No More Heroes 3
UPDATE 10/11/2022 As of today, the entire No More Heroes series is now accessible on all major consoles, including---wait. No, that's not entirely true. While No More Heroes 3 was released on all major consoles, the first two games + Travis Strikes Again remain nowhere to be found on the Xbox. I find this peculiar as the rest of the titles are available on the PC. Fortunately, each game in the series is self-contained with references to previous titles hinted at in each subsequent game. You can still catch the absurdity of Travis Touchdown as he rises in the rankings without any prior knowledge.
The Day 1 edition of the PlayStation 4, 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X versions includes a plethora of goodies including an art book, a CD, and a motorcycle license plate meant to emulate Travis Touchdown's own motorcycle license plate. The graphics and framerate are also improved, which can be seen below in a small gallery containing screen captures from the Xbox Series X.
I'll say that the "current gen versions" are strikingly beautiful, unleashing the full power of Travis Touchdown and his crazy adventures. The original coverage of the Nintendo Switch follows this prelude.
The Town Could Use More Heroes
No More Heroes 3 developed by Grasshopper Manufacture is the first major title in the No More Heroes franchise in over a decade. The previous title, Travis Strikes Back, was released two years before on the Switch and PC, serving as an interlude to bridge No More Heroes 2 and 3. For many fans of the series, TSB was a departure away from what made the original series a masterpiece in their eyes yet players knew that the third chapter was on the horizon.
Finally, in 2021 after many teasers and the first two games finally available on PC, No More Heroes 3 is finally out. But, does it live up to the hype that the cult classic series has lived up to over the years? Well, for fans of the series it certainly does, but as someone who has only seen others play, it’s a unique pill to swallow. It’s one thing to watch others play the game and watch YouTube videos of it. It’s another to experience it for yourself.
No More Heroes 3 Is Like A Saturday Morning Cartoon For Adults
The plot for No More Heroes 3 begins with several genre-breaking sequences at once, including a small monologue about Travis playing his favorite video game and the player playing the final level of the said video game. Exactly what this has to do with the overall plot is something I’m sure would come to light later on in the game, but as of right that moment I just accepted it for what it was.
Then the scene shifts to an anime-style intro about a boy and a weird “cute” alien bonding, pledging that they would meet twenty years into the future after the boy frees the alien to safety. This jarring and sudden change of design took me aback, even though knowing the source material it’s par for the course. Following the twenty-year time skip it’s revealed that the “cute alien” is now fully grown with an abrasive attitude who makes due on his promise to return to Earth. Unfortunately, his goal is now to take over the same Earth that he escaped from many years ago, with his nine comrades, yet decides to make a game out of it once one variable enters the fray.
Save The World And Do Cool Things Or Something!
Travis, who is seen relaxing and playing his video game, is seen handling an alien invasion with his comrades and, annoyed, takes it upon himself to defeat one of the ten aliens. Upon doing so, the alien leader declares that, rather than take over the Earth, he wants to make it a game for Travis to defeat the remaining nine and if he does, the aliens will leave. If Travis loses, then the Aliens will “conquer” Earth knowing their one line of defense is eliminated.
The premise, surprisingly, is not as farfetched as I expected it to be, but the journey within the first hour tells a different tale. The game does a combination of thrusting the player into the action immediately while also giving a lot of cutscenes to fill in exposition. Many elements that define NMH3’s charm include utilizing the bathroom as a save room, eating sushi at a random sushi stand to restore health and obtain buffs, and calling out various types of fruit as his combo counter increases.
No More Heroes 3 ‘Rider Kicks’ Reality Sideways
That’s not mentioning the overabundance of wrestling moves, fourth-wall-breaking, pop culture references, and various tokusatsu references. The latter comes into play as early as the first boss fight, which for what it’s worth is one of the first fights in the game. Travis activates his power suit and transforms, with the “Henshin!” quote and all, into a giant robot and does battle with #9 in space. This also transforms the game into a brief shoot-em-up, which was so jarring that even my boss had to question if it was a different game I was playing.
Nope, that’s just the charm of No More Heroes 3 and I was enamored by it. Several elements present in the previous NMH titles include motion controls, which allow the waving of the joycons to emulate the actions on screen to cause critical damage to an opponent. Over time, Travis’s beam sword will run out of juice and it’s up to the player to recharge it. How you may ask? Well, with the motion controls you would...waggle it a certain way. Think about how one would usually get their stress off and put two and two together. That’s how the sword is recharged.
Play With Motion Controls, If You’re About That Life
Of course, if you’re playing in a room with others and can’t stand the embarrassment, then there is always playing it the “controller” way, in which the motion controls are replaced with the motions used with the right joycon stick. Either way, combat felt tight and the intentional low-resolution graphics makes this feel right at home as a “low budget B-movie” game, the same as the other games in the series were.
Overall, this game was a well-anticipated one for a reason and to this day I still would like to know what it is that SUDA51 is smoking when he comes up with the creativity that his games provide. Switch owners owe it to themselves to try out the first three games, including Travis Strikes Back, as well as No More Heroes 3 while PC owners may expect the game to be released sometime in the near future as the other titles were.
No More Heroes 3 is available on the Nintendo Switch.