More Heroes led a series of unique and alternative experiences offered by the Wii when it released in 2008. The story of Travis Touchdown’s quest to survive the streets of Santa Destroy in order to rise to the top of the United Assassins Association, if only to get the girl, represented a wave of punk sensibility rarely seen in the industry and also exclusive to Nintendo’s console.
Marvelous Entertainment broadened the chance for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners to share in the bloodletting with the Japanese release of Heroes’ Paradise this year, and many of us have patiently waited to learn which publisher might plan to bring that HD love our way.
Recently it was revealed that Konami would answer the call, announcing a Move supported PlayStation 3 version. Not unlike starving dogs, we hungered for more details.
Luckily for us, both Marvelous and Konami production team’s Tak Fuji have merged forces not only to bring Heroes’ Paradise to North America, but also to answer our most pressing questions – as well as leaving us all with one I know many of you will offer answers to.
Get your Heroes’ Paradise fix after the break.
Gamesugar: What spurred Konami’s interest in picking up the title for North America and Europe? Is this the start of a beautiful Konami-Marvelous relationship?
Konami: We at Konami have experience in working with other publishers. For example, we were responsible for publishing the Japanese version of DarkSiders from THQ, and we’re always looking for new partners to work with. We feel that we can provide valuable support to our partners and their franchises. Marvelous is one of our newer partners, but we definitely would like to continue this beautiful relationship.
Gamesugar: What are Konami’s plans for voice-acting in the game?
Konami: All voice work in the game was kept the same as the Wii version. The original act was so great that we really don’t feel any need to fix what isn’t broken. Since the voice of the characters is so vital to No More Heroes, we really want all players to enjoy the original essence of the game.
Gamesugar: Compatibility with PlayStation Move makes sense given the original Wii release, but then we really have to ask about whether this release will work with the same type of motion control interaction seen in the Wii version, or if you’re starting with a clean slate so to speak on how Move integration is handled?
Konami: While they do look similar from the outside, the Wii controller and PlayStation Move are actually somewhat different from one another. Essentially, you’ll see the same general control scheme as on the Wii, but with tweaks and fixes to really fit the Move. Keeping the Move controls fun and fluid is something that we see as really important, and we’ll continue to improve throughout development.
Gamesugar: The Japanese release of Heroes’ Paradise was accompanied with some criticisms about loading times and performance issues on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, should fans here have any concerns?
Konami: Our top priority has been load times, and our team has been working hard day and night to modify the inner workings of the game to bring load times down to reasonable levels. I’m actually a bit of a stickler when it comes to load times, so I’m never satisfied, and always looking to lower them further. Since performance and load times are actually quite related issues, optimizing our data has led to much more visible details of Santa Destroy, all streaming in at a much quicker pace. All in all, working on one issue has helped solve the other. Gamers are going to be pleased.
Gamesugar: Can you talk at all about the decision to only bring the game over for PlayStation 3?
Konami: We all love the original Wii version, and part of what made it great was having something to hold and swing around. By having the PlayStation Move controller, it’s much easier to keep the interaction true to the original, so going to the PS3 was a pretty natural choice.
We have, and are still tossing around ideas for linking NMH with the Kinect for Xbox 360 gamers, but since the Kinect is such a unique device, it’s a bit more difficult. This isn’t to say that the Kinect is a poor interface by any means, but more that in its uniqueness it requires a bit more care and planning to bring Travis to the Xbox 360. So if we were to do so, we’d need more time.
Gamesugar: We’ve heard that players will be able to challenge additional bosses not in the original No More Heroes, can we expect some characters from the sequel to put in an appearance?
Konami: This is actually the main idea behind the additional bosses. All of the additional bosses in the game are from No More Heroes 2, making this much more than just the original Wii game. We’re huge fans of the whole No More Heroes franchise, and we see this game not as a port, but a fan’s tribute to both games.
Gamesugar: Does Grasshopper Manufacture have any involvement with this release?
Konami: Everything added to the game or changed from the original are checked with Grasshopper Manufacturer before being implemented and included. We’re very careful not to put in anything that breaks from Grasshopper’s vision. Everything must be the world of Grasshopper, otherwise it could break the whole game’s design and vision. As huge fans of No More Heroes, this is certainly something we don’t wish to see happen.
Gamesugar: Marvelous has been offering some pretty sweet bonus items for the series in Japan, any thoughts on bringing some of that to North American shelves as well?
Konami: Since the game is still in development and hasn’t been finalized, we haven’t yet announced any plans for bonus items or merchandise, but it is something we’d like to consider more going forward. We know how dedicated fans of NMH are, so what do you think they would want?