Last year, I played No More Heroes* for the first time, and this past week I finally got around to playing No More Heroes 2. I'd say overall I preferred the first game, but the sequel is still really fun and a nice addition to the series. The game is pretty much purely boss fights and mini-games, with a few short enemy-filled levels thrown in here and there. The series' greatest strength, though, is the definitely the awesome boss fights, so I'm glad they seemed to get most of the attention this time around.
The sequel had several stand-out bosses, although my top 3 No More Heroes bosses are still probably all from the first game (Bad Girl, Destroyman and Speed Buster, despite her battle being particularly easy). I'd say my favorite boss in the sequel was Captain Vladimir, an old, decrepit Russian astronaut who seems to think he's still out somewhere in space. He calls out for help from a satellite which shoots lasers at you. I did kinda feel bad killing him, because he didn't seem to have a firm grasp on reality, but his story left an impression on me for some reason. I also enjoyed the fights against Matt Helms (a creepy pyromaniac ghost dude), Margaret (a Gothic chick with scythes and a sniper rifle) and Alice (a lady with a weird device which made it look like she had six arms). It was also nice to see some bosses from the first game make a reappearance, especially one which you didn't actually get to fight the first time around.
I love his design!
As for boss theme songs, there weren't too many that stood out to me this time around except Philistine, Margaret's theme, which is catchy as hell and sounds more like the opening theme to an anime than a boss fight theme. It didn't really pump me up for the battle though; it actually just made me want to stop fighting and listen to the song, unlike Pleather for Breakfast and Mach 13 Elephant Explosion from the first game, which were simultaneously awesome songs and made me want to kick some ass. None of the other songs have really jumped out at me yet, although the song that plays during the credits (No More No) was phenomenal, a perfect way to end the game.
There were a few things about the sequel that pissed me off though. I don't understand why they felt the need to include Travis' motorcycle again, especially since the parts where you have to drive the motorcycle were extremely awkward and not fun. There's a boss battle that takes place on your motorcycle which was honestly laughably bad. I won that fight because the other guy eventually drove off the cliff by himself, probably because he was fed up with how long it was taking as we both kept circling each other over and over. I was also upset that they skipped over the 6th and 5th ranked assassin battles, especially since they went through the trouble of introducing the character who fought them and having him as a playable character for a non-ranked boss fight. I don't understand the reasoning behind skipping those fights. Did they just run out of ideas for interesting bosses? Surely they could have come up with something.
Other than that, it was a pretty great game. Awesome boss fights, great combat mechanics, silly mini-games. Also, you get to help Travis' pet cat lose weight! That part was especially adorable. I'm glad I finally got around to playing this series. It was quirky and badass and I enjoyed my time fighting the assassins of Santa Destroy.
* I accidentally typed No More Herpes just now and laughed way too much at that.