No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is everything the first game is but somehow bigger, more stylish, and more fantastical than before, but most of all, it is just more enjoyable. It is common in the medium of games for a sequel to improve on the original, and No More Heroes 2 is another example of just that. No More Heroes 2 successfully manages to build on what came before while not losing any of the charm built by the original, all while feeling fresh and new.

The most notable, and for me the most exciting improvement, is simply ironing out the issues from the original. Like the first game, the boss battles are obviously the headline stealer but the quality of life improvements are what makes No More Heroes 2 a notable step up from the original. This game has binned off the unnecessary open-world sections of the game, instead opting for simple menus. They have also completely overhauled the chore-like, part-time jobs that soaked up so much time in the original. In turn, this has meant that Travis’ apartment has also had a more interactive upgrade. The lack of part-time jobs also means there is no longer an access fee for the next boss, once again just removing the more unnecessary and tedious parts of No More Heroes.

On top of the quality of life improvements, No More Heroes 2 has more of a story and direction than the original. Allowing Travis to seem less like a simp you would find on Twitter, even if it does just exist to get the best out of Travis. This does naturally come at a bit of a cost to the more comedic side of the game, but it is still just as well written as its predecessor. This time around, it’s more focused. Lessons have certainly been learnt, and they do a great job of making Travis seem less cringy without sacrificing his character.

Much like the original, the areas you work through before approaching a boss are still quite dull in appearance. However, the combat is even more enjoyable than the first time around, so you’re always working towards the next person to hack away at. Another welcome addition is two more playable characters, successfully building on the pre-existing combat but adding further variety to both the game and the bosses. 

Like No More Heroes, this is the definitive and best version of the game to play, consistently running at a very steady framerate without sacrificing anything else. It’s uncut and raw, with both being the versions of the game that weren’t originally available in the US because they were just too filled with grot.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has everything the original has, successfully capturing what made it so special and adored, yet somehow improving on it and making it more enjoyable. Sometimes when you finish a game, you want more, and that was exactly the case after finishing the first one, so for this to not just be more of the same, but also to improve on it so much was a welcome surprise. If you haven’t played these games before, now is certainly the time. It’s fair to say they will get excitement levels up for its much-anticipated sequel.