kalmis's No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii) review

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  • kalmis has written a total of 110 reviews. The last one was for Lume

NMH 1.5

Recently I was given an opportunity to have a play through of sequel to No More Heroes from 2007. First game was somewhat enjoyable game. It had few minor complaints, but all and all it is a good game, even still. NMH 2 follows up more of the same. Story picks up few years after the events on the first game. A tragic event causes the hero Travis Touchdown to be involved with the UAA organization again. UAA which stands for United Assassins Association as with the first game holds assassin ranking ladder. First game saw Travis to climb thought this brutal assassin ranking ladder and kill everyone on the way. In the second game the idea and the story is pretty much the same, except for that the progression starts from rank 50+ instead of 10. UAA's contact person for Travis is still the French girl Sylvia who also acts as a motivation for Travis. Sexual motivation of course using silly anime cliche type. Few other old characters return from the first game, such as the odd bosses (assassins), Travis brother Henry and few others. Between ranking fights a further game dialog is shown with Sylvia's phone monologue where she talks about current events, with vague references and blatant peeping shots. Since all the ladies in world NMH come in lightly clad clothing these dubious shots of pixelized boob shots are shown often.

You actually end up missing these
You actually end up missing these

Gameplay is the same hack&slash action as in the first game. Majority of the game takes in battles. Exploration aspect from the first game is gone. Understandable Suda51 and his team were listening to the fan reaction here and decided move this. The game time outside ranking missions happens in combats on way to these fights. As well as number of minigames, which have gotten a well deserved upgrade. Game consist of eight jobs that Travis can take to make some money. Seven of these are minigames that are done in way of 8bit NES style. There is a bug exterminator game which slightly resembles of Dig Dug. A simple platformer where coconuts are gathered lends from any 8bit platformer. Further mini games are simple mode-7 style racer where Travis acts as Pizza driver or Pipe Mania clone. All the above come with excellent chiptune tracks. The one and only job/minigame remaining from the first game is scorpion capturer which was the least fun in the first game. As with the first game Travis can go to the gym between mission to get some upgrades. Here there are two options, one for stamina and for muscle. These done also in same manner as the job minigames. Delightful 8bit style. Unfortunately here a money is used, which itself is normal. Upgrades are bought, except that the minigames need to be beaten. Stamina upgrade requires button smashing and muscle upgrade a reaction game. Needles to say these get difficult very fast. For me looking at the physical trainer who resembles Freddie Mercury with open chest leotard and make up was too much.

Boss stereotype #1
Boss stereotype #1

That single character gives and good indication on how crazy the game is. The ranking fights, which of course work as boss battles are ridiculous. Or how does motorcycle sumo fight or big mech fight against horde of cheerleaders sound like? With the amount of bosses you end up fighting here luckily most of them are fair. Not easy by any means, only one giving me terrible time. This was a the horrible camera monster. OK, there is no such thing although it sure felt like I was battling the camera in few occasions. Especially on one certain level that takes place in a bank vault with lot's of narrow angles and walls. The camera is not freely movable making the battles in such places extremely awkward. Understandable the default control with nunchak does not have two thumpads for this. The classic controller which I used of course has this, but it is not an option. This was really shame since it was only technical complaint I have with the game. The cel-shaded graphics work perfectly such typed game. Really stylish characters and bleak locations manage to set a very specific mood. Certain characters, such as Jeanie the cat is very block where Travis swords are very detailed. No major complaints about the voice acting either, other than I don't still care for the guy who voices Travis. The other characters do well job, most being standard stereotypes, but decent still. Music which Suda51 and Grasshopper always seem to much focus on is good and fittingly crazy. It ranges from death metal to crazy j-pop. Not to forget the brilliant chiptune tracks. No doubt one soundtrack that would work outside the game.Since free-roaming has been removed the progression in the game happens in the a overview map where Travis jumps immediately. The crazy motorcycle is only used in two occasions. After completing the game I end up feeling that I just finished a game with bunch of boss fights and some excellent minigames. Story and the gameplay are pretty much the same as in the first game. For me this end up feeling more of addon than a full blown sequel therefore I am giving a lower rating than the first game. Although if you liked the first game and this review is the decision maker go and play this now. For the ones new to the franchise I would suggest starting from the first game.

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