#WeeklyGameMusic: It’s Kill or Be Killed Mix (No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

“No more heroes, it’s kill or be killed” describes No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle pretty darn well in this red hot chili pepper theme music. Indeed, Yoshioka Taku Squad’s remix of Masafumi Takada’s original composition does an excellent job satirizing the excitement of violent medium…when the same actions replicated in real life is so revolting. Much like the music, Suda51’s sequel to a Wii cult classic makes yet another careful observation of violence in media, criticizing their effects to sick minds.

Remember Viewtiful Joe? In that game, Joe was a loser that gets put in a world that makes him awesome. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle takes a different approach: Travis Touchdown is a loser nerd who assassinates people in an otherwise boring world to make himself feel awesome. So no surprise then, when a completely forgettable character in the first game, Travis’ best friend Bishop Shidux, gets killed and have his head delivered through Travis’ window. Utterly shocked, Travis pounces on the assassination top ranking, starting at position 51, on a revenge mission against the top-ranked assassin and Bishop’s murderer.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a rare breed of video games called magical realism, where spouts of assassination missions and boss battles are divided by mundane and pixelated day jobs. Day jobs help Travis make money to enter himself to the next ranking mission, while the heart of the game lies in the boss battles. Using his trusty beam katanas, Travis can unleash long combos and occasional special attack in a beat ’em up control style. Every once in a while, the katanas losses its power, requiring Travis to recharge them by shaking its handle. It’s a subtle symbolism when this happens, as Travis looks like he’s beating off to regain his energy to take on the intense, on-going battle.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and its prequel, No More Heroes 2 were originally developed for the Wii. While the prequel has a Playstation 3 port, the sequel does not.

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