I would like to start by saying I, personally, did not fully enjoy NMH. It's meh controls, awful open world, grind limits, and some other flaws held back what would have been a must have hack n slash.
No More Heroes 2 fixes all of that.
1. GameplayFor the majority of the game (aka all bonus missions and 12/15 boss battles) you will be playing as Travis Touchdown. He comes armed with a standard beam katana from the start, and as the game progresses you can have 4 different katanas. You have a slow slash, quick slash, punch, and kick.
All 4 weapons control differently. The blood berry is your average weak starting weapon. The Camilla is the blood berry, but both faster and stronger. The Peony is a much slower but MUCH stronger Camilla that changes depending on your health and other factors. Finally, the dual katanas Rose Nasties are the weakest but by far the fastest weapon in Travis' arsenal.
This is a major step up from the previous game where each katana was just a straight upgrade from each other. Each beam katana has a battery life, that goes down by blocking and charged attacks. You can charge it by... um...
After beating on an enemy or boss for a while, they will become dazed (little yellow stars will appear above their head and they will stop attacking). As Travis, if you use a punch or kick while an opponent is dazed, you will use a wrestling move on them that either kills normal enemies almost instantly or deals massive damage to bosses. A QTE will pop up and you either have to move both the nunchuck and wii mote (or both sticks on a wii classic controller) in a direction for the move to occur.
When you defeat an enemy, or damage a boss enough, a QTE will pop up, asking you to slash your wii mote (or control stick) in a direction to finish off the enemy or severely damage the boss. These happen 3 to 5 times in a boss battle and tend to liven up the fight, as they are very satisfying. Also, if you and an enemy use a similar attack at the same time, the game will start a weapon clash. Basically if you can shake your control stick or wii mote faster than your opponent then you win a QTE. If you lose then you lose a lot of health.
The overworld from the previous game has been removed, and good riddance. Instead, there is a mini map that allows you to select either the next stage, a revenge mission, the clothes store, a gym to increase health/strength, a beam katana upgrade/buying place, and jobs to earn money. The jobs are all fun little 8-bit games that play pretty well and some of them are actually really enjoyable, and if you want to buy everything you will be playing a lot.
You no longer need money to attend the next stage, so grind limits are no more. Most stages consist of hacking and slashing your way through a bunch of
goons. They consist of gun, knife, sword, and fat boys.
A big issue with
the first game was that gun enemies simply stand back and drain your
katanas battery. Luckily, these baddies have been nerfed and the minimap will even point them out so you can kill them first if you want.
Revenge missions are basically only stages with no boss. These are shorter and I would recommend playing for the story and fun.
Not all "stages" have stage parts. Almost 1/3 of the bosses skip a stage, which isn't the worst thing ever.
I first knew that I loved this game when I was fighting the first boss. There was a beautiful background, good music, a challenging fight, emotion, and fun. Pure fun. I loved every second of that first boss.
Perfection. To this day I still play that first boss occasionally just because of how much it meant to me.
To be fair though, it wasn't all smiles and rainbows. Certain boss battles were pretty bad, I would say 3 total. Although to be fair 2 of those are Shinobu's fault. The last one is just awful.
That last one is the final boss. Without spoiling anything, let me just say it has a 2nd phase that is... how do I put this... kinda broken. First, several moves have the ability to throw you against a wall. One of the 4 walls in the room is a giant glass window.
It has a grab move twice the size of Marth's in SSBM, a quick 3 punch move that is almost impossible to dodge, and if he uses it twice you will get hit by at least 1 punch. I almost rage quitted.
Aside from... THAT... the bosses are the best part of the game, and the 2nd to last boss is to die for. The bosses are all different, and are just so enjoyable in one way or another.
The most underrated thing about NMH2 is it's music. Songs like Tooth Paste, Subata.1, Kill or be Killed, Philistine, Travesty, Sling Shot, We are Finally Cowboys Golden Brown Mix, the map theme, and so much more are just amazing!
Jun Fukada composed the entire soundtrack, and that is quite a feat. Honestly, listen to any of these songs. They are all amazing!!! Tooth Paste is a surprising emotional song for a this game. Kill or be Kill is an acid jazz song that is catchy as fuck. Philistine and Subata.1 are both amazing boss battle themes. There is no bad songs in this game, and honestly the quality of the music is astonishing.
To those of you with a gaming PC with Dolphin on it, I salute to you (although if you are using dolphin buy the game first as emulators are only legal if you own the game).
The game runs in native 480i, or 480p for those with a Wii U or component cables for their Wii. There is a minor graphical glitch with beam katanas where the light will stay in place for a while every 4 seconds. You will see lines, pixels, etc all over the place. The game is appealing, and the art style is lovely, but graphically is not really that good. For a cel shaded game, the graphics can look ugly at times.
At times the graphics look really good though, and if you have Dolphin with 720p all issues should disappear, and 1080p and above looks breathtaking.
Back to the art style. Several areas of the game amplify certain colors to align with the environment, and it looks amazing. The first boss has an amazing snowy night on top of a building scene. Beauty is everywhere in this game, and I would appreciate it if I were you.
5. StoryTravis Touchdown was once the #1 assassin in the world, but he gave up his position for a simple life. Now, with his best friend dead, he must kill 50 assassins (not really though) to reach the final boss, who killed his friend. Along the way, Shinobu and Henry will help out a bit.
6. StyleThis is not your average video game. In case you know nothing about Suda 51, he likes to make things stand out. NMH2 has a major retro feel to it. The QTEs all have pixielized arrows and 8 bit sound effects. The pause menu, health bar, and etc looks like it game from an N64 game! There is so much style in the characters. Travis is wicked arrogant and seemingly uncaring, but shows genuine human emotion at times. There are cut scenes that any other director would make normal, but Suda51 makes extraordinary. There is this one scene where Travis is listening to his voice messages from Henry, and he gets into an argument with his own answering machine. The 4th wall breaks are properly timed and very funny (Henry refusing to fight the final boss because he has "standards"). There is one boss who sings a song as she tries to murder you!
7. Other Characters:Shinobu: Fuck Shinobu. Take Travis Touchdown, give him one weapon, remove the wresting moves, punches, and kicks. Give him a jump button that activates when the button is released instead of pushed (I honestly thought it was input lag until I accidently held it, just hold the button and release when you want to jump).
You have no charge attack, just a shitty projectile that drains battery and can't hit a grandmother in a 3 mph scooter.
You also have stages that really on shitty platforming and bosses that require you to jump at some point. AND FINALLY: you taunt after 3 slow attacks or 5 quick attacks, leaving you open you every attack ever.
2 stages and 2 bosses.
Henry: Like Shinobu, but instead of a shitty jump he has a cool dash, and his projectile is actually really good. I actually really enjoyed playing him!
1 boss no stage.
8. Conclusion:No More Heroes 2 is a must have Wii game, and is extremely underrated. It is my personal favorite game of all time. If you want to play the original, get NMH Paradise for the PS3, as it fixes most of the flaws, that way you can enjoy this masterpiece. It is a must have. I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do.