Game Review

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Travis Touchdown is back with a vengeance and better than ever

The mirrors don’t work.

It’s a minor detail and completely inconsequential to gameplay, but when Travis Touchdown meanders into a public restroom to do his deeds and save the game in No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle, he might as well be a vampire. Despite his bloodlust, Travis is not a vampire – he’s just the star of an unrefined game.

Like its predecessor, a lack of polish runs through Grasshopper Manufacture’s latest: the camera can be borderline problematic at times, there is graphical stuttering and slowdown when you wouldn’t expect it, some of the minigames are rough and a few boss battles feel downright imbalanced. For someone who prefers their gaming experiences refined and spit-shined, it’s enough to throw the controller down in frustration.

But Desperate Struggle doesn’t care. Grasshopper waves a giant middle finger to refinement, beats it up, steals its lunch money and cuts off its head while laughing. The game proudly displays roughness as a badge of honour next to Sex Pistols and Guitar Wolf patches on its wrecked leather jacket. It is punk rock in video game form: rough, dirty, crude and idealistic. It’s all about looking cool while slicing fools with beam katanas and cracking skulls with piledrivers. This is a game where you can turn into a tiger and bite the limbs off panicked enemies and cause blood geysers.

Instead of sweating the small stuff, Desperate Struggle is more concerned with killer gameplay and it largely succeeds. This here is a textbook example of amounting to something greater than the sum of its parts.

Despite all the flaws (and in some ways because of them), there’s an unquantifiable vibe sewn into the game’s very core that makes Desperate Struggle a hugely enjoyable and satisfying action game that improves on its predecessor in nearly every way. Not only does it look better (apart from the vampire-mirror thing), it brings along more playable characters, more outlandish bosses, highly entertaining 8-bit side jobs and anything and everything important to the otaku protagonist.

Set three years after Travis reached the top of the United Assassin Association rankings and walked away from it all, Travis has become something of a legend among assassins. His best friend Bishop, owner of the Beef Head video store, is gunned down by thugs of the new number one assassin. Fueled by hatred, revenge and horniness, Travis agrees to rejoin the UAA at the 51st rank and kill his way to the top to take on the one responsible. It’s campy pulp fiction and largely irrelevant (much like the first game) but a fun and well-spun yarn with interesting characters nonetheless.

There were a lot of complaints about the original No More Heroes, and Grasshopper saw fit to address the most egregious of these. Much criticism was aimed at the empty open world, which has now been nixed in favor of a menu system. While this isn’t necessarily the direction that fans of the first game wanted Grasshopper to go, it ultimately proves to be a wise choice in streamlining the experience.

No longer do you have to fiddle with a clunky motorcycle to get to ranked battles or any of the side gigs, nor do you even need to earn enough money to enter the next fight. In this sense it's an almost more open world than before, since you can do whatever you want from the get-go. If you don’t care about anything else, there’s nothing to stop you from jumping in and slicing your way to the top and spending your hard-killed cash on weapons and clothing.

Skipping the side stuff would be foolish, though, because the world has plenty to offer between death blows. In Travis’s motel room you’ll find his fat cat Jeanne, and helping her lose weight is an odd way to spend some time but endearing nonetheless, if a bit shallow, and the television has a watchable “episode” and playable shoot-‘em-up based on his favorite anime, Pure Wite Lover Bizarre Jelly 5. Out in the city of Santa Destroy you can take part in objective-based revenge missions, hit the gym for some flamboyant training or play 8-bit side jobs that rival the fun factor of great NES-era titles (Bug Out, which plays sort of like putting the Ghostbusters in a top-down maze, is a particular standout). It’s evident that Desperate Struggle oozes love for gaming: it’s full of pixel art, chiptunes and is completely self-aware by constantly breaking the fourth wall in a nudge-wink to players that oftentimes is genuinely funny.

The meat of the game is combat and playing as Travis is the same as before: buttons are used for most attacks with motion-based finishers and more powerful strikes. These are simple directional swipes but really lend a sense of physicality to the final blow that is sorely lacking in most beat-‘em-ups. New for the sequel is Classic Controller support if you have an aversion to motion controls, but stripping out the motion nerfs the most satisfying part of combat. To do a finisher you move the joystick in an indicated direction, but that completely misses the extra oomph and urgency that a swing provides. It's way more fulfilling to plow through hordes of enemies the Wii way, who are now a little more varied (large chainsaw-wielding guys and knife fighters the most notable new additions). New weapons, like the dual beam katanas, are fun and over-the-top to wield, lending you a real sense of power in the massacre.

Shinobu and Henry, on the other hand, demand an adjusted approach. Both have ranged attacks and Henry is given a dash manoeuvre while Shinobu can jump. They’re a nice way to throw in some diversity, but the camera isn’t equipped to properly navigate Shinobu’s platforming sections, leading to a lot of frustration in certain parts (although many Wii third-person games suffer similar camera problems). The game was built around Travis’s abilities and seems to flow better when he’s in control.

Addressing another huge problem from the first game is the addition of Deathmatch, which allows you to revisit boss fights outside of the story and save your best times. Beats having to manage save files, and to gain access you need to have finished the 10-hour story once.

While generally a smooth visual experience, the game will occasionally stutter when there’s too much going on and occasionally when there isn’t. It’s odd to watch an in-engine cutscene choke with only two characters and little scenery while performing just fine during heated boss battles. It’s never enough to kill the flow of the action, and once the blood and money starts to whiz around the screen you likely won’t even care about a few skipped frames. The signature cel-shaded aesthetic is utilised even better here with heavier emphasis on shadowing to improve the sense of depth on character models, and the soundtrack holds up well against the stellar original. Enemies are prone to trash talk, and each type is given about three lines that are used ad nauseum and quickly get repetitive.


No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle is undeniably rough around the edges, but the same can be said about Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Grasshopper’s vision for Travis’s tale goes uncompromised at the expense of refinement, but one could argue that the cracks and fuzz are an intentional part of the overall punk aesthetic (given the developer’s track record, it’d be tough to argue they’re not intentional). This may sound excusing on paper, but after spending a dozen hours in Santa Destroy it's tough to care about the style-over-polish disconnect when the overall package is this dementedly fun. Desperate Struggle is required play for action fans, broken mirrors and all.

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User Comments (118)



bro2dragons said:

i still need to get the first one... but after reading this, it's been moved to next on my list, and if i enjoy it, i'll be picking this one up as well.



PhillaLoup said:

great game! nice to have a review for this game when there is still no release date in europe!




WolfRamHeart said:

Excellent review Panda! Nice job on getting this review out in time for the game's release. I have my pre-order copy waiting for me at the store. I'm glad to see that it will be worth the wait.



Machu said:

Flower me! I didn't expect a review so soon, but then why would I when there is no fruiting EU release date as yet.

Thanks for the awesome review foozlehead, I'm gonna start a re-run on the original in anticipation, wooh!

Edit: Note even stars will escape my editorial keys! --SEAN



bro2dragons said:

also, i love the way you did this review, highlighting several shortcomings in the opening, with the first sentence even being negative. very unusual for a 9/10 game. i LIKE it.



Jazzem said:

The first game was a blast, can't wait for this ...whenever us EU/AU folk get it



Sean_Aaron said:

I very much want to pre-order this already! Waaaaaah! I cheated and read this when it was still in draft form -- loverly review Panda. Meeeeeeeesa liiiiike-a Dis!



Stargazer said:

This is my most anticipated Wii game ever. Can't wait.

The first one was amazing despite its so-called flaws, and Suda just gets what makes a game FEEL great.



motang said:

Damn that's cool, too bad it's not a day one purchase for me as it come out today the same day as TvC which I already have my heart set on and pre-ordered. I will be picking this one up next month for my birthday!



Kirk said:

It's all this "rough around the edges" and the "cracks and fuzz" that absolutely puts me off a game like this, and most Wii games to be honest.

I actually want clean highly polished gaming experiences.

Is that really too much to ask for!



ejamer said:

@Kirk: Then buy Tatsunoko vs Capcom instead. It's got all the flash and sizzle and polish a game needs. There are well-polished Wii games... but expecting them to come from Grasshopper probably isn't the best bet.

@retrobuttons: Childish is a terrible descriptor to use. What qualifies as a "childish" video game? More importantly, what doesn't? The word means nothing in this context, especially when talking about an M-rated game aimed squarely at adults. Maybe you would be better off just stating that it's not your kind of game and moving on?

Looking forward to trying this game eventually, but it's not a high priority for me and I'm a bit worried that it will get buried under other great titles. As interesting as Grasshopper games tend to be, they always seem to be flawed at the same time... it definitely takes a certain type of gamer to really appreciate them.



Golgo said:

it's nonsense to say grasshopper games are deliberately rough and ready coz they be punks, etc.

killer 7, their finest game so far imo, was as tight and polished as you could ask.

this just sounds a bit shoddy.



nintendoduffin said:

I hope that the PAL version isn't censored like the original. Also, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is an album and a half, just a shame it's not on Spotify



Dazza said:

This looks like just my cup of tea, consider me sold!

Thanks for the speedy review Jon



PhillepinO said:


When I saw the game, I didnt see a glimpse of unpolishness... so that may be an exaggeration.



retrobuttons said:

O blood is soooo cool and violence is sooooo cool, i'm soooo mature!

EDIT: And demonstrating that more each minute. Beware the thin ice, Retro. Untitled



Reala said:

Sounds like fun can't wait to try it, great to see another mature title on wii, camera issues don't bother me too much, unless its seriously broken, so that wont deter me too much



paulcmnt said:

@retrobuttons It's not that. The thing I like the most is its style and that it never really take itself too seriously. Also note that I played the PAL version (no gore). And it's actually quite a funny game.

But since you brought up the gameplay: at its core, it might be just a beat-em-up, but it the combination of buttons for regular attacks and swings for finishing moves is very well done and fun.

Simply saying that games are 'hardcore' or 'mature' because they are gory is wrong. But it's not mature to dismiss a game just because it has blood in it either.



brandonbwii said:

All this love/hate stuff about No More Heroes has been getting on my nerves. This is worse than those that hated on Conduit before it's release. I'm not even a huge fan of the series myself but the hate borders on just flaming at this point.

There will always be bugs in games. No game is perfect. Stop nitpicking with every Wii release already. It was cute and even meaningful at first but by now I don't know what you expect.

The game is childish and that's actually part of it's charm. It doesn't make it's fanbase bad for liking the game.



Hardy83 said:

"Is it the generic beat 'em up gameplay?"

Is this a generic question that clearly can't be simply answered and displays a general feeling of ignorance when asking such a question?

I really want this game by the way. I think I may just get it. lol



retrobuttons said:

Well everyone go ahead and play whatever you like and want. To me these games are just extremely tacky and nerdy appart from shallow and leaning on gimmicks.



grenworthshero said:

@retro that's kind of the point in this game. You're missing it entirely. It's a satire on games like that, and nerd/otaku culture in general



Luigi-la-bouncy said:

I don't think you're in the minority retrobuttons, this game isn't going to sell millions. Any curiosity people had was likely satified by the first No More Heroes and judging by the amount of copies on the second-hand shelf I don't think the average gamer was too impressed.

No More Heroes 2 is only really catering to a niche market so there's no reason to pick on it, afterall it's a bit of an underdog trying to do something different on Wii. It's not coming from some big developer who could be doing something else.



retrobuttons said:


I didn't mean it that way. Appart from my opinion i wish everybody who plays this game good luck having a great time with it. Especially from a gameplay standpoint.

This game truly is a desperate struggle!



CanisWolfred said:

I'm certainly gonna get it, right alongside the original and Killer 7(and perhaps Rain, Sun, & Flowers)



retrobuttons said:

I played the first one which simply should have been called Desperate Struggle 1.

It's amusing how offended You guys are by my opinion. If you don't like my opinion you can simply ignore it.



kevjohn said:

Got it this morning before I go to work. Can't wait to play it tonight!!!



retrobuttons said:

Are you saying this game is extremely different from the first one? This part isn't full of blood and beat 'em up gameplay? Because that's necessary
for me to change my opinion!

To give you a simple example if you didn't like Mario Galaxy you would be crazy to think Galaxy 2 is going to chance your opinion.



Supermarioman said:

I wish the series wasn't so violent!!!!

And its not because I oppose it, its just I'm not supposed to play M-Rated Games (Though I've snuck a pretty portion in! ) But glad to see this game turning out great and a great review. And to any fanboys who say that the Wii is kiddy, look at this game and tell me if you still think that!



Reala said:

Sequels to games you like can also turn out poor, Shinobi X was a pretty average game compared to Shinobi 3, Streets of Rage 3 wasn't as good as 2 Genesis Golden Axe games got progressively worse IMO, even when the controls & objectives are the same or very similar, the overall experience can end up being surprisingly different, also vice versa applies too, wasn't a big Lost Winds fan but loved the sequel, weighing up reviews and doing a bit of research can make all the difference.



Noire said:

I am inexplicably drawn to this game.

I think it mostly has to do with the page banner, though.



retrobuttons said:


I believe no more heroes 2 is 100% new content, so whats your point?

Sure mario galaxy 2 has different levels, but if you didden't like anything about the first one, new levels aren't going to chance your opinion. Again: what's your point?



CanisWolfred said:


What're you rambling about now? How this isn't mature because it contains violent content? Because that's a very, very loose definition there, pal. I mean, yeah, it's not supposed to be taken seriously - it's a comedy after all - and if you don't like brawlers, that's fine. You don't like seeing blood? I can understand that. But it sounds to me like you're hating on it because it doesn't fit your definition of "Maturity", and that's where I'd say you're misguided.



Reala said:

I think lz's point may be the same as mine, in that a game may offer a similar set up, but have a very different feel, you might use mostly the same moves for example, but the structure of the level layout & how new enemies react, and any other additions can end up making them very different playing experiences.



retrobuttons said:


It's my opinion, not a definition.
You go ahead and slice people up with a lightsaber and fight with giant robots while feeling mature in the process.


Even if the game plays better or has better level design i don't care. The violence and gore in this game make it tacky and nerdy in my opinion.

And this is the last i'm going to say about it, ignore me and enjoy the fact that a game you guys/gals like get's a 9.



CanisWolfred said:


I'll do you one better: I'll have fun enjoying a great game instead going around with my nose in the air spouting my opinion everywhere and getting offended when everyone disagrees.



theblackdragon said:

all right, retrobuttons, enough is enough. i'm not sure what's going through your head at the moment, but you seem to be rather riled up over the fact that other people are planning to and will enjoy this game even though you personally disliked the first and think this one is just going to be more of the same. we get it. you've had your say, and it's time for you to move on out of this thread if all you're going to do is parrot the same thing over and over. :3



Vendetta said:

Retro, I'm of the mind that gratuitous violence does not, in itself, make a game mature. But what does, can you tell me?



CanisWolfred said:


I have to say, that's a very good question. I always thought of mature media as one that has a very deep and intricate storyline, and touches on certain issues that others might shy away from. And with that definition, I'd say No More Heroes(the first one) actually fits the bill of a mature game to an extent. It's still pretty light-hearted, and I hinestly think a "mature" storyline would just take away all or most of the fun out of the game. It's a comedy with some simple, yet fun gameplay and a quirky adventure that'll appeal to all who'll appreciate its sense of humor. Yeah, it's not exactly something a bunch of eggheads, but it's no "kiddy game" either, IMO.



retrobuttons said:

The question what makes a game mature is irrelevant to my opinion, it doesn't have to be mature to be interesting to adults. What makes people mature is the more relevant question. I consider maturity to be a result of responsibility and emotional and intellectual development. I can't see how slicing up enemy after enemy while blood fills the screen can be considered interesting or fun to someone who is emotionally and intellectually developed. I enjoy the intelligence with which a mario level is put together. The zelda dungeons challenge kids and adults to be creative and think out of the box. In comparison this game is empty and meaningless.

Just my opinion and just responding to Vendetta don't mean to spoil the fun for anyone. A 9 is great and hope you guys/gals enjoy the game.



TingLz said:

@Retro: How can you honestly develop an opinion about a game you haven't played? Here's my example: I wasn't too crazy about Phantom Hourglass, however I loved Spirit Tracks. The two games are similar, so what makes Spirit Tracks so much better? The improvements and new content



Sean_Aaron said:

The reason No More Heroes was brilliant was because of the satire. If you played the game and only saw mindless violence, then frankly you were missing the point completely.



Vendetta said:

Retro, for someone who's spent a meaningful part of his day railing against this game based on its immaturity, your response is at once both perplexing and disappointing. You cited specifically the geekness and bloodiness of this title and implied their intrinsic immaturity. That you should now call the question of what opposing qualities would make a title mature can only be seen as avoidance.

You felt strongly enough to carry on your argument for a long time. Was it was purely an argument of opposition to this game's style, without the benefit of support for an alternate one?

I believe that games receive ratings not so much to qualify the games themselves, but to filter the eligible audience. A title with a rating of mature doesn't mean the content of the game is mature. I have yet to hear of a US Healthcare Debate: Wii title being announced. But games that include violence, gore, and/or sexual content - while not necessarily mature in and of themselves - should only be enjoyed (yes, "enjoyed") by those mature enough to separate such content from real life expectations.

I'd still be eager to hear what you consider a "mature game," now that we all have a very clear idea of what you consider an immature one.



DK_vs_KK said:

I think I'll skip this one. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is my top prority at the moment. Thanks for the great review Panda, as always!



TingLz said:

I have honestly never played an M-rated game on my Wii....but that may change soon



retrobuttons said:


There is no such thing as "The Point". I have got my personal interpretation. I didn't find the satire amusing at all.


Again: the question when a game is mature is irrelevant. A game is mature when it gets that rating because of violent or sexual content. This doesn't make a game necessarily interesting to mature people.

If you necessarily need an answer:

Mature games are games that ask a lot from the emotional and intellectual development of a human beeing. I'm not sure these games exist.

If Anything: Silent Hill 2.

Again: games don't need to be mature to be interesting to matures. To me NMH is so immature, irresponsible and lacks any emotional and intellectual depth both story and gameplay wise that it bothers me.



CanisWolfred said:


There's more to games than just gameplay. There's also the story, characters, and aesthetics to consider. Yeah, I know a lot of people, including myslef, like to say it's all about the gameplay, but in the case of No More Heroes, it's more about the story, characters, themes, setting, and dialogue than the actual gameplay. If all you did was kill zillions of enemies and there was absolutely nothing else to it, it wouldn't be half as interesting as it is, and it never would've gotten the acclaim that it did. You gotta look at the big picture, man. No More Heroes is a laugh riot, and one of the most unique you'll ever see, and judging from the review, Desperate Struggles is too. I can understand if you still don't like the game despite all that, but it seems to me like all you didn't even put those into consideration.

EDIT: G-d, I need to type faster. I just wrote a 20-line post reiterating a point Sean Aaron already made.



nitro_rev said:

I was a little disappointed with the removal of the open-world city. People need to stop blueberrying about the fact that the first games city didn't have much to do. well yeah, when you compare it to grand theft auto, but I still liked the city. Driving the motorcycle was so much fun and unless you have Parkinson, id really doesn't take that long to get to your destination. finding all of the lovicove balls and dumpsters added to the replay value of the first one and it was foolish to remove the city.



Egg_miester said:

what blasphemy reviewing this before tatsunoko vs capcom i demand tatsunoko vs capcom review today
with that said no more heroes 2 is better then 1 now i just need it and back to my non stop tvc playing



Corbs said:

I think it's a case for the supreme court. I'll put in a call to them.



JonWahlgren said:

@nitro_rev: I felt the same way when I heard it was converting into a menu system. I had a lot of fun running around on my second playthrough digging up concept art and stuff too. What's here works though, and there's plenty of replay value in the side jobs and Deathmatch!



retrobuttons said:


So you believe it's complicated and hard to understand? Don't be silly.......just not my taste.


Pointlessly??? It's just my opinion. I have the right to consider games full of blood and violence immature. Problem with the game is not its lack of maturity but its immaturity.
If you can't respect my opinion that's your problem.
I wrote one little sentence and would have left it that way if you guys wouldn't have been so easily offended.

I like games, i don't have to consider them mature to like them.



Vendetta said:

retrobuttons wrote:

Again: the question when a game is mature is irrelevant. A game is mature when it gets that rating because of violent or sexual content. This doesn't make a game necessarily interesting to mature people.
If you necessarily need an answer: Mature games are games that ask a lot from the emotional and intellectual development of a human beeing. I'm not sure these games exist.

So basically, you don't like immature games, but can't name any mature ones, And you're not even sure they exist? In other words, you don't like games. Okay then! You've been trolling pointlessly against this game. Your 5-hour long 15 minutes of fame here are over. I'm done with you.



citizenerased said:

Wow, I can't believe how much time some people have to waste commenting on a game they haven't played simply because they were disappointed with the sequel. Not targeting anyone specific with that, of course.

Looking forward to this crazy ride



Sean_Aaron said:

@retrobuttons: no I believe it's complicated and hard for you to understand, get it? No More Heroes is not "empty and meaningless" because you don't enjoy it any more than Zelda is a giant waste of time because I don't find it interesting. I also wouldn't bother stating that opinion in the comments of a Zelda review over and over again.

Your endless posting in this thread is what is known as "trolling" and we don't care for it here. Consider this your last warning and knock it off.



Airola said:

I don't mean to be rude or anything like that and I understand that I might be wrong (and most certainly I am wrong) but to me this review felt like the reviewer wants to defend new and anticipated mature titles for the Wii because people have lately been very critical about the mature titles on the Wii. Especially all the talk about the game's "punk attitude" feels like that. Unnecessary thing that's meant to cover the faults.

Anyways, that's just how I felt. I'm not saying that's how it really was with the reviewer.



Magicpegasus said:

i don't think there's anything mature about playing games on your tv. that's what's good about it. nobody's going to watch someone playing a video game and say "wow, look at the stunning level of maturity that person is displaying". given that, i still think there are games out there that will appeal to adults because of complex themes, not the adult content. killer 7, eternal darkness, no more heroes, silent hill come to mind. i know i'm leaving out some really obvious choices.



theRock said:

I cannot wait until I get the moolah for this and Tatsunoku Vs. Capcom. I will be busy many many hours . The first NMH was my second Wii game and it was purely awesome.



CanisWolfred said:

I think the sad part is that a lot of people went into a lot of effort in explaining the point of the game that he just didn't seem to understand, and came up with some interesting thoughts, but in gerneral he just seemed to ignore them and kept singing the same old tune.

Oh well, moving on.

So, now that Desperate Struggles is out, would anybody say it's worth getting the first one if you haven't already?



theRock said:

@Mickeymac I think so, I have played it all the way through twice. The story is a barrel of laughs from start to finish. The gameplay though is a lot of fun.



XCWarrior said:

@ Mickeymac I loved the first one, its one of the best Wii games to date. Go pick it up, itll take about 15 hours and its a blast.



citizenerased said:

I'm playing through the first one again and praying for an announcement on DS from Rising Star soon. So yeah, go pick up the first part if you haven't already. It's a little hard to get into but once you beat the second boss you should really start to get a feel for the game. Also, don't expect too much from the freeroaming city, it's just a hub.



Donatello said:

Definitly will be buying...After I get Tatsunoku Vs Capcom and A Boy and his Blob first


No Annoying ugly bland Open World Sand Box
8 Bit Jobs

Count me in! hehe. Now the first NMH was a stellar game, but again the open world was horrible, tiresom and repetitive and the jobs got boring fast.The Presentation, combat controls, characters, music and retro throwbacks were fantastic, but overall I'd nail it with a 7/10.



Donatello said:

@RetroButtons Like many have stated, you're totaly missing the point of NMH. Now the combat is golden....And believe me I hate 3D Brawlers, don't even get me started on Madworld, but NMH feels so satisfying and those minor motion/waggle controls actually improve the combat. Combat aside, the Bosses/Fights, the characters, the retro throwbacks, story, music and the fact that you're playing as some Otaku nut assassin is pretty awesome if you ask me. Again it was just the terrible, unrefined, ugly, boring and tiresome Open world gameplay which butchered the experience, as well as the jobs which got old fast. If you can get past those things and the fact that the game is alittle rough around the edges, than there is a solid experience to be had. It's definitely a 7/10 in me eyes.

As for NMH2, i'm realllly looking forward to the 8 bit jobs especially, and the fact that there's no open world gameply. just click to where you want to go on the map, and 'whalla!' you're there. And of course, i'm dieing to see the new bosses, experience the great gameplay and find out what happens along the way story-wise. Once i get NMH2 I'm selling the first..Even though i liked the first, those two negative things i mentioned messed with the experience, where as NMH2 adresses both issues and improves on everything else.



brandonbwii said:

That is the point of the game. It's amazing that some people still don't get that. As for Retro calling it "nerdy." You're playing a freaking video game. Of course it's nerdy. Games have been considered a nerdy pass time for years. If you think you actually look cool playing a video game, maybe you should start looking up other hobbies. I hear knitting is all the rage.

Simply put I play games because I like games, but the mere fact that I'm playing something with a big hunk of plastic in my hands is nerdy. That word means nothing to me. The true desperate struggle is trying to debate Retro's opinion.

You too? No More Heroes is of decent quality as far as brawling goes. That's quite a feat in this day and age.



CH405K1N6 said:

aw, ******! M rating = can't purchase it. What can I say, I'm 13 and my parents suck D:



Deviant_Mugen said:

Great review, Panda, I'll probably pick this one up after it drops a bit in price. I still need to complete the first one, anyway...



grenworthshero said:

No, I'd say your parents are pretty smart not to let you play this game. It has more blood, sex, and profanity than any game I've played, except maybe MadWorld



taiko1983 said:

Just beat No.50 yesterday. Did anyone miss the cellphone conversation before a boss fight in the first game? I guess they have to cut it out to accommodate the classic controller



Chatham said:

Seems like somebody had fun trolling to day (reading comments).

Anyways, this game trounces the original in any way... And Classic Controller support is really nice for my poor Wii-induced wrist-cramps. But it definitely earns the 17+ rating... Then milks it for all its worth.

Be prepared for intentional chessiness out-the-aviary.



MrWout said:

@retro: well just curious why you are complaining about blood and gore, since you live in Britain you should've got the censored version I guess (maybe Britain got a different version than the rest of the Europe but don't really think so)

Well on the question of maturity, I think it's really simple: maturity is not about the fact that there is gore and sex and violence the whole point is how does the game handle it. A great example is the PC game The Witcher, it has drugs, drinking, sex, nudity and has violent gameplay with gore, but it has the story and the setting that supports these things, for example when having sex there are consequences and responsibilities, you might end up feeling a bastard afterwards etc.

I think according to what I've just said No More Heroes is somewhere in a grey area, it doesn't demand responsibility for your acts and there aren't really consequences (haven't finished the first one yet still at number 3 so maybe I'm wrong) but there are signs of maturity nonetheless somewhere between the lines there clearly is some philosophy about violence and death going on, that's something you can't deny, and at the same time it clearly shows it doesn't take itself serious. Which is a weird combination I know, but that's maybe what makes this game so appealing to some of us and also a bit "borderline mature-immature gorefest".

Edit: Silly me, didn't notice the discussion was already over



Sean_Aaron said:

According to Zavvi UK release date is June...well, my backlog is massive, so that's okay; it means I'll have plenty of time to replay the first one. Very much looking forward to this!



Cipher said:

I was reading this in bed last night - bloody good review! This wasn't even on my list before but I might have to consider it now.



odd69 said:

The only negative thing for me is that i enjoyed the free open world gameplay. I loved searching for clothes even if it was just that. This unfortunately isn't on my "must have list". Exploration is indeed important to me, and they really could have made a "better" open world this time around. I'm still gonna buy it though because the first game blew my mind, just not until a price drop.



nasachi said:

highly anticipated, love the first one

No more Heroes
-> perfect game if God of War, Devil May Cry and Bayonetta are too mainstream and well-behaved for you xD



Sean_Aaron said:

I was hoping they'd just re-use the open world from the first game, I thought it was as funny as anything else in the game and would have been an excellent pair of fingers to the "hardcore" moaners who complained about it in the first game.

Suda's just selling out, man...



Popyman said:

@Sean: I don't think he is "selling out". Like you said (or have said in another topic here) Suda had reasons for the overworld being as it was. If he fixed it, that would be like him admiting it was a failure (which it wasn't). So instead, he made the better game by taking it out completely.

I think it was a brilliant move. But I do miss it...



Pavel_Wii said:

I hope someone who reviews this game will notice that the level of character depth in the boss battles (without which NMH1 probably wouldn't have sold at all), has been completely left out of NMH2. The new bosses, though fun to fight, have no personality.

NMH2 is a much better video game then NMH1, but it lost its soul.



Ren said:

wow what a silly "debate" here. I don't think I've ever played a game that could be called "mature" by the definition of the actual word "mature". But in a ratings context it doesn't really mean the same thing; It just means things that generally aren't supposed to be viewed by minors according to a ratings board in a given region (i.e. blood, violence, sexuality).
An actually "mature" video game by definition would be really boring, probably more like getting a job, maintaining healthy plutonic relationships with the opposite sex, taking care of your aging parents. maybe assign point values to those things and make yourself a "mature" game about it, then see how many of us run out and buy it. I won't be camping out in line for it but if thats really what you think people mean by mature here than go for it.
Grasshopper games are hit and miss for me. I love the satire and sometimes I think Suda really hits the nail on the head with the satisfying slasher gameplay, and neat graphics that stylistically use only the gratuitously cool camera angles regardless of how choppy. It is a bit of a niche thing, so I get why some don't like it, and why it's sometimes overboard for me as well. generally, though, I think it's great and bold of him to go there at all. It makes bigger budget titles more likely to take similar chances on strange, stylized interface ideas.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Pavel_Wii: That really is a shame if true. The intros for the bosses in the first game were amazing. My favourite being the guy at the baseball stadium who sings a song -- you're right, without that it will be missing something. Well I'm still happy to pre-order. At the very least it sounds like this doesn't replace the first game so they can nicely stay side-by-side on the shelf.

@Popyman: I wasn't being serious, but your point is taken, though I disagree and think the overworld was excellent as-is.



sephiroth79 said:

Fantastic game.

The Good:
-Cool new weapons
-Great story and voice acting
-Music is good for the most part
-No overworld
-8 BIT SIDE MISSIONS (Bug out is awesome. The sparring mission in the gym makes me want to punch through the television)
-Cool bosses
-Travis is a great character
-Great style and originality
-"Ecstasy" meeter (hah)
-A truly mature game (per the ESRB definition).

The Bad:
-Shinobu's platforming sections are infuriating to the point to where I put the game down for a while.
-The camera angles can get very goofy
-Some of the music sounds like really bad lady gaga remixes
-Repetive death cries from baddies (although they are funny the first few times)
-Motorcycle controls still suck (especially during the fight on the cliff)

I would say rent it vs. buy though. It's pretty short, and there isn't a huge amount of replay value.



Hokori said:

Great Game I got this for $17 and I love it Right now Im at Destroy Man's Robot thinggggy.




TikiTong said:

Turning 17 cant come fast enough,just four more long,miserable years........Im dying to try this game

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