No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again, the spin-off to No More Heroes, a raunchy, comedic, violent hack and slash game, is only days away from releasing on the Nintendo Switch this January, and it’s finally putting the franchise back in the limelight after nine long years away. Despite how recognisable the franchise may be, it’s absolutely not as popular as it deserves to be. No More Heroes has always gone under the radar, but now with a new game on the horizon, it appears the future for the series is much brighter than ever before.
Released on the Nintendo Wii back in 2007, No More Heroes follows anti-hero and ultimate otaku, Travis Touchdown. Struggling for money, he accepts a job which ultimately lands him in the underworld of the United Assassins Association, where he soon realises that he is forced to fight if he wants to survive. Seeing this as an opportunity to become number one, Travis fights his way through the rankings of the association.
An absolute blast to play through, No More Heroes is an extremely fun action-adventure experience that allows the player to play as Touchdown running through levels swinging the Wii remote in order to hack and slash enemies using the beam katana, Travis’s signature weapon. The game was received positively enough to gain a sequel three years later for the same console, and thus No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle was born. Upping the ante with its story, this sequel put us back in Touchdown’s shoes for a more personal story of revenge. Gameplay mostly stayed the same bar a few extra features, however the narrative was structured in a much more linear fashion that ultimately benefited the game.
Fans can now expect to see even more grittiness, more violence and even more humour with the release of the Nintendo Switch exclusive, No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again. The game’s premise sees Travis, who now lives alone in solace as he is suddenly attacked by ‘Badman’, who is seeking revenge for the death of his daughter ‘Bad-Girl’. Both assassins fight until they’re suddenly sucked into the possessed video game console, the ‘Death Drive MK-II’. Inside of the console, they’re informed that there are six bosses and that whoever defeats them first will be granted one wish.
Bizarre in concept, fans will know this is nothing out of the ordinary as the previous two games have included equally ridiculous yet brilliant ideas. Serving as a spin-off to the franchise, Travis Strikes Again offers vastly different gameplay to its predecessors. Now putting heavy emphasis on 8-bit style games and gameplay reminiscent of that era of gaming (which were small features of the first two titles), Travis Strikes Again is aiming to give players a retro-gaming experience, and it looks great.
Over the build-up to Travis Strikes Again, Goichi Suda (or Suda51), the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, has revealed many plans for the future of the franchise. During an interview with GameXplain, Suda was asked if he had considered porting No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. He claimed it was absolutely something he wanted to do and that currently the IP is shared with Marvelous Entertainment at a 90% – 10% split, but that they are looking into it. This sounds extremely promising; a port for both games bundled together would be perfect to bring audiences up to speed on the franchise, and with a few extra features and bonuses, it would be sure to sell well. Discussions about No More Heroes 3 popped up in this interview, and it’s been no secret that Suda has wanted to create the game for a long time.
Anybody who’s followed news on the game would know that it’s been fairly sparse over the course of nine years. Some may even remember him discussing possibilities for it on the Wii U back in 2011, which never came to fruition. Fortunately, when asked about the status of No More Heroes 3 now, he revealed that it would be the success of No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again that would be the deciding factor on whether it will release or not. Suda exclaimed that he has an outline for the game which would involve Travis fighting “out of this world enemies”, noting that the game would link to Travis Strikes Again in the sense that the power-up mechanism (the Death Glove) would continue on into 3 as his trump card to defeat these insane enemies. Interestingly, he mentioned how a lot of the people working on Travis Strikes Again are new, and the reason they’re working on the spin-off first is to train them up so when the time comes they’re prepared for No More Heroes 3. There’s clearly a lot of thought going on behind the scenes and it only becomes more apparent that Suda wants NMH3 made.
Many fans theorise that Travis will eventually become a DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. A perfect character for combat weiding a beam katana and specialising in wrestling moves — there’s no reason not to include him, especially with his relevance currently. This relevancy can be expected to last for some time considering Travis Strikes Again will be releasing DLC. Suda is keen on the idea and has expressed on more than one occasion that he’d love for the character to be included in the fighting roster, even going as far as discussing the movelist and amiibo he has in mind for the character (get this: Travis would be taking a dump on the toilet akin to the save mechanic of the original game. Perfect.). Only time will tell whether he’ll be included, and the opportunity has never seemed greater.
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