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No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
ESRB Rating: Mature
What kind of game is it?
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is the sequel to 2008's No More Heroes. It is available exclusively for Nintendo Wii. The series is, at its core, a brawler/beat 'em up game, but it's loaded with black humor and graphic violence. It's also filled with inside jokes that lovingly poke fun at famous videogame franchises as well as otaku (Japanese geek) culture.
Who's the developer?
Good question. Grasshopper Manufacture is headed up by Goichi Suda, also known as Suda 51. Grasshopper is well-known for creating artistically stylish games that are often aesthetically pleasing, but are an acquired taste to enjoy. The developer started out in 1998 with several Japan-only releases for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 before 2005's Killer 7, a polarizing title that has become a cult classic. Though not a commercial success, the game gave Westerners a taste of Suda's demented approach to design. No More Heroes proved to be a hit outside of Japan that has grabbed the attention of Wii-owning hardcore gamers.
What's the story?
Travis Touchdown, the foul-mouthed okatu assassin from the first game, has lost his ranking as the world's best killer after vacating the title. He decides to return to the United Assassin Association's rankings to climb his way back up to the top. He must start from rank 51 and slay his way back to the crown against legions of aspiring hitmen (and women).
Weirdness. You didn't expect that from a game in which you save by dropping a deuce in the porcelain throne, you say? For shame! Seriously, there have been some big overhauls to the sequel, including the job system, which is now a series of 8-bit inspired minigames. The control scheme has been adapted both for traditional play and for veterans. You can control Travis either through the traditional remote/nunchuk combo or you can use the Classic Controller. No code that allows puppies to fly out of your decapitated enemies' neck stumps, unfortunately.
Not only is it single-player, the whole thing might just be a whacked-out dream you had last night.
What'd we say?
Sterling McGarvey reviewed No More Heroes 2 and gave it a 4/5, saying:
"No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle makes some big improvements on its predecessor. It’s funnier, it looks better and the 8-bit minigames are a fantastic addition. It's not an exceptionally long game, but it's a tight, lean experience that trims away a great deal of the first game's bloat. It has a few big stumbles on the way to its bombastic finale, but it's still a very satisfying experience at its conclusion. Undoubtedly, it's one of the finer games to be released on Wii in some time. Don't feel ashamed about recharging that laser sword. It's for a good cause."