No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Release Date:NA January 26, 2010
EU May 28, 2010
AUS May 27, 2010
Watch the less detailed Video Review!
No More Heroes for those of you who were not privileged enough to play when it came out is a game starring Travis Touchdown, an average twenty year old guy. Well let This guy buy something that resembles a lightsaber online and now lets throw him in Santa Destroy, a city hellbent on televised assassin rank fights. Right from the very start you are a skilled assassin capable of pulling off the craziest moves and obliteraing everything on screen. Forward the game a bit now and I found that theres not a lot I really dont like about the game. There was a array of Beam Katana's you could equip, all supplied by this girl named Naomi, A lot of different wrestling moves involving suplexes, and lastly a large number of enjoyable mini missions you could do in order to earn money for the entry fee to the fights and new weapons/upgrades. Essentially that games flow was Kill assassin, return to motel, check for new Weapons/upgrades, mass amount of grinding till you had enough for the fight, kill henchmen, kill assassin, rinse and repeat. Normally I would say its really really repetitive, and it kinda is, but this is where the first game shines, each boss was extremely memorable, much like the boss fights of our 8-bit days, you had to think about what your doing and have some mad reflexes at times. That game was a game that actually had balls behind it, while gently reminding us where real gamers came from, not to mention, the most messed up story and characters I've ever seen from a video game. This however is not the case with the next installment to No More Heroes.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is like the annoying little sibling that wont STFU, making you want to break things, most notably your controllers. Now being the little sibling isn't all bad, the game fixed a lot of the issues I had with the first game, even changed a few things I didn't realize I didnt like about the first game until I saw how they changed them. Take navigating the town for example, in the first game, you drove around town on your giant bike which had crap controls, you had to drive to each place you wanted to visit. In NMH2 the town is shown as a map with options as to where you can go all fast travel like, no more driving! While this got rid of the free roam aspects of the first game, it did shave off time inbetween rank fights, time that otherwise would've been spent pointlessly driving around. You no longer have to grind money to be entered into the rank fights, infact if you dont plan on getting new weapons at all, or new clothes, you dont have to work, ever. Although, The work mini-games this time around are actually pretty fun. They're presented in full on 8-bit glory and pay homage to them further by actually being as simple as some of those games. Getting extra health and attack power are somewhat of a pain in the ass, still in 8-bit format, increasing your strength requires you to punch and kick flying dumbbells and dodging kisses. Stamina has you running on a treadmill that switches direction. Another welcome fix is the fact that Travis now carries all the beam swords on this belt rather then hiding them under his bed like in the first one, so you can switch them up mid-fight this time around.
No More Heroes 2 does fix a lot of the small issues I had with the first one, but it brings an buttload of new problems to the table and just dumped on my lasagna. The worst bit of which is boring bosses. The Bosses in the sequel are Epic fail compared to the first one, they aren't memorable and take no thinking whatsoever. In almost every case from the first one, you could name a boss and I would remember the fight. This time, you name a boss and you lost me, except for Nathan Copeland and New Destoryman, I can't remember the name of any of them, and only the latter because hes from the first game. Most of the new bosses require nothing more then simply attacking them and dodging the ever so easy to predict because they glow, super attacks. Which in its own way is another way it pays homage to the 8-bit days. The addition of the dual weilding beam katana shown on the front cover is really nice (sarcasm), over 75% of the way through the game. If your going to advertise "Hey look! You can dual Wield now!" at least make it somewhere around a quarter into the game not when your almost done. It's the exact same thing Ninja Gaiden 2 did, "Hey look!, epic weapon for the last level only!" STOP DOING THIS!!! I hate having an awesome weapon to play with for ten minutes, yes I'm looking at you too Kingdom Hearts 2. It doesnt help that Naomi it seems after two swords, packs it in and doesn't feel like making anymore weapons for you, but remaining open so you can waste your time going in kill after kill and having her insult you. Seriously the only reason to work after getting your second sword from her is to buy yourself some clothes, and feed your cat. After rendering over half of your potential game time useless the game becomes around seven hours long. Another major complaint I have about this game is the camera. I know what your thinking as you read this "Anyone who complains about the camera must not be very good at the said game", well let me explain to you exactly how ass it is. Theres no control for the camera at all. Camera controls are non-existant, except for the center camera button, which isn't going to help you in a fight even in the slightest bit. This shows especially when you take control of one of the other playable characters and the game turns into a platformer magically. You will spend hours cursing at the camera, you have been warned.
Switchly gears completely, lets talk about the story of NMH2, its completely messed up again. Once again your playing as Travis Touchdown, the horny, anime loving, and possibly bi-polar twenty-somethign year old. This Story starts three years after Travis claimed the top spot in the last game. After collecting the number one headband, cause its the exact same idea as Afro Samurai, Travis peaces out and supposedly leaves Santa Destroy. Well Travis is back now for some reason and finds out his buddy who noone gave two turds about got himself murdered. Now the classic "You killed my Father/Brother/Best Friend/Dog/Japanese Peace Lilly" story comes into play. Your main objective is finding the man respobsible, and killing him all kinds of dead. This somehow requires you to re-enter the assassin rank fights and kill everyone on the roster first, because somehow the man responsible is locked behind a big door that only opens for the number two assassin? Seems pretty straight forward right? yeah fight fifty guys and get to the number one, wait, fifty?!. Yeah this time you start at fifty-one, but dont worry, you dont have to fight fifty guys, they skip fights I guess and you go from somewhere in the late forties, to twenty-five. If your going to skip fights like that why couldnt it be straight forward like the first one? Ten, nine, eight, seven..etc seemed pretty good to me. When I saw that I was sarting at fifty-one I almost started to cry, I knew what was instore for me and was not looking forward to grinding out all the money I would need, this was before I realized that there was no entry fees anymore. I would also like to point out that practically everyone in this game is bi-polar, you see them argue and Travis tell this one girl she is completely bonkers (heavily censored), then litterly 4 seconds later in the next scene, talking to her like shes his best friend. Not going to lie, the story had me lost very early into the game, not that it really matters. While the story is a big part of the pie that is NMH2, it kind of takes the passenger seat and lets gameplay drive the game.
The game on it's own is immensely fun and its one of those games that realizes its a game and is able to play on that to great effect. It's very humorous and I do recommend playing it, but only as a rental. A big problem that I had with the first one is I bought it, played it, never played it again, theres no replayablity. Once you've figured out how to beat every boss and know what theyre going to look like, playing the game seems kind of redundant. NMH2 suffers from the exact same problem. The only reason I would play NMH2 now is to play the job mini games, aside from being useless less then half way through the game they are actually really fun and have great music on their own. So lets sum this all up. I like the game for the improvements it made from the first one, the overall fun factor, cause nothing beats slicing people up with a high powered fluorescent light bulb, and it takes nice little jabs at itself to make the game funny and the minigames being presented in 8-bit glory were a stroke of genius in my opinion. What I didn't like about this game is the boring bosses and mainly the camera.The camera could've used some controls period and the fact that the job missions become useless after you buy your second sword was pathetic. If they plan to make another one of these games, I suggest they keep the 8-bit theme, hire some more creative character designers so we can have interesting bosses again, and add more weapons. Give us some of those cool ones the bosses use, like Skelter Helter's sword, that was badass. I know they plan to make another No More Heroes, but they've stated that they're going to wait for Nintendo's next console. Sad, the Wii needs more games like this, games that make use of the motion tracking but don't rely on it as a major thing like that bomb Red Steel, ones that have blood, ones that have sexual themes, These games sell! I think if more people saw that there are games like this on the Wii we would be seeing far less "Wii sucks cause they have kiddie games" arguements. In the end though the little sibling that is annoying at times, is still your little sibling and you get over the annoyances. No More Heroes 2 is still a No More Heroes game, and despite not fixing the camera, having boring bosses, and zero replayability, still is a kick ass Wii game. That is all, Curtains.