No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (2010)
(*Sitting in a chair, watching TV*) That’s strange. The Bubble Guppies’ “Pencil Case” syncs right up to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. (*Gets up and goes to the fridge.*) Speaking of subversive elements, today’s review is of No More Heroes 2. But first, some information on the history of Desperate Struggle and on its director, Goichi Suda, also known as Suda 51.
Suda 51 has been called an “auteur” video game director. Suda’s games are always wildly original and visually stunning. He worked as an undertaker and game designer at Human Entertainment before forming his own company, Grasshopper Manufacture.
Suda 51 expressed disappointment in the Japanese sales of the original No More Heroes. Outside of Japan, sales of the game fared much better, even sparking talk of a sequel. The director stated in an interview that he was definitely interested in producing a sequel to No More Heroes, but it would have to be on the condition that the game sold enough to convince its publishers that it would be worth it. This goal was reached, and on October 9, 2008, at the Tokyo Game Show, he showed a teaser trailer of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. A little over a year later, in January 2010, it was released in North America. The game has received the overall highest and most universal praise of any game in Grasshopper’s history.
Enough of the history lesson. Let’s get to the game. Mikey?
Okay. Let’s see… No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle continues the tale of punk antihero Travis Touchdown, the Japanese pro-wrestling-obsessed assassin. Travis finds himself at the bottom of the UAA (United Assassins Association) rankings and must wage war to become the number-one assassin once again. No More Heroes 2 will offer fans infectious, fun gameplay that allows you to wield not just one, but two swords and face multiple bosses simultaneously in bigger-than-ever boss battles. The open world from the first game was taken away and replaced with a men-based interface. I have no complaints about that, as it lets you go here and there really quickly. No More Heroes 2 is a brilliantly twisted love letter to the video game medium, scrawled in blood and pixels
Isn’t that kind of… morbid… Mikey? Anyway, this ends our special two-part No More Heroes column. If you are interested in other Grasshopper Manufacture games, try Lollipop Chainsaw. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to get that dang Bubble Guppies song out of my head.