Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is the latest game by Goichi Suda, a.k.a. Suda51 and coincidentally the latest entry in the No More Heroes franchise. Fans of Suda51 can expect the same off the wall and often at times bizarre experience that make his games unique and unlike anything else out there. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, is developed and published by Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. with Nintendo handling the physical retail release.
In this game, Suda51 takes a drastically different approach by collaborating with several indie developers to feature elements from their games. Does this gamble and fresh start for Travis Touchdown pay off? Let’s take a look and find out, shall we?
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Details
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.
Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture Inc., Nintendo
Genre: Action-adventure, hack and slash
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer co-op
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Mortal enemies team up for a common cause
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes takes place several years after No More Heroes 2 in a secluded area somewhere in Texas. Travis has retired from his former ways and has left the Assassin Rankings. Now he spends most of his time playing video games on a console developed by Dr. Juvenile called the Death Drive MkII.
However, one day Badman—father of Bad Girl, a former opponent—shows up to avenge is his daughter’s death. During their struggle, both Travis and Badman get sucked into the Death Drive MkII. The two discover that if they can collect and beat all of the six games (Death Balls) available for the mysterious console, they will be granted one wish.
As a result, Travis and Badman team up to collect the six Death Balls to bring Bad Girl back to life. The story is told primarily via visual novel, which is called Travis Strikes Back. Additionally, cutscenes and on-screen dialogue help move the story along as well. As indicated by the game’s M rating, the story contains mature themes that are not suitable for younger eyes.
There were quite a few times I was literally rolling on the floor laughing at what was being said. I don’t want to spoil anything for you here but make sure you pay attention to what the characters are saying, it is often quite hilarious. I was a bit disappointed that Badman doesn’t have a strong roll in the game’s story. He doesn’t really say anything at all and is only brought up a few times.
Varied gameplay from a variety of genres
Gameplay in Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes is different from the other two games in the series in that it is mostly played from a top-down view. Additionally, the six different Death Ball games you play on the Death Drive MkII all have varied gameplay. They all add a different vibe to the game, which keeps things fresh.
For example, one of the games is called Golden Dragon GP. It’s actually a game inside of a game. You are transported to Japan and discover the latest virtual reality helmet. Once you put it on, you are thrust into the latest and greatest VR game called Golden Dragon GP. This is a racing game in the same vein as Tron. You’ve got to make it through several races before you can take on the boss.
However, the core gameplay of Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes stays close to its series roots of hack-and-slash. Armed with your Beam Katana, you take on a variety of enemies of varying difficulties. By default, you have a light and heavy attack, as well as the ability to jump and roll out of the way. New to the series is the ability to equip Skill Chips. These chips give you a variety of different abilities such as throwing sticky bombs at opponents and sending out electric shocks to hurt and stun your opponents.
For the most part, gameplay was varied enough to keep things fresh by the six different games. That being said, there were times I felt the gameplay to be a tad repetitive—hacking and slashing enemies one after another.
Unique and fitting stylized visuals with a catchy soundtrack
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is powered by the Unreal 4 engine. Though because the game takes more of an indie developed approach, you aren’t necessarily getting top notch visuals you might expect from an Unreal 4 engine game. In fact, in Travis Strikes Back it is presented as if it is running on an old XT computer with black and green graphics.
That is not to say that the graphics in the game are horrible by any means. Each part of the game uses stylized cel-shaded graphics and themes that are perfectly suited. Take a look at the trailer for the game at the very end of my review and you’ll see exactly what I am talking about. I would have liked to seen the characters in the game voiced all of the time. Instead, we get a few scenes here and there that are fully voiced and the rest text.
Sound wise, Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes nails it perfectly. From the hip hop beats when you are fighting certain bosses, to the catchy 8-bit tunes in Travis Strikes Back they all fit the look and feel of what is going on.
Local Co-Op Multiplayer
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes features local co-op play. Badman has similar yet different moves from Travis. At anytime in the game you and a friend can play as to the. What I really liked is that Travis and Badman both have moves that, when performed together, can unleash devastating attacks.
While the local co-play doesn’t really add much new to the game, it is quite fun playing with a friend. Dealing the devastating attacks to the enemies together fells satisfying.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a strange but wonderful adventure
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a fresh start for Travis Touchdown and the No More Heroes series. It takes a different approach than the previous two games and in my opinion is successful. I often was wondering what would happen next and thus I found that I couldn’t put down the controller and stop playing.
Suda51’s humour is one of a kind and I can honestly say that there really isn’t a game on the market that will give you the same experience as you get with this one. I really enjoyed the varied gameplay that each of the Death Balls introduced to the game. The Skill Chips are a welcomed addition and offers a way to customize and build your character.
Overall, I enjoyed Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. It’s not a perfect game by any means but what I like about it is that it offers a unique experience that is both fun and enjoyable to play. If you are looking for an experience and game that is different from everything else, I recommend you check out Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.
+ One of a kind experience
+ Great soundtrack
+ Non-stop action from start to finish
+ Local co-op multiplayer is fun
+ Stylized graphics are a perfect match to each scenario
– Some levels can get a tad bit repetitive
– Badman does not play an essential role in the game’s story like he should have
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TRAVIS STRIKES AGAIN: NO MORE HEROES
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5