Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is an action adventure video game developed and published by Grasshopper Manufacture. It serves as a spinoff to the No More Heroes series, and features a very different gameplay style.
Goichi Suda (commonly referred to as Suda51), the founder of Grasshopper Manufacture and director of both No More Heroes 1 and 2 on the Wii, serves as the director for Travis Strikes Again as well. Development of the game began in mid-2016. Robin Atkin Downes, the voice of series protagonist Travis Touchdown, also returned to reprise his role. Other than Downes, Steve Blum was cast to play the role of Badman, while Kimberly Brooks and Kathryn Fiore reprised their roles as Shinobu Jacobs and Bad Girl respectively.
Suda has stated explicitly that he does not look at Travis Strikes Again as a proper sequel to No More Heroes 2. Though it is set in the same continuity and follows from the events of that game, Travis Strikes Again is more of a new story that marks the beginning of a new chapter for Travis. According to Suda, it serves as a stepping stone on the road to No More Heroes 3, which he has stated he hopes to make, should Travis Strikes Again prove to be successful.
Travis Strikes Again was intended as a throwback to retro style games, with Suda wanting to emulate them through the games used within this game itself. Additionally, the game also collaborates with several indie titles of the industry, including the likes of Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight, The Messenger, Hotline Miami, Ruiner, Serious Sam, and many more. This collaboration takes the form of in-game t-shirts worn by Travis. Suda explains this as Travis being a fan of indie games himself, which is meant to reflect Suda’s love for indie titles too, who also views his studio Grasshopper Manufacture as a small indie team.
Travis can also wear an Unreal Engine 4 t-shirt in the game, which is not only the engine that Travis Strikes Again is built on, but within its story, the games within the games are built on as well. The same was done with agreement from Epic Games, the creators of the Unreal Engine.
Travis Strikes Again launched both, physically and digitally, with the game’s physical version being distributed by Nintendo. A season pass for the game was also announced, which would include two post-launch DLCs, which will bring new stages, characters, and scenarios. The first DLC will add Shinobu Jacobs as a playable character and bring a new scenario for Badman, while the second DLC will make Bad Girl playable, add a new stage for Death Drive title Killer Marathon, and add a new scenario for Travis.
At launch, all physical copies came bundled with the season pass and were sold for $40, but the players could purchase the game by itself through digital purchases, at a price of $30.
Travis Strikes Again takes place seven years after the events of No More Heroes. Travis Touchdown has retired and is now middle aged, and lives in a trailer in a forest in self-imposed isolation, where he spends his time playing video games. Travis is tracked down by a former baseball player who became a professional assassin- Badman, the father of Bad Girl, whom Travis killed during the events of No More Heroes 1. Badman tracks down Travis for vengeance and attacks him, but the two are transported into the Death Drive MK-II, a video game console that was being developed by Dr. Juvenile but was cancelled during development. After learning that playing through and beating each of the six games on the Death Drive MK-II grants the winner one wish, both Travis and Badman set out to find, play, and finish the six games.
Travis Strikes Again differs from both Nintendo Wii No More Heroes titles significantly. While its predecessors were third person hack and slash action adventure titles, Travis Strikes Again is a game that mashes up several genres, and mostly calls back to retro titles and is usually played from a top down isometric perspective, while still usually featuring hack and slash elements.
There are six games within Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes that Travis and Badman must play through, and they all represent different genres, camera perspectives, and gameplay styles. These six games are “Serious Moonlight”, an AAA style open world title, which is the biggest of the lot; “Golden Dragon GP”, a story-focused racing game; “Electric Thunder Tiger 2”, an isometric hack and slash title; “Killer Marathon”, an arena survival game; “Life is Destroy”, a puzzle horror game that will has action cutscenes; and “Coffee & Doughnuts”, a 2.5D side-scrolling game. Each game also comes with its own final boss fight that players must surmount in order to beat it.
To gain access to these games, Travis and Badman are required to track down and retrieve physical copies of all six of them. This is done through a text adventure style retro visual novel within the game, called Travis Strikes Back. Travis Strikes Back is a dialogue heavy experience, and players often have to return to it to find the copies of the Death Mark II games, called Death Balls, in order to progress. Beyond such activities, players can also take some time off in Travis’ trailer, where they can interact with his cat Jeanne, read articles and blog entries about Death Mark II games, eat ramen, swap Travis’ outfit, or purchase new shirts for Travis, which are all collaborations with hit indie titles.
Combat in Travis Strikes Again is mostly hack and slash, and makes some use of the Joycons’ motion controls, but comes with a few notable differences from previous No More Heroes titles. The biggest of these differences are skill chips, of which there are 24 in the game in total. Skill chips are all named after Gundam models, and each come with their own special attacks and abilities, such as being able to call in an orbital airstrike on a bunch of enemies. At any given time, players can equip four skill chips, one each on a face button on the Switch. Travis Strikes Again can also be played co-operatively with one extra player, with one player taking control of Travis, and the other taking control of Badman. In co-op, players can combine to execute special attack moves that are unavailable in solo play.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.