Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Review

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Developed By: Grasshopper Manufacture
Published By: Grasshopper Manufacture, Nintendo (Retail)
Available Now Exclusively on Nintendo Switch. 

Travis Touchdown, the main character of the No More Heroes series is back in Travis Strikes Again, a new exclusive for the Nintendo Switch from Grasshopper Manufacture.  The last time we’ve seen Travis was in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle which came out 9 years ago exclusively on the Nintendo Wii.  Goichi Suda aka Suda51 is back in the director seat for this new spinoff of the No More Heroes series and it is certainly quite different from the previous games.  The setup shows Travis isolated as he’s playing a video game on the Death Drive MK-II console.  A guy name Badman shows up to kill Travis because his daughter was killed by him.  During the fight, they both are sucked into the Death Drive MK-II.  Once you beat the first level of the game, Travis and Badman are back in the real world where the rest of the story boils down to collecting 5 other games for the console and beating them so that Badman can wish his daughter back to life.

Starting each level, you can choose to play as either Travis or Badman. The camera is pulled away and angled a bit above the characters so it played like a top-down action game.  You have a light attack which when holding the button let you swing your weapon freely and a heavy attack that can string a small combo together.  You have to recharge your weapons after using them otherwise you won’t be dealing any damage with a depowered weapon.  You can also play with a friend in co-op but both characters play the same way. You can jump and do attacks with jumps and you also have a dodge button.  You can’t cancel out of attacks with a dodge so you have to play smart against bosses on when to attack and dodge.  You’ll also find new abilities while exploring levels.  You can carry up to four abilities and after using them, they require a cool down before using them again.  These are great and really help when things are getting out of hand.  You also have a super move after doing enough attacks, a meter is filled.  You then unleash the attack that does a three-hit combo with massive damage.  As long as you avoid getting hit, this attack can level up a couple times for stronger versions of the attack.  You gain experience points to level up and coins that are used to buy new shirts to change out of.  Between each level, you’ll go through a visual novel for some small story bits. These are quite enjoyable with some great humor but some may find this to break the pacing a bit.

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Travis Strikes Again really embraces the ideas, novelty, and styles of indie games that we’ve come to enjoy for the past many years now.  Even with the different abilities though, the game may become a bit repetitive since you don’t feel like you’re getting many new things outside of some abilities that you may never even use.  Fans of the series will find a lot to enjoy and newcomers won’t be too lost if this is their first game.  There are also a ton of easter eggs for fans of Grasshopper Manufacture games.  Even with the new game plus that lets you carry your everything over to play on a higher difficulty.  Some may just not feel that compelled to play a second time.  It is a rather simple game that can be quite fun, but at certain times can feel like a level is going on for too long.

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