REVIEW: No More Heroes / No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

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Title No More Heroes / No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Developer Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher XSEED Games
Release Date Oct 28, 2020
Genre Hack-and-slash
Platform Nintendo Switch
Age Rating ESRB – Mature 17+
Official Website

I remember one of the very first games I played on my Nintendo Wii was No More Heroes. The system didn’t have a lot of titles that appealed to me, but this was one of the few that really spoke to me. Aside from three VERY special ones of course! Anyways, XSEED Games has released remasters of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on Nintendo Switch. I was really excited to get my hands on both of these, and it was a huge plus I could now play them without the motion controls that were the bane of my existence on the Wii. Let’s see what other sorts of improvements these classics have seen in their move to a new platform.

The story of No More Heroes follows a young man named Travis Touchdown. He is very much a broke Otaku living in Santa Destroy. He soon wins a beam katana off an internet auction, and accepts a mission to kill the wandering assassin, Helter-Skelter. After completing this, he is now the 11th ranked assassin in the world. This paints a huge target on his back. Now with the help of Sylvia Christel, who sets up his matches, Travis aims to be the No.1 assassin in the world. Will he accomplish his goal? Will Sylvia really sleep with him if gets the top rank? Only time will tell!

No More Heroes 2 | Travis

That is how the No More Heroes saga begins. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle amps up the over-the-top action of the first title by making you go up 100 ranks, and even fighting with huge mecha at one point. If you have ever played a Suda51 game before, you know what you’re getting into here. His stories are batshit insanity at their finest. They are so over the top you find yourself laughing at the pure chaos that fills the screen from beginning to end. There are also some heartfelt moments in this wild ride that really give it a good amount of personality. There is nothing else like his games and, honestly, that’s a wonderful thing!

Graphically, the games have been revamped with HD textures, new language options and can both be played with, or without, the motion controls. The motion controls are, honestly, pretty responsive here from what little I played around with them. They seem to feel much better than the standard Wiimote did back in the day. The controller option works great as well. You just slash your enemy down and press a direction on the right analog stick to cut them to pieces. The framerate for both games is pretty solid, but it does dip down when driving around the open world in the first game, just a bit. This really has no meaningful effect on the gameplay.

No More Heroes | Boss

Both No More Heroes titles have amazing sound tracks. Tracks here are done in a huge range of styles. One second you may hear some rock and the next something with a ton of funk rubbed on it is playing. Each track fits the action on screen to a tee and really adds a lot to the overall feel of the games. The voice acting here is English only, but the actors do a great job bringing these characters to life. If this wasn’t done well, you’d never get a sense of just how crazy this world is, but thankfully they pulled this off nicely.

While the two games share many gameplay elements, they are quite different from each other in some major ways. In No More Heroes you will traverse an open world taking on jobs to acquire money to pay the entry fees for the next ranked assassin. This is kind of tedious and the bike doesn’t control very well, but it was fun hunting down hidden goodies, like T-Shirts, all over the world. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle replaces this with a menu-driven map and some 8-bit mini games to earn money. You don’t pay an entry fee in this game, but you will need this money for skill and weapon upgrades instead.

No More Heroes 2 | Minigame

The combat here is pretty much a hack-and-slash affair. Players will clean out each room of baddies by slicing them to bits with your beam katana. There is a roulette system that will grant Travis some crazy power ups, and the boss battles have some unique quirks for you to discover as well. The sequel retains this style of combat but throws in a few tweaks such as carrying more than one beam katana into battle. This gives you many more options, depending on the types of foes you’re facing. There is also a very unique mecha battle and a couple of other playable characters you can use during the story that spice up the gameplay a bit.

No More Heroes | Beach

I really enjoyed playing No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on Nintendo Switch. It had been a hot minute since I had played either of these games, but I felt right at home the minute I started, and remembered right off why Suda51 makes some of the most unique games out there. Each game will set you back $19.99, and you’ll get 8 to 10 hours of gameplay out of each with some decent replay value playing the harder difficulties. If you loved these games on the Wii, you should certainly pick up these great Switch ports. And if you’ve never tried out one of these games before, you should do so. There is nothing else out there quite like them.

Review Score


Games were provided by the publisher for review.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.