Once you enter the Assassins ranks there is no going back. Travis Touchdown thought he could reach one and then quit, but he is quickly dragged back into the world of killing when things get personal. This isn’t a battle anymore; it’s a motherfucking war!
The sequel of No More Heroes is bigger, bloodier, ruder and has you flying through the ranks at breakneck speed. Last time Travis had to face the top ten, now he settles things with the top 50. You still run around levels cutting enemies into pieces with your trusty lightsabers using a combination of buttons and motion finishers, before duking it out with the eccentric big bads, but now you don’t have to earn cash to pay for each rank fight. With the overworld ripped out in place of a map and job minigames now optional, the game can be steamrolled within eight hours. You’d get the gloriously violent combat and bonkers plot, but you’d miss out on the customisation and the new retro styled minigames which pump the playtime up to around 18 hours if you want it all. Mixing between the fighting and jobs keep the variety of gameplay up and if you get bored with one aspect of the game, you can just jump straight to the other. Cooking meat for large Americans or sucking up bugs in a top down Ghostbusters type mode should not be missed.
The structure isn’t the only new change; visuals and gameplay mechanics have also been polished up for a smoother, more exciting murder spree. The game has a crisper feeling now and the unique assassins really look great and defined as you take them on. Gameplay has also been spruced up with the option to change weapon types on the fly and a roulette system after each kill to obtain special powers such as the ability to transform into a tiger. Yes, a one hit kill murdering tiger. The game may have pulled out some of the features from last time in place of a more instant experience, but it still has the attention to detail with strange speeches, powers and items. Not often you play a game where one minute you’re fighting against a rapper who throws his whores as weapons then move onto a bike duel on a cliff. It is classy and cool, using movie like techniques to deliver a subtly deep yet silly story. It even throws a few surprises out regarding other playable characters joining the fray. A lot of fan favourites return other than the sexy Slyvia, the world of No More Heroes has become a rather memorable place to stay.
It isn’t all perfect in the world of Santa Destroy though. The game may have taken out some of the tedium from the original, but the speed it goes at hurts some of the character depth seen before. Boss fights from before had lengthy cutscenes giving you a full insight on why a Karaoke revolver assassin fights, now you get straight to it with little in the way of development. You have more assassins to fight through, but you learn less about them and only a few linger on in the mind. The gameplay may be better, but it has lost some of the story telling quality of before.
Desperate Struggle is a great game still with a great blend of simple yet satisfying wii mote head chopping and pizza delivery. It fixes the wrongs of before, but makes a few new ones in its place. Be prepared for an experience like no other. Downward Fucking Dog!