Travis may have struck again in 2019 but on August 27th, the No More Heroes series is getting a proper sequel exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. No More Heroes 3 sees Grasshopper Manufacture returning to the formula of past titles while injecting all kinds of insanity, whether it’s new combat mechanics or larger-than-life enemies. Here are 15 things you should know before buying.
Our story actually begins several years before No More Heroes 1 with a young Damon Ricotello rescuing an alien larva named FU. After helping FU evade government agents and build a ship to return to his world, Damon promises that they’ll meet again in two decades. Cut to the present day and Damon is a very successful businessman, utilizing FU’s alien tech (which also gave him special abilities) to establish Utopinia. There’s only one problem – FU, who became a prince and was subsequently sent to prison for blowing up a nearby planet, has returned with a posse of intergalactic criminals to conquer Earth.
The only thing he didn’t account for is the return of Travis Touchdown to Santa Destroy. Following the events of Travis Strikes Again, he’ll put his assassination skills to the test and climb the Galactic Superhero Rankings, taking down each of FU’s nine minions before facing the prince himself.
Compared to previous games, the stakes in No More Heroes 3 are way higher, to the point that designer/director Goichi Suda describes the threats as “Avengers-scale.” Fortunately, Travis won’t be alone. Sylvia Christel returns, working as Damon’s secretary along with Shinobu Jacobs, Travis’s foe-turned-pupil, and Bad Girl, who was properly revived in Travis Strikes Again’s DLC. Whether Shinobu and Bad Girl are playable or not remains to be seen but at least they’re both on Travis’s side (for the time being).
Core Gameplay and Ranked Battles
The structure will be familiar to fans of the first two games as it sees Travis taking part in Ranked Battles with assassins – or so-called Galactic Superheroes in this case. But first you have to pay the entry fee. This involves completing different part-time jobs to earn money (along with garnering upgrades for different equipment). Upon entering a Ranked Battle, you’ll go up against various foes before tackling the boss at the end.
During Nintendo’s Treehouse Direct at E3 2021, Grasshopper Manufacture showcased a battle with Gold Joe, who’s number 9 in the rankings. After some back and forth quips, the battle begins and Gold Joe takes on a magnetic polarity. Find the matching polarity via the lighted squares on the stage and push Joe into the surrounding electric fence to deal damage. That’s only one part of the fight though as you’ll still need to rely on Travis’s beam katana to finish the job.
Santa Destroy is once again the setting for Travis’s adventures in assassination, though it’s undergone some changes since No More Heroes 2. It’s still a tourist spot of sorts thanks to corporate funding but it’s now split into five separate islands. While the scale of the open world isn’t anything massive like Grand Theft Auto 5, players can still explore freely and marvel at the sights.
Demzamtiger and Fast Travel
The good news is that you won’t always be running around on foot, going from one activity to another and then back to base. Travis has the Demzamtiger, a futuristic-looking motorcycle, for getting around (and which also comes in handy for some activities). It comes with a boost function for added speed, though it’s possible to crash if you’re not careful. There’s also the option to fast travel around the world, making it even easier to revisit old locations.
Volunteer Missions, Mining and Defense Missions
Part-time jobs return but this time, they’re called Volunteer Missions. The premise is the same though – Travis takes on menial jobs to earn enough money for the Ranked Battle’s entry fee. These include picking up trash, mowing lawns and so on. Mowing the lawn is peaceful enough but you may come across alligators while picking up trash near the shore, and have to suplex them to survive (yes, seriously). There are also Defense Missions wherein Travis takes on waves of foes in direct combat. You can also mine World’s End Super Nova or WESN to upgrade your stats and skills.
Speaking of combat, the usual light and heavy combos return along with the Ecstasy Gauge. Denoted by the pixelated tiger symbol on the lower right, the gauge is filled by dealing damage and not getting hit. Once it glows white, you can enter Super Mode for invincibility, increased speed and unlimited combos. Dark Side Mode also returns with Travis still shouting out “blackberry”, “cranberry” and whatnot for different trances (though its effects are yet to be fully detailed). Of course, you can still use wrestling moves to break an opponent’s guard along with Death Blows, executed by pressing the required directional input on-screen, to instantly slay foes.
Joy Con Motion Controls
Those used to the Wiimote’s movement from previous games can take note as Joy Con motion controls are supported here. Other mechanics like beam katana recharging (yes, that beam katana recharging), blocking and dodging also return. You can also sidestep foes which, when performed correctly, causes them to slow down. Dying in combat is also not super-punishing since you can gain a random stat boost conferred upon retrying.
Slash Reel and Full Armor
As you combat enemies, the Slash Reel constantly spins, providing different buffs and power-ups during combat. Perhaps the craziest power-up is Full Armor mode, activated upon scoring three 7s. It sees Travis transforming, gaining power armor and unleashing powerful attacks. One form allows for targeting enemies and unleashing homing missiles to annihilate them. Another form is seemingly for close combat, at least judging by Travis’s transformed melee weapon, though its impact is yet to be seen.
Introduced in Travis Strikes Again, the Death Glove allows for equipping up to three skills which can provide unique advantages in combat, like increasing damage dealt by 10 percent (but with Travis taking five percent more damage). Other skills include Death Force, which functions like psychokinesis; Death Kick, which allows for teleporting and drop kicking an enemy; and Death Shower, which rains down damage on enemies within its circle. Along with garnering new skills for crafting Death Chips, you can also upgrade existing chips to make them more effective.
Jeanne and the Time Machine
The No More Heroes Motel is once again your HQ of sorts and also serves as home for Shinobu and Bad Girl. Along with tutorials for combat, players can play a minigame with Travis’s cat Jeanne, which involves tossing a ball into a circle that becomes narrower with time. You can also venture underground into Dr. Naomi’s laboratory and use the Time Machine to revisit past boss battles.
Players can also customize Travis’s look at the motel, selecting different colors for his t-shirt along with toggling the jacket on or off (or just opting for a sleeping gown). Other shirts and outfits are unlocked as the player progresses so there should be plenty of different styles for Travis to don. Will there be t-shirts for indie games like in Travis Strikes Again? One can certainly hope.
Health, Special Arts and Sushi
After mining WESN, you can spend it on the arcade machine in the laboratory to unlock upgrades. These include increases to health, attack power and beam katana power along with Special Arts like the dash attack, long dash, blast attack, charge attack and Mustang Dodge. You can also use Scrap Parts to create new Death Glove chips or purchase some sushi which provides a number of benefits in battle like replenishing health and power, temporarily increasing attack power, etc.
Standard, Collector’s and Deluxe Edition
Along with a Standard Edition, No More Heroes 3 has a Collector’s Edition which offers a special box, physical version of the game, an artbook, certificate of authenticity and four lithographs for €79.90 courtesy of Pix’n Love. Only 2500 of these have been made but it pales in comparison to the Deluxe Edition. With only 999 copies and costing €149.00, it includes a large format box, a vinyl soundtrack, a certificate of authenticity signed by Suda, four large form lithographs, the artbook and a physical version of the game.
Requires 6.8 GB Space
In terms of installation size, No More Heroes 3 seems to be on the lighter side. It was reported to require 6.8 GB of free space via the Nintendo eShop. It’s been removed from the official listing since it’s possible that additional space will be needed for the day one patch. Either way, it looks like it won’t be too heavy on one’s storage.