No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle slices onto the Nintendo Switch offering bigger and better gameplay than the original title making for a more streamlined and enjoyable experience. Moe! The follow-up to No More Heroes is everything that a sequel should be. It improves everything about the original game that wasn’t quite up to snuff and just flat out delivers a funner experience overall.
The story picks up a few years after the ending of the first game where the No More Hero himself, Travis Touchdown, discovers that he’s no longer the top ranked assassin and has fallen all the way down to #51. Now he must fight even more deadly assassins to claw his way back up to the top spot.
Unlike the first game there is no exploration in Santa Destroy this time around. Instead, players select which location or missions they would like to do and they are fast traveled to the event or locale. I wasn’t too bummed about this change since I spent a significant amount of time with the original game just driving back and forth between the mission agency and missions, which became quite the grind.
There are still side jobs to complete for money that can be used to buy new weapons or clothes for Travis. These side jobs take the form of 8-bit style mini-games ,which are super addicting and much more enjoyable ways to earn money in the game. Also, these side jobs are completely optional and not needed to progress the story, which was a hindrance of the original game.
No more pay to fight! Unlike its predecessor, the player does not have to pay outlandish entry prices to participate in story fights in No More Heroes 2. Of course you will still want to do some of the side jobs if you want to buy all of the weapons in the game, but it’s not needed to progress the story and that was a very welcomed change for me.
Speaking of weapons, Travis has quite a few beam katanas to utilize this time around. The best part is that he can switch to any of his current weapons at any time. Each weapon plays differently and has its own strengths and weaknesses. Players will want to experiment with each one until they find one that suits their play style.
This time around the combat improves on the original game’s by being more fluid and faster, making for a more rewarding experience. There’s also quite a bit more enemy variety which made me change how I reacted to individual enemies instead of just mashing buttons.
The game also has a few new playable characters that players of the original will be happy to see here again. Unfortunately Shinobu Jacobs and Travis’s brother, Henry Cooldown, feel more like gimmicks than full on playable characters. The boss fights are also bigger and better with some over the top nonsense that only No More Heroes can do.
No More Heroes 2 is a HD remaster of a Wii game, but at heart it’s still a Wii game and not many games from that era have aged well in terms of graphics. That being said it does look better than the original game and even sounds better as there are more tracks and voice acting than the first game.
Whether I played the game in handheld mode or docked there were no framerate drops and the game always looked great. Like the original title’s port for the Switch, there are plenty of play style options to choose from. The Joy-Con controllers work great at emulating the Wii Remote’s motion controls, but I preferred to play the game with my Switch Pro Controller or handheld on my lunch breaks.
Travis’s second ascension to become the top assassin is way more enjoyable this time around thanks to some great quality of life improvements and tweaks to the gameplay. Although there’s no exploration of Santa Destroy like in the original game, what’s left is more than enough of a treat for fans of the series. The side jobs are addicting and more engaging, the boss fights are crazy, and Travis is as cool and cocky as ever. It’s the perfect snack to hold players over until No More Heroes 3 arrives for the Switch sometime next year.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Bigger and bolder than its predecessor, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a fantastic sequel to the Wii cult classic. Now, the game looks better than ever and thanks to the Switch there are plenty of ways to play and stay faithful to the original’s motion controls.