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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Off Topic: My Favorite Video Games Part 9: No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle

With how things are for me right now I am blogging, doing school work, working for pay, and still playing the recent video games that come to the market. No matter what though I can always find a moment where I can play some No More Heroes. That game was just fun no matter how many times I got to it as I could easily do a new walkthrough and take down a boss before work. I am also like that with the sequel, if I got done with the first one, I would then play the second one. Again I just have a lot of love for these two games with their amazing humor, over the top story, and still some of the best boss fights I have seen. Now I will say I do like the original a slightly bit more after really thinking about it, but that is only because of one thing which I will get to later. Either way even if No More Heroes was not expected to get a sequel game because Suda 51 really liked to make one offs, but with the popularity this game had a sequel had to happen. Since then the creator had a big attachment to the franchise and he says that Travis is still his favorite character he has made. A good amount of things got changed for the sequel as somethings were for better or worse.
The story for this game has a change first of all as last time Travis got all the way to number one, but he vanished of all a sudden. Later the city, Santa Destroy became more modern and the idea of the ranking fights really picked up because of Travis' story. He is known as the Crown-less King and everyone wants a piece of him. Sadly some of those people are looking for revenge as Travis finds himself in a Desperate Struggle with the new assassins. The new number one, Jasper Bat Jr thinks of a plan to bring Travis down as he sends rank 51 after him. This was a mere distraction and even with Travis winning the fight and becoming a ranked assassin once more he finds out that his best friend Bishop has been murdered. Travis is now in the fight for revenge, but that actually isn't that big of a change if you know of the first game's major plot twist. Still this game does bring a more darker side than the first one did, but don't worry there is plenty of humor to have and the bosses don't stop from being awesome. Now as I said before you start as rank 51, so getting to the top seems to be hard, but the game does do some cutting around so that it wouldn't take forever and that's expected because fifty-one boss battles would be insane for any game to do. There are more boss battles than the original though and the game actually spices things up.
Giant robot fight, HELL YEA!
The gameplay did get some changes, nothing too big, but do change an overall feel of the game. The first change is that you can get a super mode from a streak of hits, but this will drop down when you get hit around so block and dodge to keep it alive. When doing this you are invincible as you slash through many of your foes. For the hordes of men you will be fighting using this is very helpful, but for boss battles it can be tricky. Some bosses will dodge these attacks so you need to time these fast combos so you can land some major damage, then after using it your beam katana gets a full charge. Reminding me of beam katanas, there are even more new ones, but you don't get two from the original game. Here you get two new beam katanas. First you get the same original one and you get the last weapon from the first game, but lowered down to not be over-powered. Then there is the Peony and Rose Nasty. The first beam katana is your basic weapon as it is very balanced, but it does run out of juice quickly. The second beam katana is slightly a bit weaker than the first, but is much faster and great for combos. You can even send henchmen flying into the air and do more damage to them before they fall. I still use that one the most, but the other two are very good. The Peony is a heavy weapon and the more you get a streak going on the beam will extend to an amazing length. The Rose Nasty is a dual beam katana as it is fast and deadly, but it does run out of juice at a good speed, but they are easy to recharge as well. Then for the fights you actually get to play as two other characters, Shinobu and Henry. For Shinobu you get to play as her for two levels and two boss fights, she's okay to play as, but the game try to do some platforming which was bad for a boss fight. Also for her combos she will do a taunt after one and I got hurt or killed so many times because of that. For Henry you get to play as him for one boss fight, but it's so worth it. Henry was a character from the first game and was the secret boss from the first game and he is amazing to play as. He dashes around at a fast speed, he has a projectile attack, and his beam katana is great to look at. For the side jobs you get 8-bit minigames this time and they are so much more fun. Now some of these are puzzle games which I am not the best at so I ignored those, but there are great ones like Bug Out and Man the Meat. Then for the assassination missions you get Revenge Missions which are one time deals as there are ten as Travis gets revenge on the men who killed Bishop. Naomi's Lab and Area 51 are back as you can buy beam katanas and clothes. For the lab I am disappointed that there weren't parts to the weapons as you really only need to buy two beam katanas which made the place feel ignored. Then there is a new gym called Ryan's Gym as you have a Freddie Mercury look alike help Travis with his strength and vitality. These are 8-bit games like the side jobs and I can do the running one, but the sparring games are rhythm games and I suck at those, but I still did them even though I wasted way too much money on them. Also a big change was not having a free to roam map which is great, but I do miss driving around Santa Destroy. So with some big changes the action does stay very similar which is great to have and being able to switch beam katanas around in each level is very helpful since there are different enemies to face this time. Then the amount of collectables was lower since you didn't have to find balls in the city, but you do get a lot of items for Travis's motel which is nice. Now how about those boss battles, well there are some misses I will say, but there are still a lot of gems in this list.
The first battles is against Skelter Helter who is the brother of the ranked eleven assassin from the first game, so you basically get to battle rank 11 now. He is a very good first boss and is much better than Death Metal as he does hold some challenge even for being the first boss. He has what is pretty much a Buster Sword in beam form and a revolver with a lot of ammunition around around it. Literally his gun has a ring of ammo. He has a great move set with his gun being for projectile attacks and he has good swing combos and thrusts. The boss is great for newcomers as he teaches how to block the many different attacks you will face. Then comes Nathan Copland ranked 50th, who is like Death Metal as both are rich men with a music motif. Nathan is a rapper though, but he speaks with a Shakespearean tongue. He arms himself with his boom box that can fire missiles and he can equip it on his arms. Then he can change the environment around him as he makes a chandler fall in the middle of the stage, have lion statues from above fire lasers, have exploding vases, and make the floor move. Next is rank 49 through 25 as Charlie Macdonald is a football payer who has his cheerleaders be the numbers below him. Charlie does not fight with his gals though as he uses a giant mech to fight..... wait what?! Travis then had his own robot prepared for a moment like this and uses it for the fight. It's a giant mech fight that comes out of nowhere and I couldn't be any happier. Then there is an optional boss fight you can take on right after Charlie. You take on Kimmy Howell who is rank below Travis and she admires him a lot, calling herself Travis' number one fan. On her quest though she learns that she needs to kill Travis to actually be the number one admirer. She holds a Recorder (a wind instrument) that has two beam katanas on both ends. She can even summon bubbles from her instrument! She is a tricky boss as her combos are very hard to dodge and block so you pretty much have to use a hit and run strategy. Rank 24 is Matt Helms who is a paranormal being that haunts the real world. He is a big axe wield psychopath who gives me the chills every time I look at him. His axe even has a flame thrower and he throws flaming Molotovs at you. Also in the fight you are in a pretty crowded space, but you can actually destroy a lot of the rubble around you which is helpful. He is a heavy character and he uses that weight to his advantage as he swings his axe when jumping and can pound on you with his body. Next is Chloe Walsh as she is a woman who has been trapped on a prison island. Her design just makes me think of Metal Gear for some reason as she wears mostly fishnets over her body. The reason why she is locked up is because she can breathe poison! Sadly, she isn't that strong though and many of her poison moves are easy to dodge. Now her last attack which summons some form of black matter is very hard to dodge, but with weak health points she is really easy to fly by. Her design and style though is very good and that alone makes her stand out. Now a battle royale is taking place, but someone gets to kill everyone before Travis even gets into the ring. It's Dr. Letz Shake which is the giant machine that Letz Shake used in the first game. This was the boss that you never got to fight and here he is. Now he has some major changes compared to his original design as this time he uses earthquakes to attack. He has a counter that varies in speed so be prepared to get onto to panels that are not affected as he will do massive damage to you. He even fires lasers at you which can be tricky to dodge at times though. So with Travis in the top ten now all of a sudden he gets to rank eight! This is because Shinobu did two fights for him.
She takes on Million Gunman who has an awesome name, but is pretty much Dr.Peace mixed with Revolver Ocelot. He is bland and very boring to fight and with Shinobu's platforming being very hard to control this fight can be a struggle. I will say I do where they fight though, you are in a bank vault in a room full of gold and money! The man even uses the gold to bounce his bullets around. Then ranked eighth is Destroyman! This time however it's New Destroyman and it's two of him this time as one is a noble warrior while the other one is a dirty cheater. The fight does go for a little too long because you are taking on two bosses and they can revive each other, but you don't really have to worry about platforming in this fight. Now you are back as Travis as he gets a fight with his bike and it's the worse part of the game. The bike controls just leave me mad all the damn time as it's impossible to control. At least the second part of the fight is amazing. Ryuji is a samurai who has a beam katana that can summon a laser dragon! He even has some fast jabs, slices, and thrusts and the dragon can come at you while he is attacking so dodging is a must in this fight. Now you play as Henry who is trapped in a dream with a anime girl named Mimmy. She is a very bizarre character as she is very Moe and is not even a ranked assassin. She can uses her hands to clap you to death and fire lasers and missiles at you. The area is this dream garden and playing as Henry makes this fight great. Now back to Travis once more, but Henry gets Travis up to the fifth rank. So ranked fourth is Margaret Moonlight as she is simply amazing. She calls herself the Reaper and dresses up as a Gothic Lolita which is similar to Bad Girl, but with her it's very different. Her weapon is a sniper rifle that can change into two separate guns, and those can turn into two scythes, and those can combine into one big scythe! Fighting her on top of a huge building when the moon is out is just the best and her theme song is the best in No More Heroes overall. It's a pure vocal song as the lyrics are mocking Travis himself. Now Travis has to face a Soviet Union Spaceman called Captain Vladamir who uses a a space satellite to fire lasers from above. He also carries a shield so the only way to hurt him is behind him. He can even send rocks flying at you and his own lasers. Then things get crazy as he can send a huge laser attack at the hero which is a one hit kill if it hits. Vladamir even teleports so getting long combos on him is very hard. Now up to the second ranked assassin as it is Alice. Her fight takes place on top of a building, but this time it's during the sunset and she has six beam katanas as she uses them to form this spider pattern. Even one of the katanas lifts her up as she can send her weapons flying at Travis or she can slam herself on the ground. She will fight on the ground as she uses the five around the most, but the sixth one is a heavy attack. Now it's time to end this all and this is where I have to complain.
The final boss battle is the worst boss battle in all of No More Heroes. I hate this boss as much as I love the No More Heroes franchise. This annoying kid is the son of Pizza Bat which is a man who Travis has killed in one of his assassination side jobs in the first game. He wanted revenge for this so he set up everything so he can kill Travis in the best fight possible. Now building up to this were amazing boss fights and Travis started to crack down as when he is down with Jasper he is going to be done with fighting and killing. This fight just sours up the feeling as getting revenge didn't feel good at all. Now where this fight works is with how Jasper looks, he is a kid who drives a giant car around in the first phase and then becomes a giant muscle man in the second phase thanks to some drugs. Then his final form is pretty much a parade float. Getting revenge on a goofy looking guy is odd, but the fight is just bad. The first phase you just wait around until he falls or you clash with him. The second phase is near impossible when it gets closer to the end. At first it's alright as he is slow, but some attacks won't stop him from attacking. He has a big punch move that is easy to dodge, he can do a grapple which is easy to dodge, and he can summon laser bats at you and if you are close enough it's perfect for a shadow step move. Then all of a sudden he starts to teleport around and punch you and if you get hit once you get hit two more times. Further on his big thrust moves all of a sudden carries wind behind it and he will do this three times in a row every time he does this attack. The worst part is that these punches can send you flying, even into a window and you can even fall out of the window, killing you. Then the third phase is just stupid. He is a giant float and his moves are hard to read since there is a big surrounding area to them and it's very hard to tell when to dodge. The second phase is really the only worrisome part though as the other two are just boring and stupid. Now there are rumors saying Suda made this fight like this to make the player feel bad for getting revenge, there are so many ways to do this and make it a good fight. As I said Jasper's goofy appearance makes it feel odd enough already and knowing he is the one who changed most of Santa Destroy making it more modern. He even owns most of the city so getting rid of him would cause a lot of problems I would think so anyways. This is where the first game wins over the second one because the final boss fights in the first one are amazing and really use your skills and are not cheap in anyway.
So even with the final boss being a huge let down, I still love this game a lot. It does have some big changes compared to the first game which makes it stand out and memorable on it's own right. There are still some great boss battles to have in this game as there is a great challenge that the first game had. Then being able to progress with the main story whenever you wanted to was very nice as you didn't have to waste money to get to a new level of the game. To make this game equal to the first though, the final boss should have been much better. This game was made in 2009 as it's almost going to be five years for this game. Suda 51 has said many times he wants to continue the franchise even if Travis' story is done so we could get a new main character for the third game, but I really want to see what Suda can do with the Wii U as he also said that when he does the third game it will be for the Wii U. I'm not done with No More Heroes though as next time I will list off all the No More Heroes bosses in order of my favorites.
Personally I would to see how Travis' story could continue, but if a new character does come for his place he/she better be a damn good replacement.


  1. Holy crap I have forgotten ALL OF THE BOSSES from this that's weak. Wait! No, I remember the boss that chased on the bike that you fought in a little walled-off arena in the desert.

    My contrast I remember all of the bosses from NMH1. I wonder why that is?

  2. Well the first game did have less bosses, but for me I equally remember all the assassins, but I constantly play the games so they are pretty much stuck in my head. Even the ones I don't like are always in my head. Maybe you just played the first game a whole lot more compared to the sequel? Really both the first and second game as memorable bosses and many fans still remember the three before number 1 in the second game the most. For the walled-off arena that was Ryuji's bike fight and I despised that part of the fight, I rather fight Jasper Bat Jr!