No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

  • Sharp, genuinely funny writing
  • Buckets of flying gore
  • 8-bit jobs a welcome, well-designed curveball
  • Shinobu's jumping puzzles are awful
  • A couple of the bosses are wicked cheap
  • Combat gets to be a slog toward the end

Despite being a prick to pretty much everyone he meets, Travis manages to inspire a couple of former rivals to fight on his behalf: Shinobu Jacobs, a teen ninja whose life Travis spared in the first game (after cutting off her arm), and Travis’s twin brother Henry. Each one takes over at certain points in the story, and each controls a little differently from Travis. Henry can dash and shoot projectiles with his sword, for example, while Shinobu is the only character with the ability to jump.

Unfortunately, the developers thought the best way to make use of this ability – which is fairly imprecise and clumsy, thanks to the Wii controls – was to throw in a couple of frustrating jumping puzzles that serve no real purpose other than to slow down the game and make chunks of Shinobu’s stages excruciating. These were some of the few dark spots in an otherwise brilliant game, and they made us dread ever playing as Shinobu again, even if her shower save sequences are sexier than Travis’s habit of taking on-camera dumps.

Above: Something Shinobu never does 

Above: Something Travis never does 

It’s also worth noting that not all the missions feature hack-and-slash levels; some also have Travis cruising around at high speeds on his futuristic Schpieltiger motorcycle, which controls exactly as it did in the first game’s free-roaming segments.

Finally, if you’re one of those Wii owners who’s decided that all this motion-wiggle crap is not for you, NMH2 also includes the option to play with a Classic controller. This actually works pretty well with the game’s unusual style, even though you’ll lose the rare thrill of madly twirling the remote to get the upper hand in a weapon lock, or of shaking the thing whenever Travis needs to recharge one of his blades.

Whichever control style you pick, though, the end result is always the same: lots and lots of gruesome dismemberments and arterial spray.

Next page: Everything that isn’t combat-related

More Info

Release date: Jan 26 2010 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Grasshopper Manufacture
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending
Mikel Reparaz

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.

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  • VideoGameKing - March 29, 2010 12:35 a.m.

    i miss the free roam,takeing that is like killing someone,other then that most of the mini-games are fine,some do need to be in 3D thoght
  • drako691 - February 27, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    thats supposed to be "should i get the first NMH before this one?" stupid typos!
  • drako691 - February 27, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    i guess they really were lying when they told me the wii was didnt get hardcore games...stupid ps3 fanboys lied to me D: the game looks great, but should i get NMH before playing this one, or does it really matter?
  • ThisIsEpic - February 13, 2010 6:41 a.m.

    Suda 51 is the god of videogames when it comes to comical,bloody,gorey,pervy action games
  • BigBoss - February 9, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    Does anyone know what the framerate is like in the game? Just going through the first one and it's all over the shop. I wondered if they locked it at 30 or even 60.
  • Rodnroll - February 7, 2010 6:02 a.m.

    Great. I enjoyed the first one a lot, actually it was by far the only game i found worthy of playing on the Wii before i threw mine over the window and switched to another console.
  • oufour - January 30, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    reasons that make you wish you didn't brake your wii.
  • 4fromK - January 30, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    Those 8 bit style minigames just made this game shoot up my radar significantly
  • MaynardJ - January 29, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    I am buying a Wii some time this year. That's a promise. Why do people even try to compare this to ME2? I tried the first Mass Effect, but it was way too elaborate for me so I gave up after an hour; why would I want to tweak every personal statistic and choose between 15 marginally different weapons if I can have good old school bloody fun with NMH? The games and their audiences are way too different to seriously compete with each other. I think most people owning a 360 and a Wii have been waiting for another hardcore Wii title like this one.
  • Consti2tion - January 29, 2010 12:38 a.m.

    Yes this game was amazing. Like the first game you start out with only two difficulty levels Sweet and Bitter unlocking the 3rd after completing the game once. Sweet plays like a Normal Difficulty it's easy but its not too easy. The Bosses can take a bigger beating on Bitter compared to Sweet though. I Do think the Sequence you play as Henry was lacking though. Its only a Boss fight, where as Shinobu had 2 full levels complete with Boss fights.
  • Amnesiac - January 28, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    If I had a Wii I'd buy 5 copies.
  • TheMax - January 28, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    Ive got the first but never finished it, properly cus its on wii :(. This looks Fan-Bloody-Tastic in comparsion tho !!
  • DeathbyFira - January 28, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    i loved the first one and i am so exicetd that finaly the wii is getting some great games i am definitely getting this Tatsunoko vs Capcom and Mass effect 2 and resverve FFXIII lol i dont think i am going to be going outside for a while lol thank u mom and dad for telling me to save all my cash up i think i owe them a greeting card lol
  • Tyboy - January 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.

  • Stabby_Joe - January 28, 2010 1:23 a.m.

    Finally a Japanese made game that takes note and makes fun of its sexualization of obscure things.
  • pastycaucasian - January 28, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    The first one was great game hopefully gamers finally realize that there are some good games on the Wii.
  • Cyberninja - January 28, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    i wish i was smart enough to wait until this game came out beat it and the put the wii downstairs in the living room oh well i might still get TvC later
  • Bonerawr - January 27, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    Is it me or does Mr. Touchdown sounds like a Robot Chicken character?
  • Xeacons - January 27, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    Not surprised. NMH was a masterpiece and this one looked even better. Question is: Will it sell? Are the videos Nintendo's been pushing on their channel enough to capture the hearts of Wii fans who, apparently, have given up on their beloved console? Only time will tell...
  • Conman93 - January 27, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    This may be my first new game of the year