Published on January 30th, 2010 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Holy #*$%ing S*^!, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review
Release Date: January 26, 2010
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Platform: Nintendo Wii
No More Heroes is the story of Travis Touchdown, a wrestling crazed not-so-would-be assassin. His trademark sunglasses, punk rock styled clothes, and cat Jeane set him apart from what most would think of as a killing machine. There are some changes from the first NMH title, but it does give the game a very polished shine. After becoming number one and taking a little time off, Travis must desperately struggle to keep his title and make his way back down the ladder to the sole spot. The combos are gorier, the attacks are more brutal, and the humor is just as vulgar. It definitely sets itself apart from others out there.
The best part about his game is it’s uniqueness. The bosses, the side jobs/mini games, and its over all style makes No More Heroes 2 the game it is. There are tons of punked out customizations that you can make to your character as well as hittin the gym to up your stats. The side jobs/mini games differ from the first title. They were initially just like the gameplay being that Travis was in 3D and driving from place to place to complete these side jobs. Now, players can reminisce about the 2D days. There are some that play just like the old ones did, but the new 2D jobs/games are just as addicting and seem more rewarding.
Visually the game looks superb. Some improvements of textures is what I was looking forward to most. Some levels in the prior game seemed to have a grainy feel to them. Over all, the level designs have a more finished and detailed feel. A few cosmetic fixes to the meters and gauges tie this package up nicely. Nixing the exploration portion on Travis’s cycle probably played a large role in allocating up extra space for level design, or maybe even the kick ass soundtrack it offers. Nothing like swinging the Wii remote to slice an enemy head off with some sweet pluck in the background.
Although Travis has pretty much the same controls as before, the styles vary. The A button swings his beam katana. If you hold the Wii remote up, his katana will do the same and vice versa. Holding A will charge the katana and swinging it will release the charge for a big hit. The B button ties in combos and utilized for the all important wrestling moves. Swinging low or high with the combination of all of these can lead to some brutal attacks. The Z button zones in on one target and the C button resets the camera or moves to the next enemy. No More Heroes had an excellent control system and it was very well used once again in Desperate Struggle. Even without the use of the motion plus, there never seems a point where the remote loses its infrared tracking. There are other characters and mini games the button configuration changes, but I don’t want to spoil any of the fun!
Some of the positive aspects about the game are its varying environments and enemies. The first No More Heroes had similar boss battles that followed a pretty similar timing pattern. Desperate struggle took that system and totally went out on a limb to change those battles. In this case, it worked. In the words of Shao Khan, “Outstanding!”
Some of the other positive things were the character changes. It was nice to take a break and play some of the mini games, which were addicting games in themselves, but as well as the opportunity to play as Shinobu (so called student of Travis) and Henry(his twin).
There were only a few negative things that can be said. Some of the camera angles while playing with Shinobu made it a little frustrating at times. Jumping in certain areas left me a little nauseated and spinning in circles. Another camera issue was the slight drop in frame rate during cinematics.
Also, the ability not to explore the city did make Santa Destroy feel a little smaller. It was done in both good and bad taste. With the running around gone, it does make it a little easier to get to place to place just by picking it out on the map. Exploring the city on a giant crotch rocket was still fun.
+Unique style and humor
+Improvements all around from the first No More Heroes
+Varying gameplay keeps the value high throughout the game
-Small frame rate issues
-Exploration taken out
A definite Editors pick!