Analysis: The Design And Spiritual Evolution Of No More Heroes 2

Is a better-designed game really "better" -- and what does that really mean? Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander takes a look at how Grasshopper Manufacture's No More Heroes 2 evolves on its predecessor.

In the original No More Heroes, Suda51 had a brilliant concept which critics largely agreed stumbled slightly on the execution -- the main criticism being that the open world lacked depth. With very little to do in the city of Santa Destroy, most seemed to feel the sequences in between missions were sprawling empty space, listless filler that could have just as easily been bypassed.

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dgroundwater3669d ago

It's funny because you do expect a certain degree of "s***" design when playing Suda's games. Then when he does a well designed one like NMH2 it's like a changed experience. :)

Mahr3669d ago (Edited 3669d ago )

"Is a better-designed game really "better"...?"

If a better-designed game yields a more appealing, more fun experience, then yes.

As a small qualifier, I enjoy stuff like killer7 and the original NMH as much as the next guy, and I think that the stuff like the 8 solid hours of grinding is a success as an object of contemplation and as a philosophical work, but the problem is that we're talking about *games* and from a *gameplay* standpoint, that type of design is a complete failure.

Maybe there are lots of fans of the original that really love mowing a virtual lawn seven hundred times or spending a half hour traversing a completely empty and useless overworld, and I don't fault them for that. Just as I don't fault people who have weird obsession with soil and peasants and the German Language and ugly mustaches or other people who enjoy reading poetry about ice and grass and regret and a wheelbarrow.

But there comes a time when people have to realize that art is designed for consumption and that the original game, brilliant as it was, had parts that were, in a very important sense, unplayable. Their removal, despite making the overall experience less pretentious, is not something to lament.