After launching as a Nintendo Switch exclusive last year, No More Heroes III has now brought its wacky and chaotic adventuring over to PC and consoles. Travis Touchdown has always been one of my favourite video game protagonists thanks to his ‘I don’t give a f*ck’ attitude, and believe me, it’s ramped up ten-fold here – as is the carnage, humour, and over-the-top action.
Check out some screenshots down below:
There’s a familiar trend in the No More Heroes series and that’s Travis Touchdown having to work his way up some form of rankings to prove he’s the best assassin out there, and despite going through the process twice already, he has to do it all over again in No More Heroes III. This time it’s because an Alien race led by Prince FU has invaded Earth and introduced the Galactic Superhero Rankings, with Travis only getting the chance to take the big baddie down if he works his way to the top. You know what this means? Killing all the zany foes who are ranked above him in manic and creative battles, all whilst dealing with the anarchic happenings of Santa Destroy along the way and getting himself into plenty of silly situations.
Much like the previous titles, Santa Destroy is the home of all of No More Heroes III’s action, with Travis able to freely explore the open-world environment. It brings with it more variety and visual pizazz than before, though it can feel a little lifeless. Sure, you’ll see residents roaming around and cars speeding through the streets, but it never feels booming with life and you’ll encounter plenty of the same character and vehicle models over and over. Santa Destroy itself feels like a treat to explore, but it’s a lot more vacant than other modern open-world titles.
A lot of No More Heroes III is built around familiarity, not only with the narrative and setting, but also with the gameplay loop. Much like the first two titles, to take on the next ranked opponent in the list, you have to earn some cash to pay up a fee. This means completing odd jobs across the city, which reward players with moolah for doing a bit of handy work. Whilst this might sound monotonous to some, there’s something quirky and fun about them – whether that’s when mowing lawns, destroying garbage, or even partaking in wave-based fights to clear out enemies. There are even mini-games thrown in just for funsies and not earning cash, such as playing with your cat Jeanne or partaking in an old-school style arcade game, whilst there’re even moments in the game where you’ll take control of a mech for frantic fast-paced combat. There’s simply no denying that No More Heroes III is oozing with charming variety, and whilst some instances of mini-games can be a little lacking, it certainly hits way more than it misses.
“No More Heroes III comes from the mind of Suda51 so players should expect some bizarre antics and creativity, but I was constantly impressed by the various ways it introduced new mechanics or how it would flip the script to approach some sequences in a zanier manner.”
One of the series’ greatest strengths has always been its combat, and that’s no different here. Using his trusty beam katana, Travis is able to unleash a variety of combos upon enemies to dish out hurt, all whilst pummelling a few wrestling moves and special attacks in along the way to spice things up. Travis can also perform finishers by flicking the control stick in the direction specified on the screen, whilst stylish kills will pull up the slot machine-style Slash Reel that reward some useful buffs (including one that grants a robotic-like armour that’s SUPER cool to use). Combat just feels great, and whilst I’ll admit that standard battles can feel a little bit repetitive as you hit the later hours of the game, the brilliant and creative boss encounters that challenge you to approach combat a little differently ensure nothing gets stale.
I think the thing I enjoyed the most about No More Heroes III was the way it always managed to surprise me. It comes from the mind of Suda51 so players should expect some bizarre antics and creativity, but I was constantly impressed by the various ways it introduced new mechanics or how it would flip the script to approach some sequences in a zanier manner. It doesn’t always re-invent the gameplay, but it gives players a new way to experience some of the wackier set pieces of the game and showed plenty of diversity in design. It’s just packed to the brim with cool moments that live up to the high standards set in previous entries in the series. Don’t worry, though: I won’t spoil any of them here… just know you’ll have a big smile on your face as you encounter the many surprises of the game.
It’s also worth noting that the game looks and performs substantially better than the Nintendo Switch version, with the higher resolution showing off the cel-shaded world much clearly and the 60fps frame rate never stuttering during my playthrough. Whilst No More Heroes III won’t be the prettiest game you’ve ever played, it’s definitely a stylish one that’s packed with plenty of vibrant sights that look better than ever now they’ve hit more powerful platforms.
Check out some screenshots down below:
I’ve had a lot of buzz for No More Heroes III in this review, but there are some areas it can falter. The aforementioned vacant city isn’t great, for example, whilst some of the mini-games can feel like duds after the first couple of times you’ve played them. Some of the wave-based battles could get repetitive too, especially since they lack that creative spark so heavily shown off during the spectacular boss encounters. Whilst you never need to earn TOO much cash to move between ranking battles, the process sometimes felt like it went a little bit longer than it needed to.
No More Heroes III Review
No More Heroes III offers a stylish and hectic adventure that lives up to the high standards set in previous entries in the series. I loved killing my enemies as Travis Touchdown thanks to the wild and creative set-pieces the game puts players in, whilst the satisfying combat mechanics and quirky mini-games ensure there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way.
It does have some flaws, most notably with the vacant world and some repetitive segments in-between boss encounters, but there’s WAY more good than bad here. And hey, it performs a HELL of a lot better than the Nintendo Switch version, with the more powerful platforms offering the best way to experience Suda51’s latest mayhem-filled experience.
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Marvelous Europe, XSEED Games
Platform(s): Xbox Series X (Reviewed), Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC