No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Hands-On

PAX 2009: We try out Suda 51's next entry in this fun and eccentric Wii action game.

Suda 51's development studio Grasshopper Manufacture first introduced players to Travis Touchdown and the eccentric residents of Santa Destroy in 2006's fantastic No More Heroes, an original third-person action game for the Wii. Travis and company are back in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, which is due early next year for the Wii. The first demo of the upcoming game was playable in Ubisoft's booth on the Penny Arcade Expo 2009 showfloor.

Who's Making This Game: Grasshopper Manufacture.

What The Game Looks Like: Although NMH2 sticks to the graphical style of the original game, there are a number of enhancements. From what we saw in the demo, No More Heroes 2 has undergone some graphical tweaks that give it a sleeker look. The character shading has been refined, and Travis sports a higher level of detail. The onscreen interface is roughly the same, although there's a goofy revamp of the energy katana charge interface that's well in line with the game's irreverent sense of humor. The only hitch is the game's camera, which, as in the original game, can set itself at some irritating angles.

What There Is to Do: The demo let us go through a few rooms and beat suit-wearing enemies into pulp, collect pizza, and then face off against a boss. Although the action was short and sweet, we were able to get a feel for combat, including the new dual energy katanas, and the totally insane storytelling. The combat segments were set along the rooms and halls in what appeared to be an opulent mansion that led to the boss. The boss encounter was, in true NMH style, ridiculously over the top. Honestly, when a fight kicks off with Travis and his foe (a boom-box-wielding villain who looks like a demented hip-hop artist), it can only go up from there. As if the fight couldn't have been more surreal, Travis' opponent shot rockets out of his boom box while lasers shot out of the ceiling.

How The Game Is Played: The NMH2 demo played very much like the original game. You'll use the remote and nunchuk to move Travis around. You'll perform slash attacks with the A button, and kicks and physical attacks will be assigned to the B button. The B button attacks can be charged by holding the button down. The direction you hold the remote in will affect Travis' stance, alternating between high and low, which is key for attacking and blocking. When your energy katana runs out of juice, you'll hit the 1 button to go into recharge mode and be required to shake the remote to build up a charge. The 2 button calls up an in-game weapon menu to let you switch between single or dual katana wielding. The C button lets you reset the camera, and the Z button lets you guard and lock on to a target. Shaking the nunchuk lets you perform a jumping slash. Finally, the D pad lets you perform an evasive roll. While performing the combos, you'll get motion prompts for the remote to perform finishers, as well as dual remote and nunchuk motions to perform throws. As before, the system works well and feels responsive.

What They Say: Ubisoft reps on hand were clearly pleased with the demo and pointed out the evolution of the action and humor from the first game.

What We Say: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle makes a good and hilarious first impression. The game looks sharp and plays well already, which has left us excited to dive in with more of the game. If you were a fan of the original game, NMH2 is for you. If you never tried the first game, NMH2 will be a good chance to find out what you've been missing out on.

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52 comments
Nova_Mongoose
Nova_Mongoose

Finally, a Wii game I'm really looking forward to

wolf0
wolf0

got a wii just for no more heroes will have to get a new one just for part two

lastcamie
lastcamie

No more heroes the game that a wii owners once time ago been praying and now .... if the 1 is not satisfactory WE HAVE N o M o r e H e r o e s 2 D e s p e r a t e S t r u g g l e every thing will gonna be awesome ... just look the past game .... was so crazy ..... Im will buy a 360 and Project Natal Just to play the f...ing nightmare of travis ..... I hope dont be directly like GTA on 360 because ...i dont want to se travis .... on a fuc...ng car .... i want to see him on his bike .... BUT MAYBE ON 360 Travis can slash cars or smashing it with his motor cycle .... and if he is out of control .... hold cars jajajajajaj COULD BE AWESOME ..... no more heroes its a game ... so its not my type of game like GTA .... its more like a f.... crazy zelda but with a lots of galons with blood .... and a F...ing character with a bad ass personality .jajajajaja

AngryAngel10
AngryAngel10

Do u think we will get inheirtance from the first game?

LinkLuigi
LinkLuigi

@CapeCod I couldn't agree more. It got insanely repettitive with all that rushing back and forth, having to work to play the game. I had tto work to get the game, now I have to work more to have fun? That, and I hope they fix up that whole "free range motorbike" thing. I can't say how annoying it was to drive all over the place, from long destination to long destination, with nothing to really do in between. Still, the first was incredible, but these flaws kept it from being perfect.

CapedCod
CapedCod

All I hope for is: 1) Less emphasis on obscure odd jobs 2) More replay value

Nintendoood
Nintendoood

Ah man this is gonna be epic. Travis pwns. Already seems as though it will be better than the original. If it is longer than the first one it may just be one of the best games of the year! In 08 i'd say NMH/Brawl/Zack & Wiki were the top 3 Wii games. C'mon Suda let NMH2 completely pwn rival console releases! And Nintendo i love you but bloomin' advertise this one a little more please.

jetstopia
jetstopia

Though the first one was a bit boring but the boss battles were really cool

Nuirako
Nuirako

This game is gonna epic. The first one had crazy bosses and I hope this one exceeds the first one with the boss fights. Although I would still love both no matter what. ^_^

Nuirako
Nuirako

This game is gonna epic. The first one had crazy bosses and I hope this one exceeds the first one with the boss fights. Although I would still love both no matter what. ^_^

jadefury27
jadefury27

capcom should'a kept a grip on this one. he would have made a nice edition to the marvel vs capcom series or another title.

striking_
striking_

if your interested go to ign they have new vids of the game

bluesteel13
bluesteel13

Excited for the sequel,it is going to be great.

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

Would totally get this if I owned a Wii. Nintendo doesn't support their third-part devs very well, but occasionally some gems make it through nonetheless.

cadc
cadc

Raspberry Chocolate Sundae! Enough said :)

djghostwolf
djghostwolf

I Never Got To Play the first one but i am looking forward to this one im monitoring this game

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Oh, Travis Touchdown. You and your antics. Kinda funny, but with everyone whining about how the Wii 'killed' hardcore gaming, the original NMH buries any of the action games on the other two platforms. C'mon, you had a drunk dominatrix in a trailer park hitting her slaves at you with a baseball bat. InFamous couldn't hope to lay a finger on that brand of genius.

gashoe13
gashoe13

dual. wielding. Lightsabers? HELL yeAH!

solidine
solidine

The graphics are a refined version of the originals? They looked much less cell shaded to me, which kinda sucks. Still, the first one was really enjoyable, and is still one of the 3 Wii games I own. This looks like it will be the fourth.

bibliomaniac15
bibliomaniac15

NMH is the most underrated game series, probably because it's on a console people think is for little kids.

mattpell42
mattpell42

@GeigerdolylWodd According to earlier released previews for the game, Travis dropped out of the ranks for a few years and is now climbing his ways back up from somewhere around 50.

EarthChrome
EarthChrome

I can't believe Travis lost on the "Greatest Gaming Hero'' first round... He will seek revenge.

auron11022
auron11022

NMH= amazing style, story, humor, etc. NMH= mediocre gameplay that involves simply mashing buttons at the right time.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

So Travis Touchdown is still the main hero? I'd assume this meant that he has to defend the title away from the other up and coming would be star hitmen on the leaderboard.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Never finished the first I don't remember why I stopped playing it but I did.

Rasenganfan2
Rasenganfan2

The original was awesome and hilarious. This one looks to top the first, which is amazing, considering that the original was amazing.

dubel_07
dubel_07

Can't wait for this! I started playing it again the other day and it's just as good the second and third times around!

Evil_Robo
Evil_Robo

The European version wasnt censored. The blood was added to the US game only! We got the original Japanese versions which is as Suda51 wanted it to be. I really hate this, blood=a better game, mentality that too many people have. Even if it was meant to have blood though, who cares? It wouldn't change the gameplay one jot, it'd still be the game that I really liked.

SloLynx
SloLynx

@kiktube Probably most of the newer wii games will use the wii motion plus.. Anyway in NMH, do you use the wii mote and the nunchuk to preform moves, like waving around them like a sword?

kikitube
kikitube

I heard this game will using a wii motion plus.

RAVEZero
RAVEZero

@dareough Okay...then go to IGN. Matter of fact, stay there, you're taking up valuable comment space. As far as DS goes...well, I just can't wait to swing a couple beam katana around.

lathan94
lathan94

Ive never played the first one but some critcs loved it and some hated it. I personally dont like the graphical style but ill check it out anyway.

sunj_a
sunj_a

I really, really hope they don't censor the European version again. The game was still massively entertaining but I couldn't help feeling like we were missing out some of the style of the gorier counterpart.

cayne_phoenix
cayne_phoenix

great to see the effort put behind the boss fights!! they always crack me up!!

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

Yeah that 2006 thing is a typo. Anyway, cant wait to play this one and to try out the new beam katana's. The dual weild and the long sword. I also hope you get to fight that cheerleader squad from the trailer lol.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

Dude, this is my most anticipated game of 2010. BRING IT ON TRAVIS!!!!!!!!!

twztid13
twztid13

i love the art that suda51 produces.

Yukeshime
Yukeshime

why does it say 2006's no more heroes? didnt it come out last year?

Deranged_Devil
Deranged_Devil

Never really played the first one, but from what I've read on other sites and such, this seems pretty good, might just have to play the first one now.

dareough
dareough

I want an actual in depth preview from you gamespot. Over on Ign they saw the same demo and had two pages talking in depth about the game, a new trailer and 9 minutes of gameplay. You really need to step up your game Gamespot.

wolf0
wolf0

lol i love no more heroes when i id my wii its the only game i liked might have to get a new wii just for this

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

while NMH was a fun, comical, and original game, it got very repetitive. the only thing that kept me going was the different boss battles which were all unique. One of my biggest issues with the game was it's technical stuff. Pop-in buildings and textures defeated the purpose of going fast on the motorcycle, the game couldn't keep up at all, and so i never looked at the road, only the map. Also, while the art style was great, it was sometimes difficult to look at because of the lack of sharpness. This game seems to be touching up on the techinical stuff, and i'm glad about that. The combat sounds like it will be a little bit more interactive and fun this time around as well. I know it's a hack n slash more or less, but it's also an open world, and for that, I was very dissappointed in the original in the sense that unlike games like GTA, you couldn't fight civilians, and all the fights were in confined 'levels'. I'm hoping that this time around they will open it up a bit more and allow fights outside of missions, and have missions not be confined to one building, it would be cool to have them spread out more. I feel like it would provide enough change in an otherwise fairly repetitive game. idc about car jacking, i love travis' bike. i'm going to wait for the review on this one before i buy it.

isaacmj
isaacmj

I am SUDA 51! that demo rules!

SLRMC93
SLRMC93

Lets hope it holds up as good as the last one from what they say here it sticks to its roots a few things that most video game companys dont do with their breakthrough games (*coughs TEAM SONIC) oh sorry for that