GameSpot Reviews - No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Uploaded by gamespot on 27.01.2010

In the bizarre metropolis of Santa Destroy, duels to the death are broadcast on television,
and an entire economy has sprung up around the business of taking lives. A satirical,
irreverent, and bloody tale of revenge in a world gone mad, No More Heroes 2 is, much
like its predecessor, all about one man's rise to the top of an assassin leaderboard.
With a raucously fun and brutal combat system, a collection of enjoyable retro minigames,
and a thoroughly entertaining story, No More Heroes 2 is a worthy follow-up to one of the
most enjoyable bloodbaths to be found on the Nintendo Wii.
Three years ago, anime nerd and pro-wrestling aficionado Travis Touchdown bought a beam
katana on the internet, fought his way up to the top of the United Assassin Association's
rankings ladder, and simply walked away. When Travis' best pal is murdered in retaliation
for his old killing spree, he returns to the UAA in order to seek vengeance on the man
responsible, who coincidentally happens to be its number one-ranked killer. Helping him
out along the way are old friends such as the beautiful and sexy UAA agent Sylvia, the
deadly swordswoman Shinobu, and his twin brother and on-again, off-again rival Henry.
As with its predecessor, No More Heroes 2 consists chiefly of magnificently violent
and over-the-top bloody combat. Travis swings his totally-not-a-lightsaber at a press of
the A button, and after you've sufficiently weakened an enemy, you can split them in half,
causing a morbidly amusing cloud of blood and dollar bills to rain down by swinging
your controller in the direction indicated on screen. Alternatively, Travis can execute
one of 13 different wrestling moves learned over the course of the game to finish off
a stunned enemy in a slightly higher concept and less bloody manner.
No matter how you choose to destroy your foes, each execution causes a roulette wheel at
the bottom of the screen to spin. If three slots line up, Travis shouts aloud a ridiculous
attack name such as "strawberry on the shortcake" to perform super powered feats such as temporarily
transforming into a tiger to maul his foes. But even if you aren't lucky enough to hit
it big with a jackpot, you can activate a new hyperspeed attack mode whenever you top
off your ecstasy gauge, which fills as you dish out the pain and empties as you take
By far the highlight of No More Heroes 2 is its eccentric cast of rival assassins. Whether
you're fighting the hip-hop dancing leader of a religious cult or an adorable but deadly
coed with a double-sided beam sword flute, the battles are fun, challenging, and unique.
Perhaps most intriguing about the assassins are the elegant locales which serve as their
arenas: a dilapidated haunted house, a tranquil school quad, and a booby-trapped hotel penthouse,
all serve as fields of battle and inject extra personality into the duel. This is important,
as the assassins themselves--while wild and crazy--often lack personalities and, with
few exceptions, are poorly or not-at-all fleshed out.
No More Heroes 2 features a much more streamlined method of navigating Santa Destroy--simply
pick where you want to go on the map and you're there. Ranked matches also no longer require
entrance fees, which means that if you want to go directly from one fight into the next
to keep the action going you can. Working side jobs is still a necessity though if you
want to stay abreast of Dr. Naomi's latest weapons technology, update Travis' punk couture,
or work out to increase your max health and damage output. This time around, you earn
cash through simple and delightful 2D retro games by performing tasks such as exterminating
bugs, plumbing, and laying tile. These fully-featured but nonetheless brief minigames are a great
way to relax in-between murder sprees.
No More Heroes 2 features an all-star voice cast from the lovable and gleefully self-aware
Travis to the sexy French siren Sylvia to the Irish badass Henry and beyond. Accompanying
the great vocal performances is a wicked, eclectic soundtrack full of catchy punk and
rock songs, fantastic retro themes, and brilliant parodies of cliche anime music. Furthermore,
its highly stylized, cel-shaded look delivers some of the most striking graphics available
on the Nintendo Wii, though the camera unfortunately doesn't know where to look at a lot of the
Despite a couple of key shortcomings, such as a poor camera system and a general lack
of rival assassin characterization, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is an overall
improvement upon its predecessor. Whether you're yearning for a fun and violent Wii
action game or you simply want to live out a secret Star Wars fantasy of duel wielding
laser swords, No More Heroes 2 is the game for you.