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Saturday, May 15, 2010

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

I bought No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle yesterday from Walmart for $20.00. Pretty good price, considering I was thinking of buying it from there last week when it was listed at $29.99. Seems like quite a fast price drop, but just another example of my "rules" about EA Games & Ubisoft.... oh wait, did I actually post my rules about EA Games & Ubisoft here? I'm looking over my recent posts & I don't think so.....

So basically, I believe that EA & Ubisoft games almost always drop in price; whether it's 6 months or a year after the game comes out, games from those 2 pubs usually end up at $20.00 (or less). I think it's because of their market penetration, you can buy EA & Ubi games practically anywhere right? So they end up in bargain bins all over the place.

Yes, you could say that *every* game drops in price eventually, but that's not always the case. Take first-party Nintendo games for instance: Mario games that came out years ago have dropped maybe $5.00-$10.00 from their release MSRP. But with EA & Ubi games, most of those drop like stones eventually.

Anyway, that's my "rule" or belief or whatever. So NMH2:DS coming from Ubisoft, I decided to wait rather than giving in to the $54.99 release day MSRP...

Man, I've gotten this far & I haven't even talked about the game yet. It gets good reviews which seem a bit high, though I do think it's a fun game. It's basically a 3D brawler, with stylish art direction & a good sense of humour. In some ways it reminds me of Madworld. I'd say it's faster paced because there are less moves, which makes it a bit less clunky, but it still is rough around the edges as far as gameplay. It's mostly melee sword combat, unlike Madworld which relies on gestures a lot more, here you basically button mash the A button; tilting the Wii remote up or down to do high/low attacks. Then there might be a finishing move where you swipe the Wii remote a direction given onscreen to do a kill.

The premise is like Afro Samurai: the main character Travis Touchdown is fighting his way through ranked players with the ultimate goal of becoming #1. He uses a lightsaber "beam katana", and can purchase other weapons as he goes. Along with the fighting part of the game, there are side jobs which earn him cash-- these side jobs are 8-bit style arcade mini-games, and there are also revenge missions which are much like the "beating up the lackeys on the way to the boss" part of the main missions, except they are time limited. And in between all this are slick & sexy cutscenes of the woman doling out Travis' missions, Silvia Christel.

I really like the artstyle & humourous tone of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, it's goofy & weird that the save mode is Travis pulling down his pants & sitting on the toilet. Luckily strategically placed bands (of toilet paper?) spare us from seeing too much. There's a section of the game where you play as a female character Shinobu Jacobs, and her save mode is her taking a shower...... nice. But again, all the naughty bits are hidden by paper. Still, with the sexiness & coarse language this is not a game to be played with kids around.

Speaking of Shinobu, this is where the game gets clunky: she should be a really cool character to play-- she's very hot looking & well animated, her moves are faster than Travis' & she jumps. But the problem is that they make her have to do a fair amount of platforming & the game is not nearly polished enough for that. Shinobu has to jump up on crates, and her levels are way too frustrating when they should be fun. There's a lot of clunkiness in the actual gameplay... the game relies on its reputation as being "hardcore" but there's a difference between hardcore or challenging and broken. There's no excuse for gameplay that doesn't function properly. Most of the game is fun, but it takes getting used to the rhythm of it.

I haven't played the first No More Heroes, the reason I picked this one up over the original is because I heard it was a bit more refined, but really... I saw a giant robot battle in it and that was what won me over. A bit disappointing, though... the robot fight is more like a mini-game mode inside one of the boss fights, it was actually cool but brief.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is very linear, even the revenge missions are only shown one at a time. There isn't a way to replay past bosses. It's straightforward & probably a fairly short game, but I'm having fun with it. With a name like that-- "Desperate Struggle"-- it sounds like it was meant for the DS??? Kinda odd. I wonder if they were thinking that at first, when they started developing it? It might be kinda interesting to have a DS version of No More Heroes.



HerrJeff said...

You did, in your Capcom entry dated March 28, 2010.

Don said...

That is so funny... I'd completely forgotten I even posted that!

Re-reading that post, I even talked about wanting to buy NMH2 for $20.00.... I never expected that I'd be able to about 6 weeks later.

I've been in a fog lately. Good catch!

I'm still having fun with NMH2 right now, though I accidentally erased my save file today! Man, that pissed me off. But I will play through it again.


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