REVIEW – After the Nintendo Switch exclusivity, Goichi Suda, also known as Suda51, has released his game on other platforms. The third proper instalment of No More Heroes (Travis Strikes Again isn’t considered as such) brings the insanity of the franchise and runs decently on PlayStation 5. A relief, and a sign of fresh air, after seeing how the big N’s hardware has somewhat limited the game’s performance.
Travis Touchdown is back, baby! The otaku assassin takes up his trusty beam katana once more to slash his way to the top of the Galactic Superhero Rankings and save the world in the latest entry in the No More Heroes series.
Travis is taking up arms against aliens this time, and he’s doing it with an explicitly high amount of pop culture references and, as expected, plenty of fighting. If you remember, the synopsis mentioned rankings. It was intentional, not a coincidence: No More Heroes III emphasises the boss fights, and it isn’t a negative aspect. To do that, you have to go out into the open world and do several battles (these are called Designated Battles), and if you can get the entry fee from all the fighting, you can go for it. However, the admission fee is never cheap, so you’ll often find yourself in what can be considered a somewhat incomplete and lifeless open world. (We’ve seen worse examples than it, but it’s not hard to find better ones…) For the brave, visit all of Santa Destroy’s public toilets. Find them, and points of interest and activities will pop up on the map. There will be places where you can show off your fighting skills and other sites where you’ll just be mowing the lawn. These will get sicker as you progress, but that’s expected from the franchise.
These side quests are optional, so if you’re just after the main story, you can prepare to fight after you’ve scraped together enough money. Still, it’s not recommended to ignore the extra quests on the higher difficulty levels: you can use the money to buy sushi as temporary power-ups, and if you have a lot of stuff, you can pack more Death Chips into your Death Glove, which is suitable for modifying your skills and stats. It makes the fights even better (they haven’t been a problem, regardless), which makes the ambience much better as a side effect. The winning element of the gameplay is in the combat and the boss fights, which are also getting increasingly sicker as you get further in the story. They can be described as stylish and varied, so it might be worth taking the time to do the side missions to have a higher chance of defeating them without many retries. Then again, we risk being bored in the open world because even though the game is on more robust platforms now, it’s just as barren as on Nintendo’s one of most successful platforms. The combat is based on light and heavy attacks and combos, but there are also intermittent cooldown abilities. You can also jump around, which freshens up the experience a bit.
Beyond The Nintendo Switch
No More Heroes III on the Nintendo Switch has had its performance issues. Especially in the open world, the frame rate was a bit weak. It is no longer a problem on PlayStation 5, where the visuals are pretty nice. Battles have also become smoother, as the 60 FPS made them feel more responsive. However, the graphics still lag what we’ve seen elsewhere due to the Switch origins, but the improvement is noticeable. Speaking of the PlayStation 5, we should mention the DualSense.
While driving our bike, the adaptive triggers may have shown excessive resistance, but the haptic feedback makes the overall experience pleasant. The loading times are also significantly reduced, and Activity Cards are supported to see what you should do for specific tasks. It would be fair if we also mentioned the PC version, which should frankly receive a separate score, as it is NOT the same as the PlayStation 5 version. The PC port is specifically the equivalent of the Nintendo Switch release. How the hell can they be so lazy and lame about the port? Sure, you could say it’s due to piracy, to which we answer that anyone who likes the game is likely to buy it because warez tends to happen due to a lack of money or availability.
The PlayStation 5 version of No More Heroes III is a seven-and-a-half out of ten, while the PC version is a seven out of ten (the developers could have tried a little more with the port…). If you’ve enjoyed the previous episodes, you won’t be disappointed with Suda51’s game. The open world detracts a little, but apart from that, the game is a fair, fun experience with bosses that take the game on their backs. Separate intros, scenes, and dialogue… it’s pleasing. The humour may still be something that not everyone will like, but that division has been present from the start. The pixelated interface is similar, so the tradition continues here. It’s a unique game; that’s indisputable. If you missed it on the Switch, it’s a recommended purchase on PlayStation 5. The ten baddies come with humour. And atmosphere. And a fair experience. A great way to end the trilogy.
+ Excellent fights
+ Great style
– Implementation of DualSense on PlayStation 5, Switch port on PC…
– The open world is still fragile
– Graphically, it could still be carved
Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture (Switch)/Xseed Games (all other platforms)
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Style: hack’n’slash, action-adventure
Release: 27 August 2021 (Switch)/2022 October 11 (on all other platforms)