I’m not going to lie here; No More Heroes 3 is in an odd place for me in terms of it being a good No More Heroes game. Being fun, I had plenty of enjoyment in this game, however, I won’t deny that this game has had things taken away from it that made the first two really good. So, I will be discussing everything that has been taken away in this game while voicing my own thoughts as well.
Pros and Cons
- Entertaining story with enjoyable characters
- Fun and engaging combat with the hack n slash gameplay
- Soundtrack is decent, and while the music is good, nothing really stands out
- Travis takes way too long to recover when he gets hit
- Mech suit sessions have rough controls
- Level themes are completely gone
- There are no other Beam Katana to use
- Slot machine bonuses have been removed from the previous games
- Unreal Engine 4 was not utilized properly
- Direct port of the Switch version with no additional settings for PC
Eight years before the events of the first game, a young boy named Damon Riccitiello is out one night and comes across a ship that crash-landed near him. He finds a small alien larva that was injured and decides to take care of it. This larva is named Jess Baptiste VI but is nicknamed FU. Damon takes care of FU and the two become best friends. One day, however, FU has to go home but says he will be back in 20 years to see him. Fast forward to 20 years later, an adult Damon is the CEO of Utopinia, where he uses FU’s alien technology and abilities. FU returns and is the prince of his homeland but was exiled due to him destroying a planet.
FU decides to take over the planet and help Damon by using the popular trend of superheroism. Travis Touchdown does not take the fact that his home city was invaded and is going to take out these so-called heroes in ranking fights.
The story for No More Heroes 3 is really good and honestly is one of the main highlights of the game. I loved the characters and their personalities and also appreciated that the villains have more screen time than they do in the previous games. It made them feel like actual characters this time around and they even had an impact on the story.
No More Heroes 3 sticks to the same gameplay elements that the first two games have and adds some new features to them. New to this game are the Death Glove Chips, which were carried over from Travis Strikes Again. You start out with a kick, but you can later get your hands on one that slows down time, one that will fire projectiles in a given area, and finally, one that will push enemies away from you and damages them. Other than that, the same hack 'n' slash gameplay from the first two games is present and is very fun. I really liked how the gameplay was done and I felt that Grasshopper nailed it in this game.
Travis can also upgrade his stats like health, damage, etc., with experience points he can get throughout the levels and bosses he beats. To do ranking fights, Travis must pay a fee to do it, which too returned from previous games, and is something I don’t mind doing. Jobs have also returned, and they are fun to do and can give you some quick cash when need be.
However, that’s where all of my positivity ends as I have a bunch of issues with No More Heroes 3’s gameplay that I do want to touch upon. My first issue is that while combat is fun, if Travis happens to get hit, he takes way too long to get up and when he does, the enemy will most likely attack again for you to only get knocked down again. Then we have these mech suit missions that Travis will use when he fights giant alien boss battles. These are fun at first, but I found myself constantly fighting with the camera as both analog sticks move the camera in some way. This leads you to constantly be fighting with the camera and Travis will either move up or down depending on where you use the camera. This can make these sections rather annoying to deal with and at the end of the day just unfun to do.
The next issues I want to cover are features that were just outright removed from this game that the first two had and had done right. The level themes are completely gone and instead of doing a level until you get to the boss, you play out these missions and kill enemies in that mission, which is fine. I don’t mind doing these, but the level themes are what made No More Heroes a fun game. Another thing they removed was the fact that Travis does not get any other type of Beam Katanas from the previous games. So, no Rose Nasty or any other variants that were shown in the previous games. Travis sticks with his main weapon, the Blood Berry throughout the whole game. I think having different Beam Katanas would spice up the gameplay a bit and add a variety of different combos.
I also found out that some of the slot machine bonuses from the first two games were removed as well. No more Dark Mode, Tiger Mode, etc. It’s been nerfed to the ground and while the powerups or bonuses are useful, the first two games had it just fine and nothing needed to be changed here.
I do go into more detail a bit with everything I mentioned in this review in this video I made recently. I also talk about the history of the No More Heroes series and any other related media that the series has, check it out if you want, you may learn something new.
Graphics and Performance
The graphics for No More Heroes 3 are ok, but I honestly felt that Unreal Engine 4 was not used to its fullest extent. I also found that some of the parts on the map don’t clip with each other and it just looked weird. No More Heroes 3 ran fine at 60 FPS, I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM.
I should also mention that this game is just a straight-out port of the Switch version, although the achievements work at least so there is that. The soundtrack is ok for the most part, there were a few songs I did like but nothing really stood out to me.
I won’t lie, I did have fun playing No More Heroes 3, despite it taking things away that made the first two games fun and enjoyable. I do recommend the game for fans of the series, but only when it’s on sale. Paying full price is just not worth it in my eyes, even for fans of the series, 59.99 is a steep price to pay for a game like this.