No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.7
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 8.8
Distributor: AIE
Review Date: July 2010
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer:
Michael Marsh

8.9


No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review

Moving beyond the original game, “No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle” brings together 21st century gaming with classic retro gaming to create an interesting hybrid and mockery of Japanese pop culture... not that we're complaining. Incorporating the unique motion control of the Wii, this third person action game has the player controlling Travis Touchdown, former geek and now, the world's deadliest assassin.


Watch your hand buddy

However after years of killing for the United Assassin Association, he turned his back on them which was unfortunate for his best friend because he was murdered by Touchdown's successor. Travis Touchdown was also responsible making assassinations mainstream and these are even broadcast on television in the bizarro world of Santa Destroy. Sounds like a parody of Grand Theft Auto to me, not to mention his Star Wars type lightsabres... er... laser swords. Grabbing his swords... err... laser swords once again, Touchdown returns to the world of the United Assassin Association in order to extract his revenge on the murder of his best friend. Talk about corny!

Ironically, the corniness of No more Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle works quite well with the story and all the characters are quite over the top and very likeable. Joining Travis are some great supporting cast members that includes the buxom beauty Sylvia who happens to work for the United Assassin Association and his twin brother rival. The rapport and characterisation is brilliant and even though some aspects of the gameplay let you down at times (camera angle and some of the retro games), the story, comedy and ridiculous nature of Travis Touchdown's journey makes you want to play more to find out what the hell is going to happen next.


MA15+ games are always fun on the Wii

In terms of where you play, the game uses a GTA like mapping system which is more of a smoke and mirrors technique that makes the game appear bigger than it really is. Each of the missions that you engage in contains a variety of set objectives and of course bloody assassination type combat. However rather than just being another stock standard action game, the developers have included a plethora of retro mini-games that look and play like games from yesterday with their pixel graphics. These help break up the sometimes way too many minion fights that Travis has.

Some of these games have no meaning whatsoever, whereas some are truly hilarious and actually entertaining to play. The problem with some of the mini-games is that they are hit and miss and the ones that miss really make you scratch you head in thinking what were the developers trying to do besides make you frustrated. But then you play one of these crazy retro games like the pizza delivery and BAM, you’re sucked into it and then your back chopping up people again. Okay, it's pretty damn sick for such as family friendly console but boy does it work.


Think unsexy thoughts... think unsexy thoughts

Saving is also a hoot in No More Heroes 2 and you basically need to have a leak to save the game. It's these little things that make the game so appealing to play. In terms of the gaming environment, it's rather quite diverse with lots of interesting places to explore and even though it may not be as “free” as Grand Theft Auto, the change does assist in keeping you interested with the game and the fun story. From abandoned dilapidated buildings to heavily populated streets, there's lot to see in Santa Destroy.

Combat however is a key aspect to the game, especially the laser swords that Travis likes to use. The game is quite bloody, albeit in a cartoon way throughout the game, especially when you use the motion controls of the wiimote to slash and dice your enemy to a dozen pieces. There is even some hand to hand combat in the combat as opposed to the bloody dispatch of the sword. The game also gives the player access to an execution roulette wheel power-up and if you line three lots up, Travis activates a crazy assed attack with a really lame but hilarious catch phrase.  If you score a decent power-up such as the "tiger", it really increases the abilities of Travis into one mean killing machine.


CAPCOM eat your heart out!

Apart from this power-up, there is another which rewards the player for hitting the enemy and when filled, you can release a devastating super speed attack on your opponent. For those that don’t want to get physical with the controllers, there is also an option to use a traditional controller setup which is great if you just want to relax. With more enemies than you can point a stick at, the most entertaining the battles in the game are when you take on the bosses or rival assassins, vying for your spot as number one. This when things get a little difficult but thankfully not in a frustrating way. To sum up the gameplay, it's fun!

Graphically, this is one impressive game on the Nintendo Wii with brilliant character design, detailed environments and overall decent animation. The cell-shaded graphics for Desperate Struggle is quite unique on the Wii and really suits this whacky premise well, especially with the special effects that the creators have added. As mentioned, the characters look great, especially Travis and how he interacts with the environment like a man on a mission. And then you have the titillation factor forced upon you (not that many males would complain) of Sylvia and her eye catching assets.

There are however some graphical issues with the game which is with the camera. At the worst times possible, the camera may block the action which is quite frustrating when you are engaged in combat because you can't see what is happening. Sometimes this can be avoided. 

To compliment the graphics, the game contains a great modern rock/Japanese pop soundtrack and some stellar voice acting, even though they sound like a CAPCOM game on speed but it’s all class and quite comedic at times. A special mention should also be made about the retro games with their 8-bit style of graphics and music. Classic stuff!


Darth Maul never looked better than this.

In conclusion, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is an entertaining game, although it does suffer from some minor gameplay nuisances with the dodgy camera. Fortunately, you can sometimes avoid this, depending on where Travis is located in the gaming environment but the story, retro games and combat system is still worth the entry price alone. With unlockable content from clothes to hidden items, there is enough content in this title to keep you busy for a good 10 or so hours. Graphically, it’s one of the best Wii games of 2010 and even though the swords are really lightsabres, it's cooler than cool. Check it out!

Features

  • Dual Beam Katanas - Massacre your enemies in all new ways with single and dual-wield beams katanas and an expanded combo system.
  • Epic Boss Battles - New video cutscenes introduce the fifty UAA assassins standing between Travis and the top spot
  • New Playable Character - Take control of Shinobu with character-specific weapons, attacks, and combos.
  • 8-bit Mini-games - Suda 51 brings even more 8-bit elements, mini-games, and throwbacks to old-school gaming
  • Travis Seeks Revenge - When an old firend is used against him, killing is the only way to find an answer





 
 



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