The lights are on
This is the sequel for the people who didn't like the first one. Not to say the real fans won't like or even love this game, but you might find some of the stuff you love missing.
To start with, let me end this miss understanding, No More Heroes was a good game. A great game even. No offense to GI, but let's agree on majority rule. It's meta score was in the 80s, so let's leave it at that.
Now that that's out of the way, let me paint a review for the people who didn't think the first game was broken. NMH2 is a great game, but a number of the differences may leave you wanting.
First up is combat. NMH2 trades the original's impressive enemy count for smaller, more strategic encounters. More strategic in the sense that you'll have to think about evasion and defense and you won't be able to just button mash your way to victory anymore. I think the trade off is fair, but having both would have been the most preferable. And I can't really understand switching out coins for bills in the blood spray effect, it really isn't as awesomely absurd. And the recycled enemy responses are a disappointment, even though they were awesome in the first, it just feels worn to have to listen to that old schtick again.
Boss battles, on the other hand, are almost universally better. They feel remarkably more tight and ingenuitive, not that they were broken before, but I can really sense a step up in ai.
Second, mini games. The 8 bit games are hit and miss. Some are almost good enough to be dlgs, while others should be qualifyed as mearly time wasters. They also included my least favorite 3d one as the only holdover from nmh1. I actually loved most of the 3d originals, but my only real complaint with the new ones are that they don't facilitate immersion.
For the revenge missions, which replace the old games assasination missions, I share Koller's sentiments that these should have been more story driven. It feels like a real let down not to hand it to the killers in boss fights and have Travis express the appropriate amount of disdain in movie scenes.
Then there are the driving sections where you drive Travis' new motorcycle. These parts have noticeabley gone down hill from the last game, do to less functionality. But they're not too grating, and they're few and far between.
Now for the biggest change, no more over world. Yeah, it's completely gone. I feel it's kinda like 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater', since I believe only a modicum of improvements would have been needed to turn it into an enthralling diversion. But the new system does decrease any wait time. So it's a somewhat fair trade off, though I'd like to see it improved and returned [but also with an insta travel option] for the next one.
And finally, story and style. This is probably the most important thing in the game to me, but I'm sorry to say that Desperate Struggle never really matches it's predecessor. The story, the bosses, even the events are never as surprising nor as epic as in the original.
There are some things to blame, cutting the 'death monologues' in favor of madworld style motion control finishes for instance. Whose bright idea was that anyway? Every boss fight had that Psyco Mantis style epicness to it in the first, but sadly most of the bosses never really click like that and this change certainly didn't help.
Also, the plot, it doesn't hold a candle to the original. I'm sure it sounded pretty novel on paper, and it still does thinking about it now, but there was no 'Jeane moment', if you know what I mean.
In the end, No More Heroes 2 is a more depthy fighter, with a more stream lined approach, but is also 'toned down' in some ways. But still a remarkable an enjoyable experience. A must buy for anyone wanting something more mature for their wii.
Let's just hope we can have our cake and eat it too next time though.
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