No More Heroes 2
Switch version tested
Review code provided
We don’t need another hero!
Back in October, a new trailer for the long-awaited third instalment of the No More Heroes franchised was released. And with it came another announcement; the first two No More Heroes games were coming to Switch! Not only that, but they were releasing that exact same day! As a huge fan of the series (and pretty much anything by the phenomenal Goichi Suda aka SUDA 51), I was thrilled to hear this. As I’ve played and completed the first game multiple times over the years, I opted to review the sophomore title which I hadn’t played since it released 10 years ago.
NMH2 picks up 3 years after the first game. Travis Touchdown has walked away from the UAA after rising to the top of the ranking. He’s called to the roof of the building where he began his initial run through the UAA by killing the 11th ranked assassin, Helter Skelter (aka “The Drifter”). He arrives to an ambush by Helter Skelter’s brother, the appropriately named Skelter Helter. After the fight, Skelter warns Travis that ultimate vengeance is coming. And thus begins the Desperate Struggle.
The combat is largely the same as the first game with a few added attacks, but you will notice quite a few differences between the games. First, in place of the large sprawling yet ultimately empty open world, there’s a stylised menu. So, instead of tedious motorcycle rides to the next ranked fight, side mission, or odd job, you just click the destination on the menu and you’re there. Speaking of the odd jobs, they have mostly (with the exception of one) been replaced by 8-bit mini-games. I actually really enjoyed this change myself, as a lot of the games are so much fun to play.
Odd jobs earn you money, of course. But unlike No More Heroes 1, there is no entry fee for the ranked matches. The only use for cash is paying for your training to increase your health or attack strength, buying the 2 extra beam katanas from Naomi’s lab, and purchasing new duds from the clothing store. I feel like Naomi’s lab could’ve either been expanded or left out. And while I would’ve hated not seeing Naomi (<3), they could’ve easily had Travis acquire the other weapons from boss enemies rather than make a whole shop for purchasing only 2 swords.
You can also now fully traverse Travis’ apartment. There’s a mini sidequest involving Travis’ cat, Jeane who’s put on a little weight since we last saw her. So, you need to help her exercise while keeping her fed so she doesn’t get cranky. You can also watch the opening to Travis’ favourite anime and also play a shmup based on said anime by interacting with the TV. And of course, there’s a bathroom where you can “drop a nice save” at any point.
BOSS BATTLES, while not quite as memorable as the first game, are still full of personality. There’s also a couple of familiar faces returning as well as a couple of surprise sections where you get to take control of a different character for a little bit of variety in gameplay. Before I get to my final words on the game, I feel the need to mention that you can turn off the motion controls that were mandatory in the original Wii release, which I definitely think is a welcome option.
I forgot how much fun this game was in the 10 years since I played it. The story may not be quite as good and the bosses may not leave as much of a lasting impression as with the first game, but the gameplay is just as good, if not better. The 8-bit side jobs feel like they could easily be expanded into their own games and sold on the eShop. This game is a cult classic for a reason and is more than worth it for the $20 / £17.99 price tag.
Release Date: 28/10/2020
No. of Players: 1
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Marvelous Europe
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop