No More Heroes 3 was almost always going to be a cult classic. Even before its release, the infamous nature of the series had assured him. An 11-year sequel to continue the story of everyone’s favorite assassin, Travis Touchdown, and his band of allies. All he had to do to ensure cult classic status wasn’t completely terrible and I’m happy to say it isn’t!
The first 2 No More Heroes were, in many ways, SUDA51 at its best. Weird humor, fun fights and a unique style. No More Heroes 3 continues this trend and in some ways it’s great, but it’s not without its issues.
In No More Heroes 3, the world is taken over by aliens and it’s up to Travis to help end this in the best way he knows how. By defeating a bunch of bosses to slowly climb a leaderboard. It’s a ridiculous story full of weird moments that will make you laugh or leave you speechless.
Graphics and styling
No More Heroes 3 has strong stage direction during cutscenes and a sense of style during combat that helps make up for its shortcomings. It’s not the prettiest game ever, but its confidence helps make up for that and that confidence shines best during its fights and cutscenes. Having everything blowing up on the screen while you beat the enemies is a very rewarding feeling.
When you explore the sections of the semi-open world, it’s clear that trust can’t hide so much. The areas are boring to explore and just don’t feel fun. They also lack the hustle and bustle needed to feel truly inhabited. The mini-games and whatever else you can teleport around the world are a lot of fun, it’s just a shame that exploring the world isn’t.
Overall, No More Heroes 3 is definitely better than Wii games, but it doesn’t feel like we’re pushing the boundaries of the Switch. The styling of this one, however, does a lot of work to help you try and forget about that. From the animated cutscenes to the combat and everything in between, there’s no denying that the styling of No More Heroes 3 is superb and helps make the experience more enjoyable. There are also some really solid performances from the actors that help you love / hate them even more.
No More Heroes 3’s open world moments can drag on, but they lead to so many things that aren’t. In addition, you have at least one bike that allows you to get around quickly. The combat is more difficult no matter if you play the game in portable mode or not. I don’t always like playing games with motion controls, but No More Heroes 3 makes it fun. Clapping your hands in real life as you slam your beam katana on an enemy is good.
It’s definitely No More Heroes 3’s combat, combined with its style, that sets it apart. If you like hack-and-slash games, No More Heroes 3 is a delicious addition to the genre. The need to recharge your beam katana also means that it has a different pace than other hack-and-slash games. You can only attack for that long, and choosing the right time to reload is essential for a successful battle. As well as making sure you use your special moves at the right time.
Different types of enemies require different combat tactics, which helps keep a cool feeling just like boss fights. It’s rewarding to beat the bosses and climb the leaderboards. Even the mini-games are fun. Who knew mowing the grass and unclogging the toilet could be fun?
The text is nice and big, but the game features flicker and a variety of colors, which may make it slightly harder for some to read. It also doesn’t allow you to change the size of the captions, so if you can’t find the text big enough, you can’t change it. The controls can use motion or not, which is great if you’re on the go. I found it easy to play on both handheld and docking station.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the camera, decrease the amount of blood, and change the BGM, SFX and voice volume separately. Other than that, that’s about it for accessibility. You also can’t change the difficulty once you start the game, which is a shame for those who like to increase or decrease their challenge accordingly.
No More Heroes 3 does so well. It might not be the best graphically and there may be frame rate drops, but there are so many nice touches in its design if you can ignore it. From the rhythm of each section that makes it perfect for portable games to its over-the-top style, No More Heroes 3 is often a pleasure to play.
Some battles may not be as enjoyable as others, but there is so much fun to be had in most of them that it doesn’t matter. The story is oddly bizarre, the characters are larger than life, and the combat is a delight. Perhaps the most important thing is that it’s a worthy entry into the franchise that will undoubtedly be another cult classic in the video game world.
We interviewed SUDA51 in 2019. Why not check out the interview to learn more about No More Heroes 3 and its other games?
Image Credit Featured: Grasshopper Manufacture
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