No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is based on the predecessor. Again it's about fighting our way to number one in the assassin rankings, but this time we're starting at number 50. Travis came back from retirement because of the murder of his best friend. Now he goes on a campaign of revenge. The sequel doesn't differ in many respects from the original. The staging is even more exaggerated, the gameplay and graphics have been modernized a bit. So far we've only competed against ordinary people, but now supernatural killers are also waiting for us. But don't worry: "normal" bosses are back again. At least as normal as the eccentric director Suda51 allows.
After Travis became the number one assassin in the first part, he ran away. Without his knowledge, Travis became an urban legend among the assassins because of his actions. He steps back into the limelight when he learns that his best friend Bishop has been murdered by the Pizza Bat CEO. Full of hatred for the head of the pizza shop chain, our anime and wrestling fan fights his way back to number one on the killer list, as his arch enemy is waiting for him there.
So the basis of the second part of the No More Heroes series has gotten off to a more serious start, but it quickly drifts back into its usual nonsense. Sexual innuendos, wit and brutality are still big parts of the experience. However, our anime nerd Travis is no longer wannabe-cool, but more serious and cold-blooded. We miss the dumb idiot from the predecessor a little.
Source: PC Games
No More Heroes 2 is basically the same as in the first part. There are two buttons to distribute high and low sword blows, the same goes for punches and kicks. Also back are the brutal finishers and the special skill slot machine. The skills have now been expanded, for example we can transform ourselves into a tiger that kills enemies with one blow. The only differences are that the simple combos now look a lot better and there is a mode that makes Travis invulnerable and stronger. This is unlocked when we fill the "Ecstasy Bar" by dealing a lot of hits while taking a little. Due to the more elaborate animations, the game is a bit slower, but it doesn't disturb the flow of the game.
Source: PC Games
The boring standard opponents are still as monotonous as in the first part. Throughout the game, apart from the bosses, we always meet the same thugs. While it's fun to beat these, more variation wouldn't hurt. The clone opponents are particularly noticeable because we have to fight them in much larger masses in No More Heroes 2. The assassins, however, are always a highlight. Almost all of them have special mechanics, personalities, designs and their own background music. In addition, the annoying feature has been removed that the killers only take damage when the game also wants us to deal some. This makes the fights a lot easier, but at the same time more fun.
Source: PC Games
A nice surprise: Two other characters that we already know from the predecessor can also be played in places. The move repertoire of ex-boss Shinobu is not very mature, but the two characters are a nice change. Another thing that wasn't implemented so well is the camera. Instead of looking over Travis 'shoulder like in No More Heroes, we now look past Travis' side in battle. While this lets us know what we're doing with the enemy, it often leads to the camera getting stuck somewhere. Another annoying thing is that we are now much more easily knocked down by attacks. This always leads to interruptions in the action-heavy fighting system. Otherwise everything stays the same: beautiful sound design, satisfactory hit feedback and exaggerated violence.
The title is essentially very similar to its predecessor. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. The characteristics that made the first part so unique are still there. Recognizable characters, a crazy story, exaggerated staging and a pleasant 90s retro flair. Even if the camera doesn't capture some things in combat, there are many other positive changes. For example, the empty city was quickly replaced by a menu and the monotonous side missions by small, loving pixel games. Last but not least, the music in this sequel is absolutely fantastic. From synth soundtracks to heavy metal and punk to Japanese rock and jazz everything is included. If you liked the forerunner, you should also play Desperate Struggle.
Who yourself looking forward to the third part of the crazy series, can sweeten the waiting time with the two predecessors on the Switch.
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