After playing No More Heroes on the switch, I was looking forward to what the sequel had to offer. This time on PC, and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is definitely a good sequel, but still far from perfection.
Pros and Cons
* A good story befitting of No More Heroes
* Fun combat that will make you want more
* You can play as different characters in certain missions
* Fun side job minigames to play
* A banger of a soundtrack
* Certain plot points from the previous game have been completely forgotten about
* Some bosses lack character development unlike in the previous game
* The art style is not as great compared to the first game
* Lazy PC port
* Some of the achievements are broken
Three years after the events of the first game, Travis Touchdown became the top assassin in the United Assassins Association. Now he returns and decides to fight Skelter Helter, who is seeking revenge on Travis for killing his brother Helter Skelter. When he defeats him, he sees Sylvia Christel who tells him he is placed 51st in the ranks.
That same night, a gang kills Travis's best friend Bishop and delivers his head to Travis in a paper bag. Travis is furious and seeks revenge on the person who killed him. Sylvia says that the person who killed him is named Jasper Batt, Jr, the CEO of Pizza Bat and the number one ranked assassin. Travis decides to climb the ranks and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
The story is good and fitting for a No More Heroes game and even includes a few pop-culture references which are a nice touch to the whole thing.
That’s not to say that it was perfect, the story has a few plot points from the previous game that were completely forgotten about. I can’t say any of these things due to spoilers from the first game, but they are still there. Some of the bosses don’t have character development either and are not as interesting because of this. This is what made the original No More Heroes bosses interesting, they had some sort of character development to them that gave them personality. There were a few exceptions to this, but they did not develop nearly as well and were just there to be a boss.
The hack-n-slash gameplay makes a return here and is what I enjoyed most throughout the game. Killing enemies will make the slot machine go and that will land you a special move to help take out enemies. You can get access to other beam katanas to use and switch them out at any time while playing the levels, which was a nice touch. My favorite one to use is called Rose Nasty twin-beam katanas which is very satisfying to use. With the combos, it can pull off swift moves and do large chunks of damage with the combo in mind.
There are also missions where you can play as other characters. You play as Shinobe Jacobs for two levels and Henry Cooldown for one boss fight. I loved this idea of playing as other characters, but I wish it was used more throughout the game. I would love to have a game where you play as Henry as he is my favorite character in the series. Maybe one day, but only time will tell.
There are side jobs that allow you to earn money that you spend on clothes, new beam katanas, or getting health and damage upgrades at the gym. These are minigame based and they are fun to play, it adds variety to the game and the 8-bit art style is a nice touch. You don’t need money to do the ranked fights, so all of these are entirely optional.
I love the soundtrack that this game provides and it’s personally my favorite thing about it. Suda 51 really outdid themselves with its sequel with the selection of songs that were given. My personal favorites were Kill or Be Killed and Philistine. Philistine even tells the story of Margaret Moonlight. This is a nice addition to her character development and is also my favorite design-wise.
Graphics and Performance
The art style of No More Heroes 2 has also been changed and while it’s not terrible by any means, it’s not as good as the original. It had a dark theme that made it unique, yet it still fit with its humor.
I came across one crash while I was playing but for the most part, the port ran fine. However, this port is also lazy at the same time as it’s just directly ported from the Switch version with no additional graphical options to take advantage of being available on PC.
There are a total of three achievements that are impossible to get by normal means. The achievements are listed below:
-Minigame Masteroo requires you to play all eight side jobs, however, the counter only counts seven.
-Maybe See a Docter? Requires you to visit all 10 bathrooms but the tracker stops at 9
-It was a Desperate Struggle is a freebie you can get but with the two broken achievements, this one is impossible to get by normal means.
Additionally, Desperate Massacre asks you to kill 510 normal thugs but the tracker resets if you do any of the revenge missions or side jobs. So, while it is possible to get it, it’s still broken in a way. Since the first game did not get a patch to fix achievements, I doubt this one will get one either.
I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, with 16 GB of RAM.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a fun hack-n-slash that is a worthy sequel to the first game. While it may have some issues that do hinder the experience, I can’t deny that I enjoyed this game from start to finish. If you were a fan of the first game, then I do recommend picking this one up as it has everything you expect to find in a sequel. At the end of it all, you will be wanting to pick up that beam katana again for more.