Home > Gaming, Reviews, Wii > “No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle” Wii Review

“No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle” Wii Review

It’s here! Being somebody that genuinely enjoyed the first No More Heroes, its sequel has been my most wanted Wii game of 2010. Unfortunately though, it is also one of the most disappointing sequels I have ever laid hands on.

Just to clear the air, there is very little that is technically wrong with the game. It runs quite well and the game mechanics are enjoyable throughout. For starters, the combat has been subtly tweaked to make it faster and more visceral. There are new moves which involve the shaking of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk while dashing around your enemies. Other than these few changes, the combat is virtually untouched; so if you liked how the first played, you should enjoy fighting off goons in Desperate Struggle.

Coolest addition to the sequel.

However, this segways into my biggest complaint about the game: it ultimately feels lazy. The similarities in the combat are acceptable, it is a sequel anyways. The story, as well as the ranking battles, are less creative this time around. By this I mean, the assassins that you fight throughout the game have little or no character or reason to be there. In the first game, the cutscenes leading up to and following the ranking battles characterized the assassins you would be facing. This is simply absent in Desperate Struggle. Players will find themselves just shepherded into mindless battles with no introduction or reason. Some of the assassins don’t even feel it’s necessary to speak at any point in the process. One of the ranking battles is against a soviet astronaut. No explanation is given as to why he simply floats down to earth in a high position of the rankings list acting as if he hasn’t been to earth in years. It just feels as if the development team didn’t take the time to think anything out.

Oh look! Another assassin that you will know little and care less about.

There are also some points in the story that simply don’t make sense. Now, I’m not going to try and sell you on the fact that No More Heroes was a heavily story driven game, but some parts of this sequel simply don’t make sense. For example,the advertised Shinobu and Henry levels feel tacked on (Shinobu has the ability to jump and the camera simply can’t keep up with it). Shinobu spends her areas killing assassin’s ranked higher than Travis while he is busy, but it is never explained why this is allowed. Should Travis not then have to kill Shinobu to gain the ranks that she gained by killing the higher up assassins?

Finally, the most apparent and bothersome issue in the game is the difficulty. I managed the first game on the highest difficulty and so I began Desperate Struggle at the highest difficulty unlocked from the start (normal), I had quite a difficult time completing the game and was forced to repeat some ranking fights upwards of ten times. I’m not exaggerating. If the game was simply difficult, that could be acceptable. The difficulty, however, often comes from the fact that the ranked fights are simply cheap. The number 1 ranking fight in particular is against a boss who has multiple unblockable attacks including ones that can kill Travis in one hit. On the opposite side of the spectrum, some of the ranked assassin’s will simply walk around the arena throwing slow and easily blockable attacks, making the fights turn into Travis chasing the assassin around the arena whittling down his/her health with single blows.

All in all, I was very disappointed with the game and couldn’t shake off the feeling that I wouldn’t have minded its issues as much if I had not played the first game. It feels like a step back even though Travis’ gameplay is even more fast paced and addictive this time around. It no longer has the simply odd feel that the first game had. You’ll also care even less about the story this time around, despite the attempts to make it more serious and dark. The portions of the game that I enjoyed the most were the arena-like areas before the ranking fights where you had a chance to show off Travis’ skills on random, respawning enemies. This, however, is not something that I can wholeheartedly recommend spending $50 dollars on, especially with truly outstanding titles out now and in the near future. If you loved the first game, it’s likely worth at least a rent to take the gameplay improvements for a spin, and if you haven’t played the first game, go ahead and play this one first so that you’re not disappointed by the drawbacks of the sequel.

Final Score: 7.5 out of 10

By LostAddict1993

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Categories: Gaming, Reviews, Wii
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