First off, I just want to say that Suda51 Wiki surpassed my expectations as the ultimate Wiki for Grasshoper Manufacturer Games. Keep up the good work guys! I'm simply writing this blog because I know at least 1 person on the Internet will read this and enjoy/hate it and my ideas/very fiber of my being. So, let's get it started.
When I first an honest confirmation that Desperate Struggle was in the makin, I almost lost my breath. I loved the original and managed to get 100% of everything so when they told me a sequel was in the making, I honestly didn't think it would be possible. At that time I knew an honest amount about Suda 51 and his past games, but it was around that time that I got hooked. I started playing through Killer 7 and thought that Suda 51 was definitely doing some really great things and that he was definitely a developer I did not want to question. His love for cel-shading and over the top violence made me feel as though he truly loved his work, so much so that he would sacrifice sales for his ideas, but I guess his break came with the NMH series.
The couple of days leading up to it's release I had watched every trailer and read every article concerning the game and it's features, but I wasn't ready to spoil myself on details so if anything even remotely hinted at anything past the middle of the game, I would look away. The anticipation was killing me, so I decided to play a couple of his games to get me pumped up for the sequel, and boy did that work. When I finally went to my Gamestop to pick it up I had already pre-ordered it, and needless to say, I couldn't be happier. The only thing left was for me to play the game.
I really didn't know what to expect. I watched in amazement as the opening cinematic unfolded, and Travis' breaking of the fourth wall couldn't have been better timed. As soon as I got to Skelter-Helter I immediately chose Mild (because I'm so awesome /internet sarcasm) and had a blast with the new mechanic. I truly saw myself having a blast, and in-between the fighting, minigames, and story, how could I not? I instantly fell in love with the improved fighting system and I found myself using my wrestling moves more than in the prevous game. I was no longer treated with the normal (slash 5 enemies, kill 5 enemies, repeat) formula, but with an improved (fight one enemy, wrassle, cut, kill) formula which made me feel as though I was actually fighting rather than slaughtering goons en masse.
What can I say? I'm a loon for this game. Suda 51 definitely did some good shit when made this game. The simplified HUD was refreshing, because I hated how the health bar reacted in the past one, as well as the roulette system. The Bizarre Jelly series was something I could get into it didn't dissapoint, with an awesome minigame and a Anime OP that made me wanting more. Jean's weight-loss was a nice departure, as well as the 8-bit minigames (still can't beat the last level of Bug-Out). The jobs aren't boring at all, and gave me a good amount of money, though I wish the bike jump made a return, as well as the assassination missions (for money of course). Revenge missions were fun but short. And they could've done better with the outfit selection, but I can't argue with that sweet neon visor. The overworld is the best thing for me because It's streamlined. I just wish I could look around in Travis' room in a first-person view.
The boss battles are a lot of fun, but I do have my complaints. The previous game's bosses were beyond compare and very memorable, since every boss had a different personality and story which made them a lot of fun to fight against, but the battle formula was a bit repetitive. They fixed that with the new game, but the characters themselves are the problem. The fight with Skelter-Helter was great because a lot was revealed plot-wise and the fact that Skelter actually had a good story behind him. Every other assassin after that made me feel as though there were a lot of questions left to be answered. They didn't really get to explaining much about who they were except for Sylvia's introductions, which made it even more obscure. Fights like Ryuji's and Margaret's made me wanting some more information on their characters and why exactly they chose to fight. But I'm happy with the fighting mechanic, since It's no longer a dodge and slice fight but an honest fight with a few extra steps thrown in. The unlockable Deathmatch Mode is a great addition for those wanting an all-out brawl with their favorite assassin.
I am also pretty upset about a couple of other things, but I'll try to keep THIS brief. Design Materials don't make a return, making artwork for them rare or near impossible to find (thank god for /v/). I enjoy the tidbits Travis can collect for his room, but most are hard to see or aren't noticable without spotting them from a cutscene. I wish there was more diversity in clothing and that the Sountrack was a bit diverse, but I do think using the Dark Side album tracks was awesome. Oh, and New Destroyman on Bitter is broken, I hate that fight.
Overall, I give this game 9.5! No game is perfect, but this game broke the mold when they made it. It's definitely one for the ages, and I know I'll be quoting this game for a long time to come. So let's make the most of what's there and enjoy it. Let's Punk!