No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Travis Touchdown: assassin and former no.1 killer in Santa Destroy, the town in which our action takes place. After some time away from the action – seemingly spent in his hotel room with his over-weight cat, more on that later – our hero is brought out of retirement to avenge the death of his friend. However, Travis  must start at the bottom of the rankings, again, in order to reach the man he seeks – the current number 1 assassin.

It sounds like a decent set-up for a game and it is but here’s more. As Travis goes through the ranks he is able to purchase upgrades to his weapons, this of course takes cash and the way you earn cash is to take little side missions “Whoring yourself out”. The side missions are little mini-games, most of which fall into the retro 8-bit category of fun.

The Wii controls – I used the Wii-mote and nunchuk, rather than the classic controller – take a little while to get used to but once I had them worked out it was pretty easy to get stuck in to the action. With a variety of attacks using kicks and your plasma-katana it’s possible to work out some pretty nifty combo moves and when you’ve reached a critical point in the action, some quick-time prompts pop up on screen to allow you to perform finishing moves by swiping the Wii-mote. The results are pretty satisfying too – if it’s blood-spatters and body parts you’re after.

The Ranking fights themselves are usually prefaced by the requirement to hack and slash through a bunch of guards and supporting bad guys. The purpose of these are two-fold. Firstly you can get cash-drops from them to add to your side-mission stash and the second is, frankly, to make the game last a bit longer. The fights do throw up the occasional bit of fun through, charge up your inner Tiger and you can release a furious rampage on all and sundry present, or at least you can jump around in a semi-controlled way.

So here’s the thing, this game is designed is a very specific way and it’s visual cues come from J-action movies and anime. There’s a narration, of sorts, delivered by a stripper via a telephone. She gives you, the audience, some background on the city, the action, the opponents and the quasi-supernatural elements which are contained therein. The shots of her heaving breasts – with differing underwear each time – her shapely thighs and full red lips as she take a drag of her cigarette are all very nicely done and certainly fit into the mold of this kind of genre movie but after a while it was easier to hit the skip button. The mid-fight scenes are equally as well crafted with the Agent in charge of your fights also suitably under-dressed and over-sexed, with a slightly French accent added into the mix for extra flavour.

And then there’s Jeane. Jeane is Travis’ cat and she’s fat. One of the things you should do is look after your cat and help her to lose weight, which is achieved through playing with Jeane and generally exercising her. Is there a point? I suppose it shows that Travis is not a total nut job and that he does actually care about something…. but in terms of game worth it’s basically a big, fat zero.

Perhaps I didn’t get the game, perhaps I’m not it’s target audience. Perhaps this is a genre I’m not familiar with and should be but when playing through No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, MY Desperate Struggle was not to get bored – something which I didn’t manage.

Yes, amid all of the whirling plasma blades, flying body-parts, blood and gore, conspicuous female flesh and flash-bangvisuals I got bored with this game. I seemed to get into a routine; feed and play with Jeane, read any magazines I’d acquired for new moves, head out and pick up new side-missions, give them a go, head off to the ranking match, hack and slash through the minions, work out the method of attack of my opponent and hack and slash until dead. Rinse and repeat.

There is a lot inside this game, an awful lot, but none of it really sits well together and the disconnects were simply to much for me to tolerate after a while. The 8-bit games were a fun distraction – some were actually much fun – but I didn’t really see the point other than filling in time to make money. I just get the feeling that this is really a 4 hour game with a LOT of filler. Looking at the ratings on the front of the box I may have missed the point, but then again what do they actually mean anyway.


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3 responses to “No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle”

  1. devot avatar
    devot

    Getting Jeane slim and trim nets you a new finishing move.

    Perhaps not the flashiest of things to get for the work it takes, but you didn’t get anything from Jeane in the first game and nearly everyone took the time to pet her anyway.

  2. Scott avatar
    Scott

    I’m sad to hear you had such a difficult time with this one, John.

    I haven’t played the sequel yet, but (Mario Galaxies and Bit.Trips aside) the first NMH is probably the best game on the Wii, and probably the finest (albeit, pretentious) satire of gaming I’ve seen.

  3. John Brown avatar

    Scott, Maybe that’s it.. maybe it’s the satire I wasn’t getting. It all just seemed too much of a mish-mash for me.

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