Desperate Struggle

I saw this link about No More Heroes 2 sales numbers on Joystiq the other day. It makes me pretty sad, so I figured I’d write a post with the hope of inspiring someone to go buy this great title.

I picked up No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle on launch day. I’ve gotten about a third of the way through it, and it’s great. I played all the way through the first title in the series as well. For those not familiar, No More Heroes is beat em up game like so many others. You run through a world, target enemies, and hit the A button repeatedly to slash them with your beam katana. There’s nothing fresh there. What is amazing, however, is the sheer wackiness and, dare I say, panache with which the game delivers that classic gameplay experience. The entire game is a huge send-up of anime, comic book, and video game culture. It’s irreverent, and it dwells on the most puerile bits of the “culture.” The fourth wall is broken repeatedly with references to the game being a sequel. One note, however, this is not a game to play with the kids around. There’s swearing, blood (lots of it), and tons of risque moments.

On top of that, motion controls are integrated at appropriate times. It adds to the experience but doesn’t feel too forced. The game has been streamlined between the first and second iterations. Riding your bike through the city is gone in the sequel which is mostly welcome, and the mini-games to make money are generally better in their new retro, 2D incarnations. However, there were moments when I wished for the old style; that may be nostalgia speaking. Notably, the gimmick of taking cell phones calls by holding the Wii remote up to your ear really appealed to me. One of the more novel uses of the Wii hardware is gone.

Any way you slice it, you owe it to yourself to check out one of these games. Go buy it, or at least put it on your Gamefly queue. It may not be your cup of tea, but Grasshopper has made a truly unique series here. It needs some love lest it die out.

dba

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