[Over the next few weeks the staff here at Gamerlimit will be sharing their personal favorite game of the past year with the community in build up to Gamer Limit’s Game of the Year Awards for 2010]
The past twelve months have been a great year for gaming. I played plenty of awesome games this year…Valkyria Chronicles II, VVVVVV, Dante’s Inferno, Bit.Trip RUNNER, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Donkey Kong Country Returns, the list goes on and on. Hit the jump for my thoughts on one of the most spectacular titles of 2010: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
The original No More Heroes was my first Wii game. I remember the reason I bought it. It was cheap, I saw there was a lightsaber involved, and I wanted to see what all the motion-control rage was about with a sweet sword fighting game. Needless to say, I didn’t find the 1:1 sword fighting experience that I was looking for. What I did find was a game that made me remember why I loved videogames in the first place.
No More Heroes wasn’t the prettiest game, it didn’t have the most fun gameplay or the best level design, but it was perfect. From the 8-bit menus to the cel-shaded graphics, that game absolutely dripped with style. Not only that, but it told one of the craziest, most memorable stories ever seen in a game. It was violent, sexy and spoke to the core of what it means to be a gamer; a videogame truly made by and for people who play videogames.
Desperate Struggle took everything that was already great about the first No More Heroes, brought Travis back with an awesome new story, and eliminated everything negative that fans had to say about the first game. The bland overworld was removed and replaced with an easily navigable menu system that really helped to streamline the experience. It’s like they removed all the filler so you could just get straight to the good bits and enjoy the rollercoaster ride without any of the lulls.
I’m not much of a graphics whore, but despite all its style and flare the original No More Heroes looked like a Dreamcast game. Desperate Struggle made a big improvement on that: it looked like a really nice Gamecube title. While that may not sound too impressive, it’s a lot more than most Wii games can say for themselves.
On top of the already great formula from the first game Grasshopper Manufacture went out of their way to make sure that No More Heroes 2 would be even more awesome than the first. When I first played through the game I got the feeling that Suda 51 had created the game just for me. This game has everything I could have ever hoped for: Travis transforming into a ferocious tiger in combat, 8-bit minigames, a giant robot boss fight between two Gundams, entire levels paying homage to Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil 4 and it even included a hilariously cute bullet hell shooter called Bizarre Jelly.
This game was made with love.