Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes – Review
Follow Genre: Hack and Slash
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Marvelous
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Classic Hack and Slash action, Fun visuals
Bad: Sound effects can be obnoxious
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Travis Touchdown is back and this time no video game is safe from the perky assassin and his antics, not to mention an assault on the fourth wall. Being the first No More Heroes game that the original creator Suda Goichi worked on himself since the original one, it was described as a fresh start for the series and an introduction to new players as opposed to merely a sequel to the previous games. Modernization marches on of course, but with another No More Heroes sequel looming on the horizon for a 2020 release, it makes sense that they were trying to get a new generation of gamers invested in Travis’ struggles. At least you can’t say it didn’t work.

Story

Travis Touchdown returns to us seven years after the end of the second game. Despite things calming down for Travis recently, retreating from the whole assassin business and instead secluding himself in a camper in the woods, danger seems to follow this poor guy around. Badman, the father of Bad Girl, another assassin that Travis previously killed, is out for revenge. Their altercation is short-lived, however, as their fight ends with them abruptly being transported into the Death Drive MK-II, a strange gaming console Travis had been playing with. Now the two need to forge a reluctant alliance to fight their way through the different games installed on the console, at the end of which they will be granted one wish they can use to bring Bad Girl back to life and make things right.

Interestingly enough, the main story of the game is mostly told through short visual novel segments between traversing through the different console games. It adds a nice breather from the more action-packed levels you’re fighting your way through, going a bit deeper into the characters and their motivations. There are also a few cutscenes sprinkled in.

Graphics

Contrasting with the previous games of the series, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes plays in a top-down perspective. True to its origin, the art style is distinctly anime-esque, something that is especially noticeable in the animated cutscenes. As the plot revolves around fighting your way through different console games, the creators definitely took the opportunity to get creative with the level design, so there’s always something new to look at. The enemies also look diverse, with their difference in appearance being a good way to know how much damage you’ll need to deal them to get rid of them.

Sound

The sound design for Travis Strikes Again is nice, if a little chaotic at times. Fitting as it is for this type of game, the overabundance of sound-effects can quickly become overwhelming. Especially in segments where you get utterly surrounded by enemies from all sides, fighting through them will leave you with a headache if you don’t turn down the SFX first. Not to mention you will otherwise miss out on the impressive techno tracks playing in the background. Some cutscenes have voice acting which also sounds excellent and of the same top-notch quality as the animations.

Gameplay

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a hack and slash game with each level consisting of multiple areas full of glitches to fight your way through and ending in a climactic boss fight. Killing enemies is done with your katana, with which you can perform either quick but weaker attacks or slower but more powerful ones. Combine that with well-timed jumps and dodges and the waves of enemies won’t stand a chance. If you still need an extra kick though, stringing enough kills together will fill up a meter that will allow you to perform a special attack. Taking damage drains the meter though.

For even more devastating powers you don’t need to look further than the newly introduced Skill Chips. These chips, which you can find all across the levels, grant you a range of different abilities. You can have four equipped at any given time, so it’s fun to experiment with different combinations to see what works for you. These Skill Chips work with a regular cooldown timer. Your katana also will need to be charged occasionally, which you can do either by wiggling the joysticks but also by actually shaking the controller up and down.

Despite the plot of the game revolving around traveling through different video games, the gameplay doesn’t change much across levels. There’s the odd mini-game that changes the dynamic, and the aforementioned visual novel segments you can explore, that keep things fresh. The game still has a decent replay value though, as there is the option to play it either alone or with a friend, not to mention plenty of collectibles to chase if you’re into that kind of thing. These collectibles are mostly aesthetic stuff, like new outfits to equip in your trailer, but it adds some incentive to play the game more than once.

Conclusion

No matter if you’re new to the franchise or an experienced No More Heroes fan, Travis Strikes Again is easy to get engrossed into, as long as you can deal with utter chaos of course. Destroying glitches left and right is always fun, and the self-aware humor rarely misses its mark, making it a worthy reboot for this series.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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