Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

Relevant for platform: NSW

Every new game from Goichi Suda is launched with excitement and curiosity. Modern blockbusters tell too serious stories, and from the Court you are preparing to get something as strange, absurd and unpredictable as possible. The No More Heroes series has always coped well with this, but only its numbered parts – it is better not to remember Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Will No More Heroes III continue the tradition?

Meal’n’Real

The game tells about the attack of aliens on Earth – nine aliens and their leader FU (as well as many nameless minions) plan to destroy the entire planet. They call themselves members of the Galactic Superhero Rankings, and Travis will have to climb the rankings by eliminating opponents.

Like all games in the series, No More Heroes III is an independent work that does not require familiarity with previous parts. However, in this case, it is still desirable to understand who is who and what kind of background the characters have, otherwise many plot points will be incomprehensible, and some of the funny situations and jokes will pass by. Suda himself recommends going through both the first two numbered parts and Travis Strikes Again, and he is right – without them, the effect of some episodes will not be the same at all.

No More Heroes 3: Обзор

From the fun here, no one refuses.

No matter how well you know the series, get ready for a real attraction. Violent bloody scenes are replaced by funny cutscenes, characters regularly break the fourth wall, the visual style changes, mini-games are launched. The main thing here is that very unpredictability: it’s impossible to even guess what awaits you in the next episode. In plot points, the third part does not lose to its predecessors in anything – you watch the videos with interest, and the dialogues do not seem to be drawn out.

Empty sandbox

The impression is spoiled by the structure, and in general there are complaints about the gameplay of No More Heroes III. The gameplay of the third part is closer to the first – there is an open world where the character moves on a motorcycle. Before each boss, the United Assassins Association requires Travis to take part in several matches – in other words, visit specified locations on the map and defeat enemies in the arenas. After that, it is necessary, having the necessary amount of money, to transfer it and enroll in the participants of the rating battle. And only then can we move to the boss.

No More Heroes 3: Обзор

Your face when I cleaned the toilet.

Everything would be fine if the meeting with the boss was not so short. You race around the city, go to the markers, fight, save money – do a bunch of everything in order to see the cutscene with the boss, defeat him in a few minutes and return to the city again. Each chapter (more precisely, a series – everything is designed in the spirit of the series with opening and closing credits in each episode) follows one template. In addition, the money earned in battles is not always enough to pay the fee, and you have to be distracted by other entertainment. Or don’t spend money on temporarily stat-boosting food, although it’s strange not to use the mechanics available before each boss.

The open world here matches the budget of the studio – empty locations, half a dozen extras and rare passing cars that disappear in a collision. First of all, it is desirable to clean all the toilets in order to save progress there – the mini-game is always the same, and even the training screen is shown every time. Then you can find a person who will offer to collect garbage in the allotted time, or take part in a simple chase. Well, there are bonus battles in which you fight off waves of enemies.

No More Heroes 3: Обзор

Battles in space, of course, are more fun than usual.

In general, there is really nothing to do in the open world – once in a new region, you just go from one point to another, then, if necessary, earn some more money, find an ATM and meet with the boss. Nothing interesting happens between the plot episodes, except perhaps the dialogues of one of the characters with a mysterious killer. If there was a button that allows you to skip moments in the open world, players would certainly use it willingly.

Faithful katana

But the combat system is not bad, and thanks to it, mandatory battles do not seem like a chore. It is very similar to what it was before: it is possible to focus on the enemy, weak and strong blows, slowing down with a successful dodge. While holding the L button, you can use additional tricks – at first it’s just a kick that immobilizes the opponent for a couple of seconds. Then to this are added the slowdown of time in a small area of ​​the arena, repulsion of the enemy with the power of thought and the call of rain, causing damage to everyone who fell under it.

No More Heroes 3: Обзор

Not all aliens are aggressive – some sell T-shirts for the fulfillment of certain conditions.

Combining abilities and interrupting enemy attacks is not boring, especially considering other possibilities. Each enemy needs to be effectively finished off, in case of a stun, you can grab an opponent and throw it over yourself, and so on. There is control of the buttons, but it’s more fun with swings – they carry out all the finishing moves, as well as actions like pushing the enemy away if your katanas cross.

With swing control, it’s like you really hold a katana in your hands.

Enemies are varied enough, and each arena contains different combinations of aliens that tactics have to be changed slightly in each battle. And in some cases, Travis even puts on a mecha suit in the spirit of the anime Gundam and fights flying monsters in space. Sometimes he manages to do this on regular arenas too – during the battle, a roulette wheel is periodically launched, the prizes in which are bonus currency and other gifts, including the very suit.

Another roulette is available if you died in battle. Maybe nothing will fall out, or maybe Travis will immediately resurrect, start the second run with increased attack power, or get some other bonus. In the event of a complete failure, his next attempt will begin with a discharged katana – as before, the weapon must be loaded by shaking the “joycon” or moving the stick. It’s funny that the more often you die in the same battle, the slower the arrow on the roulette wheel moves – so that you definitely get a good bonus and finally get through the difficult section.

It’s always nice to dodge successfully.

There are also permanent improvements for Travis – at home, he can spend currency (not the one needed in the story) to increase health, attack power and the amount of energy in the katana, as well as unlock skills like a longer roll. And nearby is a supercomputer with chips for Travis’ glove – using materials dropped from defeated opponents, you can create chips with passive bonuses. Some simply improve something (for example, attack at low health), while others make the character stronger, at the same time having negative effects: for example, the attack power will always be higher, but the character will start taking 10% more damage.

In general, everything is in order with the fights – they are spectacular and fun, and the RPG elements do not seem superfluous and significantly affect the gameplay. Especially when you fight bosses, which are traditionally wonderful – they have interesting mechanics, and there are different phases, and entertainment is in place. While the graphics are far from cutting-edge, the familiar visual style hasn’t lost its charm and has improved a lot since the second game. Fortunately, the optimization is good – I was expecting a nightmare like Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, but received small drawdowns, noticeable only during fast driving.

No More Heroes 3: Обзор

Although it would be strange if the game slowed down with such cities.

No More Heroes III was a success – the plot is almost perfect, and the combat system has been pumped perfectly since the sequel. It is not clear why it was necessary to spend time creating an open world and forcing the player to go through a series of tests over and over again. The third part is framed as a series, and the moments in which we drive from point to point are like a filler – you can’t miss it, but you regret the time spent on them. Perhaps this is some kind of meta-irony from the Court, but it could have been arranged more elegantly.

Pros: still the same crazy and unpredictable story, for which you want to get to the final; excellent combat system, especially interesting with swing control; RPG elements are relevant and affect the gameplay; the familiar visual style has become even more beautiful; surprisingly good optimization.

Cons: dead, empty, ugly and unnecessary open world; monotonous structure of episodes.

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