Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Review


I’m a big fan of the No More Heroes games, so I was excited when Suda 51 announced a new entry the Nintendo Switch. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was released in early 2019, but I didn’t get around to playing the game until it showed up under my Christmas tree later that year. Regardless, I was looking forward to popping that little cartridge into my Switch and helping Travis Touchdown overcome his new foes. I knew what to expect going into the game, but was still surprised by some of its elements. With that being said, let’s get on the joys and cons of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.

An Interesting, Mind-bending Suda 51 Story

Fans of Suda 51’s work will be delighted to learn that the game’s story is quite compelling. The gist of it being that Badman is out to avenge his daughter’s death (a pretty big spoiler for the first game), but it’s during a confrontation with Travis where the Death Drive MKII transports them both into the console. You’ll then follow Travis and Badman on their journey to collect every Death Ball, each containing its own game. Each game has its own story, with the overarching story being tied together with a text adventure. I enjoyed the story, despite it being a tad confusing at times, but especially enjoyed the teasers for the upcoming No More Heroes 3.

Functional, but Repetitive Gameplay

Travis Strikes Again is a watered down No More Heroes experience. The gameplay is less complex than its predecessors, which isn’t a bad thing, but fans of the first two games shouldn’t expect a similar experience. The game is essentially an overhead hack and slash game, and this type of game by nature features repetitive gameplay, so you’ll find yourself doing the same thing quite often here. Your basic moves consist of a jump, light and heavy strikes, as well as a rolling dodge. The gameplay does go deeper with an RPG-like leveling system and skill chips that can be equipped to give players special moves to use. This isn't a press one button repeatedly and win situation, but honestly, without skill chips the game would grow to be painfully monotonous.


As mentioned earlier, the game takes place inside the Death Drive MKII console with Death Balls acting as the game’s stages. While the gameplay largely remains the same inside each Death Ball, there are differences that help the game from becoming too repetitive. Each game offers its own twist, so you can expect heavy platforming in one game, while puzzles become a heavy emphasis in another. The game doesn’t offer much in the way of enemy design as enemies from the first Death Ball will resurface frequently throughout the adventure. Thankfully, the game’s boss fights are a highlight, which also serve as the last stop in each Death Ball.

This Game Exudes Style

Suda 51 games are known for being stylish and that trend continues here. A heavy british punk influence feel can be felt throughout the game, much like previous entries in the No More Heroes series. Travis Strikes Again not only features colorful, cel shaded graphics, but also pretty menus and awesome transitions. Adding more excitement to its presentation is a varied soundtrack, which is truly all over the place. Elements of punk, hip-hop, electronica, and blues are present. Of course, the catchy signature theme song of the series is plastered throughout. Overall, the entirety of this game’s presentation is truly a delight for the senses.

Plenty of Replay Value

Those looking for replay value will find plenty in Travis Strikes Again. There are a number of T-shirts to buy for each character with most of them paying tribute to indie games. There are also a number of skill chips and other collectibles hidden throughout the game. The game features great co-op play that is expanded with new characters if you choose to purchase the game’s DLC. If you do purchase the DLC, there is an extra Death Ball to play through, as well as more entries in the game’s unique text adventure. Lastly, there are multiple difficulty settings, as well as a new game plus mode should you want to go that route.

Conclusion

This is the first time in this website’s history where the game’s overall positive score doesn’t mean I’ll recommend the game. Travis Strikes Again is a must own for fans of Suda 51 and the No More Heroes series. However, if you’re not a fan of Suda 51’s style, or haven’t played the No More Heroes series, then you could pass on this title. The game’s repetitive nature was almost too much for me, and I consider myself to be a huge No More Heroes fan, so a nonfan might struggle with seeing it through to the end. That being said, I do recommend checking out the first entry in the series to see if you want to dip your toes into the water before No More Heroes 3 is released.

Final Score: +3

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