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No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review

Josh_Laddin By:
Josh_Laddin
02/24/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Ubisoft 
DEVELOPER Grasshopper 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

You can make a killing in this business.


My Assassin's Journal

Day 1: Hoo boy, it's great to be back in good ol' Santa Destroy. I passed through here a couple years ago, back when geeky Otaku-turned-assassin Travis Touchdown turned this idyllic coastal town into his personal slaughterhouse, all in a bloodthirsty charge to become the #1 ranked assassin in the United Assassin's Association (UAA). But a lot's changed since then. Travis has gone AWOL, and the commotion he stirred up has turned assassination into somewhat of a fad — and a big business. And that's exactly why I moved here, to claw my way up through the rankings, killing anyone who gets in my way.

click to enlargeDay 2: I gotta say, being in a Suda 51 game rules. We've got sexy girls, blood and guts, no morality whatsoever to get in the way, and the ability to break the fourth wall whenever it's convenient (like I'm doing right now). We assassins may just be characters in a video game, but it's a damn good life (until some upstart challenger comes along and decapitates you, I guess).

Day 4: Been brushing up on my combat skills lately. Can't go dying around here prematurely, after all. Not till I get my own decent-sized body count. Fortunately, combat is still essentially the same as the last time I passed through these parts, and any would-be assassin who's dabbled in the business previously in Santa Destroy will feel right at home again.

For the newbie killers, the moves are pretty simple and they'll be chopping folks up in no time. One new trick I enjoy is the Ecstasy Gauge, which fills up in the form of a tiger slowly waking up (go figure) as we kill stuff and goes down when we get hit. When it fills we can go into a crazy rage and tear everything to shreds. Oh, there are still the random “slot machine” effects that do essentially the same thing, but we can now enter this killer mode when and where we choose.

Day 6: Oh man, the last couple days have been just CRAZY. After two years of leaving the biz, Travis Touchdown showed up back in town, beam katana a-blazing. And from what I hear, this time around he's not just chasing tail in his bid to get to #1. Rumor has it someone offed his best friend and now he's out for blood. The UAA is much bigger than it was two years ago, though, and even the legendary Travis has to start out from rank 51 this time. But he still whips out sick finishing moves and some amazing one-liners on all of his competition. I should really see if I can't get some of that awesome dialogue written for me, too!

click to enlargeDay 8: Had my first ranking battle today — what a rush! These assassins may be off-the-wall and over-the-top, but they sure as hell don't pull their punches (or swords, or guns, or arm cannons, or giant fucking laser beams). The one-on-one ranking battles — what you gamers out there would refer to as “bosses” — can be merciless, and it's not uncommon to die the first time you run into a new one. Fortunately for you, death is only temporary, as you can start again from the start of a fight as many times as you want. But for all the wicked craziness and thrilling fights, the best tactics seem to be the same for all of them: get in a few hits, roll away from the counterattack, then hit a few more times, etc. Wish there was a little more variety...

Day 10: Took a breather from killing today and went shopping. Santa Destroy is just like it was two years ago, with one exception: Instead of running and driving through an open-world environment, I can just choose a spot on my handy map and arrive there magically! Video games sure have their perks. While the old open-world Santa Destroy did have its charms, this is definitely a smoother and more hassle-free way to move around, and streamlines life in this town exactly the way I want it — more time spent dismembering, less time wandering around.

It's also a lot easier to buy my gear now. I don't have to drop all my hard-earned cash on the ranking battles anymore. Every penny I make goes towards new weapons, beefing myself up at the gym, or picking out some cool new threads so I can slaughter in style. Not only that, but the side jobs are way more fun these days since they're almost all done as quirky 8-bit mini-games. The stylish graphics of normal life are cool and all, but there's nothing quite like running around all pixelated while some old-school beats thump in the background.

click to enlargeDay 13: Travis is shooting up through the rankings FAST. Apparently he's getting some shortcuts along the way, because he isn't fighting anywhere close to 50 opponents. If you ask me, I think the makers of this game are being deceptive about its length. In fact, I'll wager that it actually takes less time for Travis to reach #1 this time around as opposed to his last romp in Santa Destroy.

Day 16: This will probably be my last entry. I got my next ranking battle assignment, and I'm going up against Travis himself. No one faces Travis Touchdown and lives to tell the tale. But I don't regret my time here in Santa Destroy; on the contrary, I've relished it. When I look back, all I just want is more, more, MORE!

If I don't make it back, then whoever reads this should take my advice to heart: Come on down to Santa Destroy, where you can eat a slice of pizza while you slice off some heads, where dead men do, in fact, tell tales, and where you're never quite sure if the sky is red from the sun setting on the beach or from the blood spraying through the air. Your time here may be short-lived, but it's worth every insane moment.
B+ Revolution report card
  • Same simple, satisfying combat
  • Same great dialogue and voice acting
  • Same incredible over-the-top style
  • Lots more 8-bit mini-games
  • Boss battles are always fun
  • ...but tactics are generally the same for all
  • Deceptively short
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


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