No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is another tale in Travis Touchdown’s twisted life. After competing in the first assassin’s tournament and being crowned number one, Travis is again approached by the sexy Sylvia to compete again. This time he has to kill 50 assassins all in the hopes of getting laid…again. From that premise alone, you know this is going to be a whacky game rich with cheesy one-liners, and colorful characters that are equal parts insane and brilliant. It’s got some great, clever writing, but unfortunately the plot seems to take a dive about halfway through and seems unfinished.
Simply put, this is a hack and slash game. Armed with your trusty beam katana, Travis will slice through hordes of goons, paving his path to the assassin boss with blood. It’s a simple, rinse and repeat method that gets olds fast, though the boss’ are unique and quirky at least. Aside from the main quest, Travis can also partake in assassin missions and mini games to help earn money. You can buy upgrades, new clothes, and more, but it gets quite repetitive as well. The overall monotony is the game’s biggest flaw and it’s only amplified by the atrocious camera angles.
NMH2 looks good on some aspects and terrible in others. The cel-shading gives the game a great sense of style, emphasizing the bombastic characters and explicit gore. The mini games are also amazing, giving homage to classic 8-BIT games. That said the environments are awfully empty and boring. Despite having lot to do, it’s repetitive plus the atrocious load times makes these activities seem more like a chore. The soundtrack is good at least mixing rock, electronic, and even a little hip-hop in for good measure.
No More Heroes 2 has a lot of good ideas that ultimately fall flat. If you love Suda51 and his games then perhaps you can look past its numerous flaws. After all the bloody action is fun for a little bit and the characters, story, and cel-shading is worth a look. Not a buy mind you, but rent it, put it on easy, and enjoy the frustrating ride.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on January 14, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.