No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Game Poster Image
Extreme violence, profanity, and sex make this not for kids.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game glorifies graphic violence, promotes lewd sexuality, and frames the act of smoking as cool and sexy. It also suggests that violence is the best and most preferable means of solving all conflicts. There are no redeeming character motivations, morals, or themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our protagonist is not a nice man. His reason for going into battle has to do with the death of a friend, but he clearly takes pleasure in killing people and often makes jokes while engaged in combat. He also kills innocents. One scene features an enemy who picks up and throws two women at our character, who proceeds to chop them to bits before finally attacking his real enemy.

Ease of Play

Players have the option of playing with either a Wii remote and nunchuk or a Wii classic controller. The former method offers simplistic but intuitive motion sensitive controls while the latter delivers a smart, traditional control set that works well in the fighting sequences and is a great fit for the old-school, 8-bit-style minigames.

Violence

Extremely graphic swordplay sees limbs severed and gallons of blood spraying across the screen. There seems to be a particular fixation on beheadings, with scenes showing both men’s and women’s heads flying through the air, rolling around on the floor, and, in one case, landing back on a victim’s shoulders, allowing him to speak for a few more seconds before collapsing. The extreme violence is not constant -- there are plenty of little mini-games thrown in to provide breaks from the blood and gore -- but even a few of these feature some level of aggression, such as an angry restaurant patron throwing a fork across the room and hitting a chef in the eye.

Sex

Though none of the characters actually have sex on screen and players never see anything more than a bare bottom for a couple of seconds, the game is rife with sexual comments, skimpily clad women, and strong innuendo. Expect to see plenty of crotch and chest shots, novelty-sized breasts complete with “boob physics,” mini-games with double entendre names (e.g. “lay the pipe”), and lots of sexual talk filled with words like “porn,” “perv,” and “throbbing.” Even the onscreen icon that shows the power level of our hero’s retractable katana is vaguely penis shaped. Oh, and to recharge the katana players must shake the Wii remote, evoking the movement of masturbation.

Language

If it's an English word and it can offend, it’s probably here. Examples: “s--t,” “f--k,” “ass,” “mother--ker,” and “f--head.”

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes show lit cigarettes and characters sucking in, savoring, and exhaling cigarette smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is extraordinarily violent and chock full of crass sexual innuendo, making it a game unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18. The sword-based battle sequences are filled with flying heads, lopped off limbs, and buckets of spurting blood. Meanwhile, most narrative scenes are loaded with lewd sexual metaphors and women who have unrealistically large breasts and impractically tiny skirts. The game also glamorizes and sexualizes the act of smoking by displaying tarted-up women inhaling and savoring cigarette smoke in several scenes. Note as well that the spoken dialogue is packed with profanity, including multiple variations of the F-word.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byChristian O. March 28, 2010

e.g. Perfect for those who enjoy perv and dirty humor. Charging a sword resembles masturbation (ha-ha? that's "humor")

I am surprised by the comments that are actually expressed about this game. I am also surprised by Synchronicity's comments. Besides, no one here ever sa... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 5, 9, 15, and 15 year old Written byGoodmom7575 February 4, 2010

Good game for family game night!

I let my kids see everything in this game. This is a fun game for your kid!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byCWG1 May 5, 2013

Another Fun Factor Of The Wii!!

No More Heroes 2 is a sequel to the first one. With it's same comical humor this game is a different turn for the wii. This game however contains super str... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 25, 2012

Your a crazy parent if you let children under 12 play this.

An amazing game but still the blood and gore is crazy for a wii game.I got this for my Wii when I was 12 last year and play this 6-9 hours every day.Although I... Continue reading

What's it about?

A decidedly mature action game, NO MORE HEROES 2: DESPERATE STRUGGLE stars Travis Touchdown, a man on a revenge mission who has to fight a series of bosses to make his way to the villain who killed his friend. The incredibly violent action sequences see players using retractable blades to carve their way through countless generic baddies en route to considerably more challenging stage bosses. Between fighting missions, players watch a series of sexually charged cut scenes that show scantily clad women and feature chats with heavy doses of sexual innuendo. Players can also engage in a wide variety of retro mini-games that look like they could have been made for an 8-bit console like the Nintendo Entertainment System and feature simple objectives such as grilling steaks and catching falling coconuts from trees.

Is it any good?

A fun combat system and several interesting ideas sure to appeal to longtime game lovers -- including retro mini-games and the stars’ awareness that they are merely characters in a story -- are spoiled to a large degree by No More Heroes 2’s poor writing and puerile obsession with large breasts. This is a game no child should play, yet relentless crotch and boob shots and incredibly lame sex jokes make it seem as though it was meant to be little more than forbidden fruit for mischievous adolescents. To be sure, they’re the only ones who could be excused for giggling at phrases like “I feel like that pervy teacher in a porn,” and “I’m gonna touch you down, Travis Touchdown.” The mindlessly vulgar and wholly unsophisticated humor weighs down what otherwise could have been a good gory grown-up romp filled with fun elements of nostalgia.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sexuality in games. As hardware improves, game developers are increasingly using the added processing power to render sexualized characters. However, many of these characters have unrealistic proportions and wear inappropriate clothing. What impact could such characters have on the minds of impressionable players? Why are virtually all of the sexualized characters in these games women?

  • Families can also discuss the purpose of extreme gore in some games. Clearly, some players like being able to lop off heads and arms and see blood cover the environment, but why? It’s widely assumed that adults are capable of digesting this material more safely than children. What is the key difference between adults and kids that might make this so?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: January 26, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

For kids who love action games

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