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No More Heroes 2 Preview

By Joe Dodson, 9/16/2009

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One of the games I was most looking forward to at PAX10 was Suda 51's No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on the Nintendo Wii. I quickly made my way to the Ubisoft booth, dodged between dancers, elbowed Splinter Cell gawkers, and quickly dove into a first taste of Travis Touchdown's latest exploits, playable at PAX for the first time anywhere.

The playable demo got off to a very familiar start. I was in a hotel with my handy energy katana. I quickly encountered some generic toughs, and used simple 'A' button combinations to soften them up. When they were nearly dead, the game prompted me to slash in different directions with Wiimote swipes, causing me to cut completely through them. Some enemies I cut along the waist, others from groin to forehead, but in every case, these killing cuts resulted in glorious geysers of blood that spurted from the wounds. I also got in a few "two-kills-in-one" when a relatively healthy enemy would get to close to one I was about to cut in half.

Aside from the normal foes, I fought a couple who liked to dodge back then dash in, and one big fellow with an axe. I evaded their attacks using the directional pad, then struck back with my energy katana and eventually slew all the regular baddies. When my katana got low on energy, I held '1' and shook it, and I ate some pizza to replenish my health. Then I headed into the boss area looking for some excitement. So far, the demo had been very tame, and hadn't shown me anything that No More Heroes hadn't done before.

The boss area did not disappoint. I found myself in a huge and lavish room before a pimp in a mink coat and his two hoes. Upon seeing me enter, the pimp did the rational thing and physically threw his hoes at me. I blocked them in mid-air with my energy saber, and then we had a swordfight through their suspended bodies until they both burst into blood and afro.

The pimp stepped back and claimed that the hoes meant nothing to him, and that he really longed to fight me (but in about 400 words). I offered to cut him a "new one," and then the deadly dance began.

The pimp's power was his jukebox. He could spread it over his arms if he wanted to fight short range, or shoot rockets out of it to attack from afar. I didn't wait to see what he would do, I charged in and immediately began hacking at him with my now dual energy katanas. By the way, you'll be able to switch from one katana to two by holding the '2' button. The twin blades do more damage, but also use more energy.

Fortunately, there was a bedroom off to the side of the boss fight area I could retreat to for a quick recharge. When I wasn't vigorously shaking the remote, I was in the pimp's face, slashing him mercilessly. With about half his health gone, he activated conveyor belts in the middle of the room, and a laser system in the ceiling that shot cutting lasers down at the floor in a preset pattern. Though the stakes were raised, I didn't change my approach. He would occasionally knock me back and then shoot me with a rocket, but I'd quickly roll back within range and continue the assault. After cutting away all his health, a brief cutscene played after which the game instructed me to slash horizontally and thenů

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle informed me that it would be available in January 2010 for the Nintendo Wii.



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