The weird world of No More Heroes is one fans have been clamoring to enter again and again since No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle dropped in 2010. Following the "otaku" character Travis Touchdown as he works his way through the ranks of the United Assassins Association to become number one, it's a punk rock thrill ride from Goichi Suda, otherwise known to the gaming populace as Suda51.
No More Heroes made its debut on the Nintendo Wii, with a sequel on the same system, and was then ported to the PlayStation 3. After a lengthy period of silence, treated us to the announcement of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes last year, which is coming to the Nintendo Switch on Jan. 18. It's not a sequel, creator Suda51 states, as he's very adamant that this isn't the third entry in the No More Heroes series. It is, rather, a new beginning for Travis Touchdown — and a new story that fans will be delighted to jump into once more.But what is No More Heroes actually about, anyway? Why should you care about the next installment? Easy. It's a rock and roll fantasy, of course. As previously stated, series protagonist Travis Touchdown is a down and out nerd who found it necessary to pursue other means of income. You know... to fund his lavish anime-buying lifestyle (don't we all have one of those?) The shiny new beam katana he just purchased didn't exactly help the situation though.
After Travis’s once-in-a-lifetime encounter with femme fatale Sylvia Christel, things suddenly began looking up for him, money-wise. He’s thrown a bone in the form of a contract job to kill Helter Skelter, a member of the United Assassin’s Association. After taking the hit, Travis sees a lucrative opportunity in the killing business, and he’s out to make a killing as he rises from rank 11 all the way to to the top.
However, the other assassins aren't about to make that an easy task. To enter the officially sanctioned bouts, Travis must save up enough cash to cover the astronomical fees by holding down odd jobs, all the while preparing for the next bloodthirsty battle. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No More Heroes presents an engaging story filled with plenty of twists and turns that I won’t spoil here, but the tale of Mr. Touchdown is most definitely a memorable one. The second game continues on in earnest, but luckily you won't need to know much about it to get enjoyment out of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.
While the game takes place seven years after No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, the story focuses mainly on Travis Touchdown, who is now middle-aged and tired of dealing with the UAA's consistent ranking matches. He's taken to the South to live in a camper where he spends most of his time gaming. Little does he know, he's in the path of Badman, the father of an assassin named Bad Girl that Travis took out in the previous game (she was a blonde in a playful pink dress who sent gimps in full bondage outfits zooming toward you with a baseball bat).
Badman aims to attack Travis to take revenge on him for killing his daughter, but instead, the two are sucked into the demonic video game console, the Death Drive MK-II. Wearing a Death Glove, Travis must work with and against Badman to complete six games on the console in a bid to collect Death Balls. Collect six, and your wish is granted. This means, of course, you have to fight your way through six games, represented by unique mini-games, to emerge victorious.
So far, we've seen some pretty interesting games, like Golden Dragon GP, a retro-tinged racer that'll put Travis to the test as he jumps into R for a funky-looking match against enemies that want to give him road rash. Then there's Electric Thunder Tiger II, a Tron-colored competition that looks like it'll need every ounce of concentration from players if they want to come out on top.
On top of that, the game is also chock full of video game references, including an homage to indie titles like Shovel Knight and Hotline Miami. It'll bring the same kind of mechanics you may remember from the other No More Heroes titles, but there'll be plenty of fun nods to games new and old as well, including 15 indie games represented by "T-shirt collaborations" in the form of costumes that Travis can wear.
There's a lot that's going to happen in the latest No More Heroes, and even if it isn't No More Heroes 3 just yet, it still has great potential to be one of the coolest games on the Switch in 2019. We know that's likely coming, according to Suda51 himself, so this should be a fun stop-over until we finally do get that next full installment. And if you've never played any No More Heroes games before, you're definitely going to want to rectify that. It's going to be the year of Travis Touchdown, so get ready.