Although this upcoming entry in the No More Heroes series is considered more of a spin off, fans of the previous games can find a lot to enjoy in Travis Strikes Again.
The demo I got hands on time with at PAX East 2018 lets you play through one level and boss fight from one of the game worlds (the final game will have around seven worlds based on different game genres). I played co-op with me being the protagonist Travis Touchdown and my co-op partner playing as Bad Man who’s also the main villain seeking revenge on Travis for murdering his daughter in the previous game? I’m curious to see if that’s explained at all in the final game but from a gameplay perspective it was pretty fun having a co-op partner. Each character has abilities that help both players like a healing circle and bubble shield to drop that both players can use, while there is some opportunities for coordination with your partner we had a fine time mashing through the game with light and heavy attacks.
The style and aesthetic is easily the stand out part of the game and in line with the main entries, a lot of crazy character designs and large flashy attacks. Lots of neon and retro aesthetic going on since the game is about Travis travelling through various game worlds this particular world taking the form of a retro arcade game, with you getting scored with points for taking out enemies and coins flying out from them. The weird meta humor of the previous games meshes with this new permisce very well. Charging up your sword with a shake and Travis having his cocky one liners just fits great and a lot of the game references don’t feel too hamfisted so far, oh and don’t worry Travis will still get on a toilet to save the game if you were wondering I guess.
The demo I played was very promising, I hope for the later worlds to have more variety in terms of combat or puzzle elements, which from trailers seems to be the case but it’s too early to tell. The demo was very much run into an combat arena, defeat enemies, run to the next combat arena, repeat till the next small story beat or boss encounter which where most of the No More Heroes charm and style comes into place
Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes is due out later this year exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. It’s great to see developer Grasshopper and Suda 51 return to this series as its a personal favorite of mine.