Fandel Mulkey On March 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

It’s been an understatement to say that the Wii has been an enigma this generation. Despite being far and away this generation’s console leader, third-party publishers have been treating the little white box like a handicapped stepchild mostly offering games that would have been laughed at by semi-serious gamers back in 2000, let alone 2009/2010. Sadly, the few third-party publishers that have tried to offer more serious fare on the Wii have been rewarded by low sales and seeing their titles make a quick trip to the $9.99 bargain bin.

Despite the mixed commercial reaction of the original game (It sold better than most Wii third-party fare, but not by much) Ubisoft has decided to have another go at it and release No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Putting the history of third-party titles on the Wii aside, the real question for gamer: It No More Heroes 2 worth paying 50 bucks for? Quick answer is no if you’re only interested in an action game with solid controls and a great camera. However, if you’re interested in playing a unique action game that isn’t like the many derivatives action games on the market, and are willing to overlook the at times broken control and camera issues, then the answer isn’t clear-cut.

For those who haven’t played the original game, you’re the colorfully named Travis Touchdown, a former top assassin of the United Assassins Association. After the disembodied head of his best friend crashes through his apartment window, an enraged Travis vows revenge on the murderers. In order to do that he must join Sylvia Christel’s twisted tournament and move from being the 51st ranked assassin, massacring his way to the top ranked assassin, who just also happens to be the person who ordered the hit job on his friend.

In order to accomplish this goal, you’ll need to chop and slice your way through dozens of faceless thugs with your trusty energy blade/wannabe lightsaber until you make your way to one of the ranked assassins. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t actually have to fight 50 people to make it to the head guy, as you’ll move up a few spots after the first couple wins, and again after killing a guy who conveniently took out ten of your ranked opponent’s right before battling him. The controls used to accomplish this are very well done. Instead of forcing you to swing your Wii controller every time you want to attack, the attacks are limited to the using the A button for slash and the B button for melee attacks. You only have to swing the remote in a certain direction in order to initiate a bloody finishing move, or to recharge your saber by jerking up and down it in a very…uh…intentionally odd manner.

Where the game ultimately breaks down a little is the camera, which is to put it nicely, awful. You won’t notice it at first, but once you start fighting bosses in enclosed spaces, you’ll spend precious time trying to center your camera on the bad guy while he/she gets in a lot of cheap hits. The camera problems really come to a head after one the game introduces platform elements. One boss battle will nearly cause you to throw the control at the TV, as you’re forced to constantly fight the camera while at the same time jumping up platforms and attempting to dodge the enemy’s bullets.

The game looks better than most Wii games: characters are well animated and detailed, and the areas aren’t too shabby. The biggest problem is the jagged edges, but that’s more a problem, with the Wii’s technical limitations than the developers. One thing that I liked was the homage to the 8-bit era. In order to earn extra money for items and stat upgrades, you’ll need to do certain jobs throughout the city of Santa Destroy. All of these jobs take the form of mini 8-bit style games. While none of the games themselves wouldn’t be AAA caliber even in the NES era, it’s a unique change of pace to the normal ‘run to this checkpoint in other 30 seconds’ minigames that are prevalent in many games today.

If it wasn’t for the awful camera, No More Heroes 2 would be an instant buy for those for those dwindling Wii owners seeking a more mature fare. Unfortunately, the camera problems — particularly during a few boss fights – are enough of a problem to make one hesitant to drop 50 dollars. Still, No More Heroes 2 has enough fun and unique elements to consider overlooking those pesky camera and platforming issues, especially if your only system is a Wii.


Many unique elements like 8-bit mini games and solid fighting controls are marred a bit by the bad camera and sloppy platforming.


Colorful and well animated. The graphical style of the game is only limited by the hardware running it.


Any game that ditches crappy licensed music for a catchy original score gets a few extra points in my book. While not award winning, the tunes and acting are above your usual fare on any cuurent generation system


A great game with a unique story and theme which is marred by a horrible camera and sloppy platform elements turns this game from an A-title buy title to a solid B.

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