The long-awaited return of Travis Touchdown breaks away Nintendo exclusivity with all of its DLC in tow. Meant as more of a teaser for No MoreThe long-awaited return of Travis Touchdown breaks away Nintendo exclusivity with all of its DLC in tow. Meant as more of a teaser for No More Heroes 3 (and possibly Shadows of the Damned 2) rather than the next main entry in the series, Travis Strikes Again features a more arcade style of gameplay with an emphasis on co-op and top-down hack 'n slash action. It's simplistic to a fault as all you're given are a light and heavy attack that can't be chained together in any way to create combos. Grasshopper Manufacture tried to add some depth via rechargable skill chip abilities and giving each stage its own unique mechanic (one might incorporate some platforming while another will have you rotating sections of the map to open up paths), but at the end of the day it all boils down to simply button mashing your way through wave after wave of bland enemy types and I grew tired of that before I even finished the first level.
What ultimately kept playing outside of my completionist attitude was an interest in seeing just what kind of weirdness director Suda51 came up with this time. The plot is disappointingly told through a sometimes tedious to click through visual novel, but the sense of humor and fourth wall breaking antics you would expect are still in place. I really enjoyed seeing Suda tie so many of his games together into one shared universe and the game-within-a-game premise allows for a lot of meta commentary on the industry. Writing and setting-wise this ranks among his strangest works, which should excite any member of his fanbase. I only wish it had been presented in a more enjoyable manner than just text on the screen.
Outside of sharing the same protagonist, the only time this actually looks like a No More Heroes game is during the boss fights. These creatively designed encounters are easily the highlight of the package, but given how limited you are in combat they are in no way able to elevate the experience above its faults in the same way they did for the previous two titles. While certainly packed with content the repetitive nature, lackluster storytelling method, and obvious budgetary constraints made this too much of a chore to play for me to even consider giving it another go on New Game + or grinding enough to fully level up each character. As a result, this is the first Grasshopper/Suda production I've blatantly disliked.… Expand