No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle ReviewMatt Andrews
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle finally provides the Wii with a great game for the mature gaming audience. Desperate Struggle is a winning combination of 3rd person melee hack and slash action with a plethora of boss battles that make for a truly entertaining game. Its unique, its flashy, its crude, its funny, and its definitely not for gamers under seventeen. Heres what I thought of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
When you pop in No More Heroes 2 for the first time, you will undoubtedly notice the games unique style. Its artwork is a standout feature as a unique blending of western anime with American urban style. Youll also notice that all the characters seem to have an attitude, sarcasm is a plenty, and humor is adult oriented, but really quite funny. This all seems to fit together well, because the game take place in city called Santa Destroy. Santa Destroy is a once loved city, now overrun with one mans industrial empire. The city is young, grungy, and full of scantily clad women as well as opportunities for those willing to sell their souls.
Your character, Travis Touchdown, has returned from the first game, and just so happens to be one of those people with a soul for sale. After a brief cut scene, the game tosses you into your first boss battle. The game refuses to comply with the status quo of gaming, and that why we love it. The game soon introduces you to the fact that Santa Destroy is home to a sort of fight club. Early on, Travis hears that his close friend and employee of the local adult film shop has been murdered, and his killer just so happens to be the first ranked assassin in the fight club. Youll soon be killing your way through the ranks on your way to sweet vengeance. Its a fairly shallow, but convincing back-story, and brings the game together with some uniformity behind all the combat and crude humor. Youll have to start at rank fifty one, where game play begins, and this first boss battle serves as the games tutorial for the games combat system.
Desperate Struggles combat system is just about the same as its predecessor, just a bit more refined. For the unacquainted, the combat primarily focused around what is essentially a light-saber katana. Using a combination of the Wii-motes buttons and motion-detection abilities, youll be asked slash your heart out; that is until it runs out of batteries. Wait. Did I just say that your sword will run out of batteries? Oh yeah, then youll have to shake your Wii-mote until your arm burns that familiar burn the Wii invokes. This translates to Travis violently shaking his sword, grunting in exertion. Your mind doesnt have to wander far to find suggestive themes all through No More Heroes 2, and theyll be popping up constantly to give gamers a good laugh. While your shaking away at your Wii-mote, youll inevitably be a sitting duck. Its a strange reality that many gamers will have trouble accepting, but once your sword is up and running again, its back to hacking and slashing some more.
The most creative part of Desperate Struggles combat system is sort of an overdrive mode in which Travis will move blindingly fast and clear a room in the blink of an eye. Yes, I know its a stretch to call an overdrive feature creative. Thats the point. Desperate Struggle lacks creativity within the combat that it excels in throughout the rest of the game. Youll be killing lots of incredibly generic enemies on your way to each boss battle, but it must be said that the Bosses are awesome. Whether theyre a ridiculously hilarious combination of two stereotypical urban dwellers, or possess some awesomely fantastical weapon or ability, the bosses do not disappoint, not one of the fifteen youll encounter.
Not all your time will be spent fighting through mindless enemies and their bosses in Desperate Struggle if you dont want it to. There is a basic character development feature in the game, as well as some time-wasters and side missions. Travis can earn himself some money by performing tasks around Santa Destroy. So its a free-roam city? Nope. Youll be traveling to preset locations around Santa Destroy via a map and loading screens. This is a blessing in disguise, as the first games attempt to create a free-roam environment was just shy of an epic failure. The jobs youll be performing come in the form of classic videos game you would find in the NES era. If the NES was before your time, you may not recognize the games and concepts, but youll almost surely enjoy them. If the NES was the highlight of your childhood, youll love this blast from the past, and probably rack up enough cash to last through the entire game in a matter of minutes. Either way, it isnt difficult to earn money pretty quickly to buy Travis new clothes and weapons, or to pay for training that will increase attributes like attack strength, and maximum health.
Thats really about all there is to say about No More Heroes 2, but lets review. The goal of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle was threefold: create a game for the Wii that appealed to mature gamers, provide entertaining hack and slash combat, and provide enough extra content to fill in the gaps. Check, check, and check. Desperate Struggle deserves much credit for pushing the envelope, and holding nothing back. The game really sets itself above the rest with its unparalleled sense of style. You can really tell that the developers put an extra effort into giving the game its very own attitude and sense of humor. No More Heroes 2 may not justify every seventeen to twenty-five year old owning a Wii, but for that audience, it will entertain you, make you laugh, raise your standards of hack and slash fighting games, and leave you proud of your Wii. It is a must own for you dusty Wii owners out there looking for the game that will make you genuinely want to give your Wii some playing time.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.