We haven't heard too much about No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle lately, which had me worried that the game wasn't going to make its January 2010 launch date. Seeing the ESRB rating for the game has put those worries to rest. Unless the game's publisher has a sudden change of heart, NMH2 should arrive right on schedule.
That's just the start of the good news. This ESRB rating summary for the game almost seems to be bragging about how awesome No More Heroes 2 will be. Details include talk of enemies pulling their own heads off, players being able to watch portions of Travis Touchdown's favorite anime Bizarre Jelly, and the confirmation of both breast and buttock-jiggle physics. Sorry ladies (and gentlemen), no testicle-jiggle here. Maybe you'll get your chance in No More Heroes 3.
That's not to say that the male genitalia is completely left out of the description. In fact, my favorite part of the posting relates to the entire male crotch. Specifically -- "The battery meter for Travis's sword is always represented by a cartoon-like penis icon in the upper-right corner of the screen: as battery power runs out, the icon starts to shrink—a sad face appears".
Hear that folks? The battery meter for Travis's sword isn't sometimes represented by a cartoon-like penis icon, it's always represented by a cartoon-like penis icon. GOTY 2010 confirmed?
I'm not joking. If No More Heroes 2 turns out to be anything but the most surreal, eye-popping release of 2010, I'm going to be highly disappointed. The ESRB-hype machine has done it again.
Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
Players assume the role of Travis, an anime-watching assassin who fights his way through the ranks to become the number-one assassin. Being an assassin means using a retractable katana blade (i.e., a laser sword); it means slicing, chopping, and dismembering human enemies to death in this highly-stylized (somewhat "cartoony"), cell-shaded action game. The depictions of violence in the game are intense, yet somewhat exaggerated: men in black suits are sliced in-half as blood and money flow from their bodies; an assassin with a boombox does not recover after his lower torso has been chopped off—after blood shoots from his empty waist like a geyser; and two women (clad in bikinis) get suspended in mid-air, get caught between the flashing lights, lasers, and frenetic sword swipes of an assassins' duel—the women's heads slide across the floor once the men stop fighting. Cutscenes depict more dismemberment: assassins slicing each other into several pieces in slow-motion, enemies pulling their own heads off, characters displaying trophy-heads on silver platters. These over-the-top depictions of violence account for the Mature rating; they also account for the Intense Violence and Blood and Gore descriptors. The language is strong, too, as characters sometimes use the phrases "f**king a*shole," "f**khead," and "You gotta be sh**tin' me!"
The game contains sexual overtones and partial nudity. Players can watch portions of an anime show called Bizarre Jelly; the opening credits depict a female character whose clothes suddenly disappear, revealing her bare buttocks (one-to-two seconds). Game dialogue contains sexual references, including the phrases "dirty nympho," "the one that's throbbing," and "I feel like that pervy teacher in a porn." Female assassins are depicted in low-cut tops, thongs, short schoolgirl uniforms, and fishnet bondage-style outfits; breasts and buttocks jiggle, and the camera often lingers (there is no equivalent physics applied to male body parts). A couple of cutscenes contain strong sexual innuendo: when characters enter a store, a surprised clerk struggles with his belt buckle and zips up his pants (e.g., "I was just. Uh, doing inventory."); a woman moves a katana blade in front of a man's groin, kneels down, and kisses it (the blade), causing the retractable laser to extend. The battery meter for Travis's sword is always represented by a cartoon-like penis icon in the upper-right corner of the screen: as battery power runs out, the icon starts to shrink—a sad face appears.
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