Forum > Gaming Discussion > MadWorld vs. No More Heroes - quick comparison
MadWorld vs. No More Heroes - quick comparison
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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 15:22:56
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Since MadWorld came out a lot of people have been making a lot of comparisons between it and No More Heroes.  Both are uber violent, have very dramatic art styles, and pretty wicked senses of humor. So I thought I'd make a list (it was meant to be much shorter when I started) to go a little deeper into the games differences, as they are very different games.  This isn't really about saying which game is better, though in some cases you can see which direction I lean and in other cases I'll come out and say it.

The Story

MadWorld starts out as just a great big last man standing death match, but as the chapters progress you start to find out that there's a lot more going on.  The story itself isn't overly original, but the execution of it is.  Sometimes how the story is told is just as important as the story itself.  At any rate, it is compelling enough to make you want to keep playing to find out what's going on.

No More Heroes. . . doesn't really have much of a story.  It's essentially Travis Touchdown's quest to become to top ranked assasin in the world.  There are some twists and turns to it near the end, but overall the story is driven more by the "kill this boss and then the next boss" mentality.


The Main Characters

MadWorld gives us Jack.  Literally.  Jack is pretty much the cliche' badass,  He's a little more interesting than most and there's a couple more layers to him, but he's not going to win any awards for character development.  Still he's fun and that's really all you need.

Travis Touchdown is gaming reigning king douchebag and I mean that in a good way.  Travis is a very unique hero.  He was meant to be 'one of us' and for the most part he is.  He's the geek who got the big break and we love him for it.


The Combat

MadWorld combat is pretty much the same in the begining as it is in the end. The only improvement to Jack's fighting is in relation to how much better you get. Jack doesn't really learn any new moves as time goes on so the same moves and combos you use in the beginning of the game will still be used during the final fights.  The environments change and can dramatically change how you kill people.  If you're on a higher level you'll find yourself tossing guys out of windows. If you're near a rosebush (spiked walls) you tend to pick people up and impale them on it.  You may also find weapons after getting X-number of points but they have limited use so you won't really use them too often.

No More Heroes will has a variety of new moves, abilities, and weapons upgrades that you can buy/earn.  Simply put, the Travis from the end of the game could wipe the floor with the Travis from the beginning of the game.  

In both games combat isn't overly complex.  NMH has more defensive options for someone who wants to guard and pick their moments.  Jack can only dodge out of the way.  But difficulty ramps up pretty much at the same pace at both, so if you don't get better you won't last too long.


The Boss Battles

NMH wins out here, though it could have been closer.  At the beginning of each NMH battle you have a nice scene with the new boss.  They're usually pretty damned funny too.  And the battles themselves can be quite difficult and complex, are completely over the top with what they do, with a few exceptions.  And it doesn't hurt that the fights are usually a blast.

MadWorld's battles are just as fun and just as over the top, but they are over much faster. And there's some introduction to the boss via a rundown by the announce team.  But they don't have their own dialog and you never really end up having a favorite MadWorld boss.  These boss battles usually end with a big memorable moment though, so you won't be forgetting the fights any time soon.


The Other Little Intangibles

There's a few other things worth mentioning.  Some might feel that NMH's length is artificially lengthened due to the minigames/jobs to earn money.  Others argue that's actually part of the genius of the game's design and makes you look forward to the boss fights even more.  In my book, collecting coconuts was just dull.  That being said, even taking out the minigames No More Heroes is probably the longer of the two games.

No More Heroes also has a little something extra for those dorks who like collecting every little thing they can find.  There's clothing and accessories to buy/find as well as cards that feature game artwork once the game has been completed.

MadWorld doesn't seem to have anything like that (though to be fair I haven't finished the game yet), but it does feature the greatest announcers in videogame history.  Greg Proops and Bender (I just can't call him by his real name) will make you laugh at loud at several points.  

"You sir, are a fucking idiot."

"Thank you for calling me sir!"

So there you go.  Those are the biggest things I can tell you that you may not immediately be able to catch from videos or in-game pictures.  Very different games, but equally vulgar (most of the time) and damned good in their own right.

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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 16:07:00
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Thank you.  That is pretty neat and much appreciated.

For us europeans another major difference to add is that NMH is bloodless (baddies disappear into coins) whereas MW i'm assuming has all the crimson stuff left intact for the european release.

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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 16:28:17
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Nice write up. It almost makes NMH sound better though.


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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 17:00:52
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bugsonglass said:
Thank you.  That is pretty neat and much appreciated.

For us europeans another major difference to add is that NMH is bloodless (baddies disappear into coins) whereas MW i'm assuming has all the crimson stuff left intact for the european release.

That's just odd.  I wonder why the two games would be held to different standards. I guess red blood is okay so long as everything else is black and white.

gamingeek said:

Nice write up. It almost makes NMH sound better though.


Well that wasn't my intention, though to be truthful I think I liked NMH a little bit better.  Too soon to say since I've yet to finish MadWorld though.  The biggest different, and possibly why it may sound slanted, is because so many of NMH's flaws involve the side aspects that I really only glossed over.  For instance the sandbox play of the city was pretty much a failure in NMH and though I already mentioned it, those jobs and exercise training minigames were painfully dull at times.  

That's the biggest difference ultimately between the two games.  MadWorld, for it's unique look and gameplay, is a pretty conservative game.    It tries to do one thing - play as a beat 'em up - and does it very well.  NMH tries to do a lot in terms of what kind of game it is.  Sometimes it hits, sometimes it misses.  As a gamer I appreciate games that try to do a lot of different things and don't stay pigeonholed in one spot, so long as most of them turn out well.

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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 17:22:18
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No More Heroes was made for the Japanese market with coins instead of blood and then Manhunt 2 went and got its ass banned in Britain AND Ireland.

So they decided to release the gimped version to us instead. Madworld is coming out, blood and all with comic book violence.

You know I may pick up Manhunt 2, its cheap enough. Shame that the BBFC decision (which was overturned) still censored the release, we got the same gimped version as America.


robio said:

bugsonglass said:
Thank you.  That is pretty neat and much appreciated.

For us europeans another major difference to add is that NMH is bloodless (baddies disappear into coins) whereas MW i'm assuming has all the crimson stuff left intact for the european release.

That's just odd.  I wonder why the two games would be held to different standards. I guess red blood is okay so long as everything else is black and white.

gamingeek said:

Nice write up. It almost makes NMH sound better though.


Well that wasn't my intention, though to be truthful I think I liked NMH a little bit better.  Too soon to say since I've yet to finish MadWorld though.  The biggest different, and possibly why it may sound slanted, is because so many of NMH's flaws involve the side aspects that I really only glossed over.  For instance the sandbox play of the city was pretty much a failure in NMH and though I already mentioned it, those jobs and exercise training minigames were painfully dull at times.  

That's the biggest difference ultimately between the two games.  MadWorld, for it's unique look and gameplay, is a pretty conservative game.    It tries to do one thing - play as a beat 'em up - and does it very well.  NMH tries to do a lot in terms of what kind of game it is.  Sometimes it hits, sometimes it misses.  As a gamer I appreciate games that try to do a lot of different things and don't stay pigeonholed in one spot, so long as most of them turn out well.

NMH open world was god awful. Shame because it could work really well if they could get it working technically and inject some variety. I would want them to cut it out and focus on awesome variety in the levels, but I hear that NMH2 (to be shown at E3?) is going to fix the openworld.

Firstly, they need a good engine.

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Wed, 18 Mar 2009 17:28:01
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What the hey? Play.com are selling Manhunt 2 for £8, that's like $13?

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Thu, 19 Mar 2009 03:06:20
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We got the "real" version. The blood was added in for America wasn't it?

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Thu, 19 Mar 2009 07:55:15
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Foolz said:
We got the "real" version. The blood was added in for America wasn't it?

Yes, NMH NTSC has blood.

gamingeek said:

NMH open world was god awful.

The city in NMH was much like the real LA that I lived in for nearly 20 years.  Bland, long, wide, empty, bleached.  I think that was a choice grasshopper made.  Technically by comparison it was not dis-similar to the GTAIII open world areas IMO.  But in any case it was not an open-world game --  It was a story-driven boss battle marathon with humorous and / or reflective interludes.

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Thu, 19 Mar 2009 11:45:57
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aspro73 said:
Foolz said:
We got the "real" version. The blood was added in for America wasn't it?

Yes, NMH NTSC has blood.

gamingeek said:

NMH open world was god awful.

The city in NMH was much like the real LA that I lived in for nearly 20 years.  Bland, long, wide, empty, bleached.  I think that was a choice grasshopper made.  Technically by comparison it was not dis-similar to the GTAIII open world areas IMO.  But in any case it was not an open-world game --  It was a story-driven boss battle marathon with humorous and / or reflective interludes.

LA was like that when I visisted. Talk about concrete jungle.

I dont think it in any way compares to GTA 3 though.

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Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:43:32
gamingeek said:

aspro73 said:
Foolz said:
We got the "real" version. The blood was added in for America wasn't it?

Yes, NMH NTSC has blood.

gamingeek said:

NMH open world was god awful.

The city in NMH was much like the real LA that I lived in for nearly 20 years.  Bland, long, wide, empty, bleached.  I think that was a choice grasshopper made.  Technically by comparison it was not dis-similar to the GTAIII open world areas IMO.  But in any case it was not an open-world game --  It was a story-driven boss battle marathon with humorous and / or reflective interludes.

LA was like that when I visisted. Talk about concrete jungle.

I dont think it in any way compares to GTA 3 though.

Graphically they are the same quality, just in a different style, and in terms of interactivity you cn go into as many building ins NMH as you could in GTA3.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 02:32:13
But GTA III was bigger as far as I can remember. It was years ago, though.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 03:46:12

^Yeah... I think you are right, and yeah GTA3's Liberty City was more fun to engage, but again, that was the core element of the gameplay for GTA3.  For NMH the city mostly served the same function as the wilderness in Shadow of the Collosus, or the ocean in Zelda:Wind Breaker.  I think because it was an urban setting most people wrongly assumed it was trying to be an open world game, when really... not so much.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:06:59

aspro73 said:
gamingeek said:

aspro73 said:
Foolz said:
We got the "real" version. The blood was added in for America wasn't it?

Yes, NMH NTSC has blood.

gamingeek said:

NMH open world was god awful.

The city in NMH was much like the real LA that I lived in for nearly 20 years.  Bland, long, wide, empty, bleached.  I think that was a choice grasshopper made.  Technically by comparison it was not dis-similar to the GTAIII open world areas IMO.  But in any case it was not an open-world game --  It was a story-driven boss battle marathon with humorous and / or reflective interludes.

LA was like that when I visisted. Talk about concrete jungle.

I dont think it in any way compares to GTA 3 though.

Graphically they are the same quality, just in a different style, and in terms of interactivity you cn go into as many building ins NMH as you could in GTA3.

Uh, I played the Xbox version so I think it looked better. The NMH open world looks like an N64 game is far less interactive. It was just a whole waste of time. No More Heroes could be a AAA quality game IF they stripped out the open world, focused on polish and variety in the levels. I played Madworld last night and I have to say its, suprising but the combat in No More Heroes gets ALOT right.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:27:10

aspro73 said:

^Yeah... I think you are right, and yeah GTA3's Liberty City was more fun to engage, but again, that was the core element of the gameplay for GTA3.  For NMH the city mostly served the same function as the wilderness in Shadow of the Collosus, or the ocean in Zelda:Wind Breaker.  I think because it was an urban setting most people wrongly assumed it was trying to be an open world game, when really... not so much.

It wasn't meant for the GTA style open world experience, but I can't really disagree with those who feel it was a waste.  Essentially the city's only real purpose was to be a giant hunting ground for orbs, t-shirts, and spare change.   I kind of liked looking for the orbs though.  That was fun.  But again I think the game would have benefitted by having a selectable map/menu for going from one locale to another.  

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:39:39

No More Heroes combat and gameplay combat system, personally I think it's far better than Madworld so far. But Madworld isn't a fighting game, as the producer said. It's a game about inventive slaughter.

It really makes me appreciate how well Grasshopper did with the combat in NMH, it's very satisfying, instantly accesible, dynamic, strategic and fun.

Madworld by comparison feels less sharp, more blugeoning by comparison and therefore less satisfying to me. I can't see myself playing the hard mode in Madworld either, not with the huge PAL borders and NGaiden 1 style camera. Its less of a problem in Madworld because the game is so easy, but I would prefer a fixed camera that moved with the environment.

If you can get past the bad bits in NMH then you will really enjoy the good bits.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:41:33

gamingeek said:

No More Heroes combat and gameplay combat system, personally I think it's far better than Madworld so far. But Madworld isn't a fighting game, as the producer said. It's a game about inventive slaughter.

It really makes me appreciate how well Grasshopper did with the combat in NMH, it's very satisfying, instantly accesible, dynamic, strategic and fun.

Madworld by comparison feels less sharp, more blugeoning by comparison and therefore less satisfying to me. I can't see myself playing the hard mode in Madworld either, not with the huge PAL borders and NGaiden 1 style camera. Its less of a problem in Madworld because the game is so easy, but I would prefer a fixed camera that moved with the environment.

If you can get past the bad bits in NMH then you will really enjoy the good bits.

For the record, once you get to the third zone the game will stop being easy.  Every level in that zone kicked my ass on multiple occasions.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:46:13

robio said:

For the record, once you get to the third zone the game will stop being easy.  Every level in that zone kicked my ass on multiple occasions.

Oh joy, that will be fun with a postage stamped sized screen and a less than perfect camera.

Well, tommorrow I get to play on a 50" HDTV, add in the PAL letterbox mode and that means a 25" screen. Which is better than the 15" viewing area I'm getting now. Screw SEGA.

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Sat, 21 Mar 2009 02:11:50

robio said:

aspro73 said:

^Yeah... I think you are right, and yeah GTA3's Liberty City was more fun to engage, but again, that was the core element of the gameplay for GTA3.  For NMH the city mostly served the same function as the wilderness in Shadow of the Collosus, or the ocean in Zelda:Wind Breaker.  I think because it was an urban setting most people wrongly assumed it was trying to be an open world game, when really... not so much.

It wasn't meant for the GTA style open world experience, but I can't really disagree with those who feel it was a waste.  Essentially the city's only real purpose was to be a giant hunting ground for orbs, t-shirts, and spare change.   I kind of liked looking for the orbs though.  That was fun.  But again I think the game would have benefitted by having a selectable map/menu for going from one locale to another.  

Funny story. I found most of the orbs (those were the things you dig up) without te sound or vibratio non the wii-remote (whichever it was that helped you find them). Boy was I pissed off that I'd wasted so much time when i realised that. LOL

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Sun, 22 Mar 2009 13:43:31
Oh yeah, on a big TV and once you've played a bit, well I dont find the camera a problem at all. And I'm really enjoying the game now. On a widescreen TV you get more visible screen space. There are still borders, but they are half as big on each end.

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Mon, 23 Mar 2009 14:41:48
I still don't get why that was done.  This game needs to be as big as possible.  It definitely does not work on a tiny screen.  Why throw in frames that are entirely unnecessary??  PAL release got screwed.  Blame the Germans.  They don't catch nearly enough crap these days.
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