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No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle review

Suda's sequel scores a well-earned Touchdown

Anyone claiming that violent, adult games don't have a place on Wii should be pointed in the direction of the original No More Heroes. Insane levels of action, a bonkers sense of humour and some of the most offensive language you'll hear on Nintendo's little white box all combined to make an experience like no other. That said, we did have issues with No More Heroes' gameplay, issues that its sequel Desperate Struggle has aimed to address.

For the most part, it manages this with flying colours. Usually red. With a head attached. If you've ever played the original No More Heroes, the first thing you'll notice when you start playing Desperate Struggle is blood. Lots and lots of blood. This is a big deal because the original game was, for some reason or another, released in a censored state with all the blood removed.

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I Need A Hero

Blood aside, the general gameplay is more or less business as usual. As Travis, you have to kill a series of assassins in order to fight your way to the top of a rankings table. So you'll be ploughing your way through a variety of enemies, cutting them to bits with your beam katana, until they're all defeated and you can make your way to the boss fight.

There are two main types of attack Travis can perform with his beam katana, depending on whether you tilt the Wii Remote up or down as you press the A button to attack. Tilting it up makes Travis perform quicker, less powerful attacks, while tilting it down results in much stronger attacks which are also significantly slower and easier for opponents to avoid or block. This tilting mechanic also works with the melee attacks (performed with the B button), with an upward tilt making Travis punch and a downward tilt resulting in a kick. You can also play with the Classic Controller.

Fighting normal opponents can get a little frustrating at times, as some opponents will take a lot of hits to kill and others will block an infuriatingly high proportion of Travis's attacks.

Assassin's Greed

The boss designs are typically crazy, ranging from a little girl in a mech suit to a Russian astronaut armed with a laser. That said, there are a few designs that aren't quite as 'out there' as others such as Ryuji, a motorbike-riding samurai who, despite being able to summon purple energy shaped like a dragon, could easily slot into any generic Japanese action game.

Boss fights are as lengthy as usual and can be really tough, even on the game's lowest difficult settings. It's likely to take you a couple of goes to figure out the technique needed to destroy each enemy, and even once you've got it sorted you're still likely to get floored by a few cheap attacks. Still, the length of these fights mean that when you finally defeat them and do the required on-screen prompt to deliver the killer blow, there's a great sense of achievement as you watch the typically ridiculous cut-scene that follows.

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The main criticism we had with the original game was the bike sections as you rode from destination to destination down a series of empty streets. This time the driving sections have been scraooed and you can reach the missions, shops and jobs can be reached with a simple press of the A button on the map screen

On The Job

Speaking of the jobs, these have been greatly improved as well. The dull side-games have been replaced by old-school NES-style games and while a couple are stinkers (the one where Travis has to cook steaks for fat customers) the majority are a good laugh and actually quite playable.

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Comments

21 comments so far...
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  1. jimbob555 Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 14:24

    Quick question. Do they highlight the fact that theres a error in the game?

    In the last game one of the bad guys turns to ash, but he returns in this game rebuilt. It will make no sense to the U.K version as the way he died in the US version makes sense that he could be rebuilt but not in the UK version.

    I know it doesn't take itself seriously. But still. :D

    Looking forward to this though!

  2. Ai64 Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 14:43

    It sure is a stylish game. Here's hoping the third one can be better.

  3. capmanchris Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:01

    A gold medal at least

  4. Icarus_Kid Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:15

    It's suppose to be better then the first game yet it scores lower..?

  5. Nintendo Boy Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:15

    It sure is a stylish game. Here's hoping the third one can be better.

    There are no plans for a third game, sadly.

    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co. ... p?id=17373

  6. darkandy666 Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:28

    omfg i forgot this was out!!!!!!!!! i htink i hav to wait for it tho got no moeny and galaxy comes out soon

  7. chino40k Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:47

    The main criticism we had with the original game was the bike sections as you rode from destination to destination down a series of empty streets.

    The satire of that was misunderstood by many. Some appreciated it, others didn't.

    This following quote from elsewhere on the web articulates it much better than I can.

    The barren city from the original came under a lot of criticism, since it was so empty of anything but the locations directly related to your quest.

    That was absolutely the point though, with the game's stripped down combat meant to stand in stark contrast to the meaningless distractions along the way.

    The first game was a mockery of GTA and the excesses of other sandbox games.

  8. ChrisONM Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 15:53

    The main criticism we had with the original game was the bike sections as you rode from destination to destination down a series of empty streets.

    The satire of that was misunderstood by many. Some appreciated it, others didn't.

    This following quote from elsewhere on the web articulates it much better than I can.

    The barren city from the original came under a lot of criticism, since it was so empty of anything but the locations directly related to your quest.

    That was absolutely the point though, with the game's stripped down combat meant to stand in stark contrast to the meaningless distractions along the way.

    The first game was a mockery of GTA and the excesses of other sandbox games.


    Well, a joke's a joke, but if it makes for boring gameplay I'd rather it was left out.

  9. Lady Gagagged Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 16:26

    The main criticism we had with the original game was the bike sections as you rode from destination to destination down a series of empty streets.

    The satire of that was misunderstood by many. Some appreciated it, others didn't.

    This following quote from elsewhere on the web articulates it much better than I can.

    The barren city from the original came under a lot of criticism, since it was so empty of anything but the locations directly related to your quest.

    That was absolutely the point though, with the game's stripped down combat meant to stand in stark contrast to the meaningless distractions along the way.

    The first game was a mockery of GTA and the excesses of other sandbox games.


    Well, a joke's a joke, but if it makes for boring gameplay I'd rather it was left out.

    Does any of the satire translate into this new game, or are they in danger of poking fun at themselves?

  10. chino40k Wednesday 26th May 2010 at 00:47

    The main criticism we had with the original game was the bike sections as you rode from destination to destination down a series of empty streets.

    The satire of that was misunderstood by many. Some appreciated it, others didn't.

    This following quote from elsewhere on the web articulates it much better than I can.

    The barren city from the original came under a lot of criticism, since it was so empty of anything but the locations directly related to your quest.

    That was absolutely the point though, with the game's stripped down combat meant to stand in stark contrast to the meaningless distractions along the way.

    The first game was a mockery of GTA and the excesses of other sandbox games.


    Well, a joke's a joke, but if it makes for boring gameplay I'd rather it was left out.

    Does any of the satire translate into this new game, or are they in danger of poking fun at themselves?

    My understanding is that the 2d retro games were implemented as a nod to the current obsession with retro. As for the rest of the game I'll wait and see what it brings when (if) it turns up in the post this week.

  11. TyrDragon Wednesday 26th May 2010 at 01:08

    Cant wait for this :D I'm also getting Killer7 on the 28th (my birthday :wink:) as i've never played it and it looks like fun :D as well as pokémon :wink: aren't I a lucky boy?

  12. samus_killer Wednesday 26th May 2010 at 10:57

    Cant wait for this :D I'm also getting Killer7 on the 28th (my birthday :wink:) as i've never played it and it looks like fun :D as well as pokémon :wink: aren't I a lucky boy?

    Wow what a contrast! I've never played killer 7, but may do one day.
    Anyway I loved the first NMH and can't wait for the second. Here's hoping play.com deliver a day early, so may get it tomorrow.
    Also did anyone know why it's called no more heroes? Well my dad has an old 70/80's punk CD collection called 'no more heroes', I was stoked.

  13. noodle link Wednesday 26th May 2010 at 16:13

    Quick question. Do they highlight the fact that theres a error in the game?

    In the last game one of the bad guys turns to ash, but he returns in this game rebuilt. It will make no sense to the U.K version as the way he died in the US version makes sense that he could be rebuilt but not in the UK version.

    I know it doesn't take itself seriously. But still. :D

    Looking forward to this though!


    Are you on about Destroyman? In the gory version of NMH1 he is sliced in half and doesn't desintigrate. For the second game he somehow glues both halves of himself to robotic halves, creating New Destroyman: two psychotic superhero killers for the price of one!

  14. mattsponge Thursday 27th May 2010 at 09:51

    hope to get it soon when i have money

  15. minimarioman Friday 28th May 2010 at 00:14

    Cant wait for this :D I'm also getting Killer7 on the 28th (my birthday :wink:) as i've never played it and it looks like fun :D as well as pokémon :wink: aren't I a lucky boy?

    Wow what a contrast! I've never played killer 7, but may do one day.
    Anyway I loved the first NMH and can't wait for the second. Here's hoping play.com deliver a day early, so may get it tomorrow.
    Also did anyone know why it's called no more heroes? Well my dad has an old 70/80's punk CD collection called 'no more heroes', I was stoked.

    The story may have been a cultural reference to the song, but personally I think it is to do with the games plot. If you think about it, none of the characters in the No More Heroes universe are heroes. They are just twisted humans with little care for anything other than money and respect. I think Suda 51 was using the game to mock video-game heroism.

  16. Daz_Dagon Friday 28th May 2010 at 11:44

    Got it yesterday and beat it after 9 and a half hours. I was dissapointed. The game felt cut short henry could have had more but that would be spoiling. The game leaves behind to many loose ends. The boss battles are good but time wasting. Where is the music during the levels. Why was the town removed? I loved find lokiov balls, hidden cash and shirts. Some might say thats boring but to me it was just enough. You dont even have entry fees to pay and you dont get cash, health boost or even the wrestling moves from boss. You get cash from doing minigames which are ok but I prefer the old gym. Sorry for the mild spoilers. Even with all my bad points I do lovr the game I would score it 85%.

  17. chino40k Saturday 29th May 2010 at 15:04


    Does any of the satire translate into this new game, or are they in danger of poking fun at themselves?

    Not strictly satire but there's a good visual joke with Doctor Naomi and the games bigger budget.

  18. hulkbuster Tuesday 1st Jun 2010 at 18:19

    i love it :D ,you have to take a dump to save game :lol: :lol: :lol:.

  19. shane12234 Wednesday 2nd Jun 2010 at 09:02

    What the ....
    i got this game 7 hours ago and now i just finnished it.they could of added much more content,im dissapointed :(

  20. Red-Wolf Thursday 17th Jun 2010 at 17:34

    Why did this game score lower than the original? It's got better graphics, better gameplay, better cutscenes, a better script, better bosses, better everything! The only problem I have with it is that the minigames are pretty rubbish. Besides that, I think this game deserves higher than the original; 89% at least.

  21. master sword Tuesday 24th Aug 2010 at 15:09

    this game i what i like to call, an orgasm game (lovely mental imagery there :D )
    In thats it's an amazing experience, but it doesn't last long enough
    aka. its a good game, but it's too short

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