No More Heroes 2: Action Ballad Part Two in the Switch Test

No More Heroes 2: Action Ballad Part Two in the Switch Test
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.

Table of contents

1 Desperate fight 2 The actual fight 3 True to the roots

Desperate fight

After Travis became the number one assassin in the first part, he made himself out the dust. 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.

The basis of the second part of the No -More Heroes series has gotten off to a more serious start, but quickly goes back to normal 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.

The actual fight

One of the many unique bosses. What? Have you never been targeted by a Gothic Lolita with a sniper rifle and scythe? 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. The more complex animations mean that the game is a little slower, but that doesn't disturb the flow of the game.

Sylvia, always smoking, always explains the world and characters. There's a lot of fan service in No More Heroes. 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. That makes the fights a lot easier, but also more fun at the same time.

Travis strikes as usual and breaks enemies into pieces. This is still harmless compared to what happens otherwise. Source: PC Games A nice surprise: Two other characters that we already know from the predecessor are also playable 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: nice sound design, satisfying hit feedback and exaggerated violence.

True to the roots

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. Anyone who was able to gain something from the forerunner should also play Desperate Struggle.

Anyone looking forward to the third part of the crazy series can sweeten the waiting time a little with the two predecessors on the Switch.

My opinion

By Yannik Cunha

Author This is exactly what a remaster should look like! No More Heroes 2 doesn't do much different than its predecessor, but that's exactly what fans want. So don't expect any major changes. Instead, the game system is meaningfully expanded. Not all attempts to improve the game have been successful: the idea with the new camera angle is good for capturing more action, but it was not implemented ideally. In any case, it turns out that the Grasshopper Manufacture studio endeavored to further develop the game principle. The simple animations of the first part are a thing of the past, everything looks fresher and more mature. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle remains true to its basic principles: Action fans have fun no matter what they are doing. This part is also to be recommended to everyone who can appreciate the crazy side of Japanese culture (and is of legal age). And after playing through you are well prepared for the third part, which will be released for Switch in 2021. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (NSW) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Closes perfectly on the predecessor Ingenious, multi-faceted soundtrack Fast, fun gameplay Crazy cutscenes No pauses too long between sections Unique characters Interesting boss fights Camera problems Too large hordes of opponents Relatively easy More pros & cons ... Conclusion No More Heroes 2 is a useful successor to the first part of the game. Advertisement: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle order now from Amazon

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