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No More Heroes 2

Travis Touchdown returns, and this time it's personal

No More Heroes wasn't a game you'd want your mum to catch you playing. With gratuitous swearing and violence, a sex-obsessed main character and gameplay mechanics that included squatting on the loo to save the game and some rather 'suggestive' Remote gestures, it was pretty offensive stuff.

Thankfully, unlike some other Wii titles that have gone for the shock factor (we're looking at you, Manhunt 2), No More Heroes had plenty of substance and charm to go with the controversy. As well as fantastic combat, the game was funny, challenging and had a style all of its own, cleverly paying tribute to retro videogaming while delivering cutting edge action with a knowing wink.

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The first No More Heroes was nothing if not quirky, following the story of Johnny Knoxville look-alike Travis Touchdown, an anime and wrestling obsessed 'otaku' who happens upon a lightsaber (or 'beam katana', for lawsuit-avoiding reasons) on eBay and decides to become the world's number one assassin.

Now 30, Travis has lost none of his individuality, but his motivation has changed. In the original game, Travis was, to put it bluntly, a bit of an arse. Selfish, arrogant, vain and driven primarily by his raging libido, he was out for himself. In Desperate Struggle, things have got personal, as some dastardly villain has killed Travis' friend, the manager of the local video store. Given that this is where Travis acquires his beloved Mexican wrestling videos from, he's not going to take this sitting down and sets off on a roaring rampage of revenge.

You've Got Red On You

Now, No More Heroes was an exceptionally violent game. If you lived in America, that is. In Japan and the EU, the geysers of blood that sprayed from defeated enemies were replaced by coins and black dust - an effect that played on NMH's homage to classic 8-bit games. For the sequel, European gamers will apparently be able to pick between two versions of the game - the 'mild', censored version, or the 'extreme' one, complete with enough blood to give MadWorld a run for its money. Make no mistake, there will be a lot of the red stuff flowing, with Travis' dual beam katanas now able to slice and dice enemies into tiny pieces.

That's right. Dual beam katanas. With a glowing laser blade in each hand, the options afforded in combat have multiplied. Action sequences become a kinetic, technicolour blur with some of the prettiest graphics we've seen on the Wii. Purists can opt to stick with one katana, but with the combat options and potential for carnage offered by two, we think they'll be in the minority. Series creator Suda 51 also promises some tasty new wrestling moves, inspired by Travis' fascination with lucha libre grapplers.

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Meanwhile, an upgraded physics system means that Travis is free to hurl his enemies through furniture, into walls and over high ledges. Enemies have apparently been busy taking martial arts classes, with new AI meaning combat will flow better, and foes changing their tactics on the fly to cope with your attacks.

Since the events (and utterly baffling ending) of the original, Travis has slipped down the global assassin rankings to 51st place. That means he'll have to chop, hack, slice and wrestle his way through 50 killers in order to regain the coveted number one spot.

Climbing The Ladder

Grasshopper is keeping its cards very close to its chest with regards to the assassins you'll be fighting in order to boost your way up the rankings, but what we've seen so far would indicate that they've lost none of their flair for wacky character design. Nathan Copeland, the only assassin to be officially revealed so far, is a rapper who uses his mad hip hop skills to spread his demented religious message. Still not off-the-wall enough for you? His ghetto blaster transforms into a set of cyber arms and he uses his groupies as weapons by hurling them at you. Happy now?

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Comments

16 comments so far...
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  1. zeldamaster3 Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 11:20

    I really can' t wait!

  2. NEO.BAHAMUT Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 12:55

    I really can' t wait!

    Same here.

  3. Kolo67 Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 16:53

    Never got the first one, won't get this one.

    But I like the sort of concept, but all they need to do is make it with Ninjas instead of Chavs.

  4. Gwiifanboy Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 19:02

    Looks really cool! Especially how Travis is sporting two beam katanas this time :D

  5. Euthanasia Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 19:30

    Never got the first one, won't get this one.

    But I like the sort of concept, but all they need to do is make it with Ninjas instead of Chavs.


    You win ONM's biggest moron award, well done!

  6. CloudLXXXV Sunday 4th Oct 2009 at 00:06

    I LOVE No More Heroes!!
    Really can't wait for this!!
    I have both original versions of NMH1..
    AND EVEN WENT TO A FANCY DRESS AS TRAVIS!! :D
    "Beam Katana" n all.. 8) lol

  7. chino40k Monday 5th Oct 2009 at 15:56

    Never got the first one, won't get this one.

    But I like the sort of concept, but all they need to do is make it with Ninjas instead of Chavs.

    Chavs? Cheltenham Average?!? Where?

  8. chino40k Monday 5th Oct 2009 at 16:15

    The team thankfully seem to have taken criticisms of the first game's free roaming sections to heart. No More Heroes' hub city of Santa Destroy was a large but rather desolate place, completely bereft of soul or life.

    Wasn't the desolation of the original just a slight on games such as GTA? It was basically mocking all that came before it.

    The GameCentral review said it best.

  9. Tekkonkinkreet Friday 9th Oct 2009 at 10:25

    I am really looking forward to play this game. loved the 1st one, hopefuly this one will be even better. Especially those 8-bit style minigames looks like a lot of fun :D Suda 51 rocks!

  10. Daz_Dagon Saturday 19th Dec 2009 at 19:53

    Oh when I first heard about the sequel I was so happy. But how did travis and henry survive? I mean its not like they couldnt be bothered with their fight and walk off! They had their beam katanas at each others throats in mid air!

  11. master sword Tuesday 6th Apr 2010 at 12:55

    i can't wait for this, the first game was awesome and i think this one will be too

  12. Cuber Tuesday 6th Apr 2010 at 13:09

    The first No More Heroes was nothing if not quirky, following the story of Johnny Knoxville look-alike Travis Touchdown, an anime and wrestling obsessed 'otaku' who happens upon a lightsaber (or 'beam katana', for lawsuit-avoiding reasons) on eBay and decides to become the world's number one assassin.


    That's not how I remember it...

  13. Grifter Tuesday 6th Apr 2010 at 13:30

    Hit Girl would kill them all.

  14. Locarii Tuesday 6th Apr 2010 at 18:05

    Oh when I first heard about the sequel I was so happy. But how did travis and henry survive? I mean its not like they couldnt be bothered with their fight and walk off! They had their beam katanas at each others throats in mid air!


    I think this game is set before the first one....or halfway through...or after no. 1 but before henry...

    Ugh, I dunno. Something confusing.

  15. jimbob555 Wednesday 7th Apr 2010 at 00:58

    SWEARING IN VIDEO GAYEMZ? SURELY YOU JEST?!

    Looking forward to this. ALOT.

  16. Cuber Wednesday 7th Apr 2010 at 15:47

    Oh when I first heard about the sequel I was so happy. But how did travis and henry survive? I mean its not like they couldnt be bothered with their fight and walk off! They had their beam katanas at each others throats in mid air!


    I think this game is set before the first one....or halfway through...or after no. 1 but before henry...

    Ugh, I dunno. Something confusing.


    It's years later.

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