Rising Star, you're just too good to us!

Today Rising Star games confirmed what many had suspected, but had never officially been announced: namely that they're handling the publication of Grasshopper Manufacture's eagerly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed 2008 release, No More Heroes.

Naturally we just couldn't wait and had to review the North American release, which we found to be even better than the first game.

Fans who were unhappy with the "censored" version Europe got of the first game will be pleased that the press release indicates the presence of "lots of red blood" this time around. Whilst a date isn't set in stone, the "end of April" time-frame is certainly earlier than the June date some online retailers have been indicating on their sites. Hopefully all major retailers will have their catalogues updated soon so you can get your pre-order in straight away.

Of course we're happy to present the full press release for your reading pleasure:

Rising Star Games confirms No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle for spring European release

Travis Touchdown is back for more in the highly charged second instalment, fuelled by bloodthirsty revenge

Thursday 11th February 2010: Leading videogames publisher Rising Star Games, today confirms that No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii, is on track to be released throughout Europe at the end of April 2010.

Soaked in slick graphic novel-style visuals, No More Heroes 2 is clever, mature and further validates the series' reputation as one of the most original and unique games on the Wii. The story follows Travis Touchdown who now finds himself the 51st ranked assassin - placed at the bottom of the UAA (United Assassins Association) table. He has to fight his way back to the top, while seeking revenge for the murder of his best friend.

Legendary developer Suda 51 is naming No More Heroes 2 the game he's always wanted to make - playing on the original's strengths - complete with smart storyline, refined combat (utilising two beam katanas) and characters, and red blood. Lots and lots of red blood.

"The first No More Heroes game fast built a reputation as a benchmark in the Wii's capabilities, and was brave and bold enough to stand out from the crowd as an antidote to the glut of party games on the market for the console," says Martin Defries, managing director, Rising Star Games. "It was one of the few games on the Wii that truly deserved the undivided attention of gamers across all formats and No More Heroes 2 promises to take this to the next level."

Accolades for a new IP on the Wii were impressive too. NGamer scored the original No More Heroes 94%, Edge awarded it 9/10, GamesMaster and GamesTM scored it 90%, and Official Nintendo Magazine gave it 88%.

In the US, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle continues to live up to the series' expectations.

  • 1up: "Leaner, meaner, and pretty much what an action game sequel should be" A-
  • GamesRadar: "It's one of the most relentlessly entertaining games to surface so far this year, and it easily earns its place as one of the best on the Wii" 9/10
  • GameSpy: "A brilliantly twisted love letter to the videogame medium, scrawled in blood and pixels" 5/5

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle launches throughout Europe on Nintendo Wii at the end of April.