The sequel to one of the best Wii games to be released is finally here! Following up on Suda 51’s success on No More Heroes comes its direct sequel, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Just like many other games developed by Suda 51, No More Heroes 2 can be described in one word, Ridiculous.
This game has mighty big shoes to fill, but how does it compare with its older brother? With its return to the Wii, will this game score a Touchdown? Or will it truly be a Desperate Struggle? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs!
This is one of the best looking games on the Wii, and that is all that needs to be said. The cel-shade look may appear to be outdated for many other games, but No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle makes the look its own. All the character designs are detailed with their own quirky looks. Facial expressions are also well displayed, and you can even see the emotions on the characters’ faces with the cel-shaded style of graphics. The animation for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is very fluid as well. There is the occasional hiccup when you are in combat, but nothing too noticeable.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, just like No More Heroes; a crazy game. The story is extremely awkward and the way that it eventually plays out makes no sense at all. However, this is simply true with the style of the No More Heroes games. Suda 51 has a tendency to have its stories take a back seat to the sheer amount of craziness involved while it is being portrayed. For example, one of the many bosses you encounter is a football player with a large number of cronies. Before the fight starts, they all jump into space and turn into a giant football robot. Travis Touchdown (our lead man) jumps into a giant robot of his own to combat said behemoth. This is where the fight begins. All this sounds completely absurd, but this is only one of the many times you will be scratching your head in this game. It seems to be a trend that Suda 51 will always follow, and it sure works out that way.
The combat in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle could be broken down into simple button mashing. For many games this can be a bad thing, but it is extremely enjoyable here in NMH2. Your main form of attack is the A button which is used to control your beam katana. There are a variety of combos to be pulled off here and are all enjoyable to pull off. The combat shies away from simple button mashing as you progress through the game. After weakening a character enough, you will be prompted with a motion on the screen for you to perform. Once you perform this, you will execute one of the many finishing moves that will instantly eliminate your foes. This also generates a large amount of blood and money. You can also finish off enemies with a set of twelve unique wrestling moves that are a less graphic, but just as entertaining way to vanquish them.
Whenever you perform a finishing move however, a slot machine will appear on the screen. If all three of the symbols match, you get to use a special move. This can range from slowing down time, all the way to my favorite: transforming into a tiger to maul all your enemies. Yes, you can even turn into a tiger in this game! Combat is also enhanced by way of obtaining different weapons. The core gameplay with all the weapons is the same; however they all have their own combos and finishers. The highlight of the game is when you get your dual beam katanas. Good times, good times.
Shinobu and Henry
Once you play the game long enough, you will take control of Shinobu from the first No More Heroes game, as well as Henry. These two characters play similar to Travis, but have their own unique feel. The biggest change to them is that they each have a special ability. Shinobu can jump, and Henry can dash. Although they are not as fleshed out as Travis is, it is still enjoyable that you can take control of other characters. It is a nice change of pace, even though it only lasts for a little while.
One of the coolest things about No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is the retro feel the game has. Every side mission and training mission featured in the game is in the form of an old-skool game. From the gameplay, right down to the graphics. This is extremely well portrayed in NMH2 simply due to the fact that all the games are so fun to play. The games range from a excite bike wannabe, all the way to a tile laying game that will remind you somewhat of Tetris. The side missions can be played at any time when you’re outside of a story mission. If you ever want to play one of these mini games, all you have to do is select it from the hub world of the game. Kudos Suda 51, Kudos.
This is another mini game that is in NMH2. This game is accessible in Travis’ main room, and is based upon his favorite anime television series. The game plays like a classic bullet shooter. You could compare it to a game like Raiden or Ikaruga, but it has its own unique feel. The game offers around five different characters to play as, each with their own unique attacks and patterns. With that being said this is a small part of the NMH2 experience, it is still awesome to have the option to go and play a classic bullet shooter style game whenever you like.
No More Travel
Unlike the first game, all the traveling is instantaneous in this game. In No More Heroes you would travel from place to place via your turbo-charged motor cycle. However, in NMH2 you will be at a hub world where you can choose which area you would like to go to. Many people had complaints about the travel system in the first NMH game, however it is sadly missed. The good news is you do still get to take a ride on your bike in a couple missions, but its extremely short and time will have already passed.
This is probably the biggest complaint many people will have with No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Every single enemy has the same voice, and says the exact same dialogue. Although the enemy variety is not vast, more dialogue should have been added. There is probably a grand total of five things the enemies say. You will hear them again and again and again throughout every single mission you play. Sometimes multiple times in a row. You will soon be wishing you could mute the enemies; sadly that mute button is nowhere to be found.
The camera in the game is not terrible, but when you get a bad camera angle, it is BAD. The end result will be more focusing the camera than trying to deal with all the enemies on the screen. However you have the option to hold the C button to center the camera, but this doesn’t directly center it; it rather drags the camera behind Travis slowly, which is very annoying. You will find yourself centering the camera yourself by simply locking onto the nearest enemy.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is one of those rare games that will be passed over when it is released due to the sheer lack of advertising to generate its awareness. However, if you are one of the people who will have a chance to play it, do so. The crazy story and the frantic combat will keep you coming back for more. With mini games and multiple difficulties, you will be replaying this game several times. Suda 51 truly knows how to create a unique experience for all of its players, and this game is no exception. If you want one of the best Wii games to be in your collection, definitely pick up No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review,