No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again Thoughts

Recently at Nintendo’s Nindies Summer Showcase, a trailer for a new No More Heroes game was released. In the trailer, a character called Bad Dad, father to Bad Girl from the original No More Heroes, tracks down Travis and the two begin duelling. Before the chaos, Travis was playing on a video game system with the game Hotline Miami. As the two become entangled in fisticuffs the console appears to suck them both into a virtual world and the trailer then ends.

There wasn’t much to go on besides that except that the game runs on Unreal Engine 4. At the time, the speculation was that the game would be a collaboration piece with indie developers and would involve Travis and Bad Dad venturing through several worlds based around popular indie games. But since then, Suda 51, the director of the original No More Heroes and creator of the series, shed some light on the upcoming game. As previously revealed, there will be input from indie game developers but not to the extent of exploring worlds of their design. So far Suda has stated that the content will be more of the cosmetic nature. The protagonist of the series, Travis Touchdown will be able to don clothing and attire based around Hotline Miami and other indie games involved. This has been a feature in previous No More Heroes games but with fictional logos and brands. Travis the Otaku could wear shirts of his favourite anime. Wear visors that made him look like a Cyclops reject and other strange apparel.

travis glasses
Whoooo, lookin cool Jok…..I mean Travis!

This revelation has led to some disappointment online. Some people were looking forward to seeing Travis’s reactions and 4th wall nods to each world. To watch Travis as a sprite in Hotline Miami venturing through sleazy bars and drug dens. And even though I would like to see that too, I wouldn’t want a game around that. As Suda has stated, this is a spin-off game. A way for Suda to test the waters and see if a full blown No More Heroes 3 has an audience. Yes, seeing worlds of indie games we love would be great but I personally prefer No More Heroes to be its own thing. The world of No More Heroes is Suda’s creation and he built a vibrant city in Santa Destroy, the city the series takes place in. He filled that city with all kinds of weird and wonderful characters and it’s this creativity that gives No More Heroes its identity. If we are to ever see No More Heroes 3, it’ll be because people want to see more of what Travis Strikes Again has to offer. I don’t particularly want the style and substance filled in by indie titles. I would love to see Travis go through a Hotline Miami style level or The Binding of Isaac gross basement but not if it reins in Suda. The man is best when he lets his vision come to life. Playing by others rules is a good way to restrain that creativeness. The news that each world will NOT be certain indie game world makes me happy. It means whatever worlds Travis and Bad Man venture through will be Sudas work. And considering that both No More Heroes have taken place in Santa Destroy, it’ll be interesting to see Travis in a new space. And not just any space. Video game space! A place where Suda can do some real daft stuff.

Santa Destroy was filled with bizarre characters but it was still a city based on similar cities in our reality. It was full of buildings, mostly grey and people went about their lives whilst the crazy hijinks of Travis went on in the background. I love the idea of Travis being in crazy, extreme worlds and there’s a very good possibility that will happen in this new game. Suda has always pushed the envelope of strangeness and with the storyline he’s chosen for this upcoming game, it opens up all kinds of freedom for him. For example, in No More Heroes 2 an entire boss fight takes place in the confines of a dream. And the boss in question is that of a small anime girl. The fact it was a dream level gave Suda the excuse to do something dumb and different. I welcome more of that and hopefully that’ll happen. So, for me I’m not disappointed with the news, in fact I’m more excited now. 6 or more video game themed worlds by Suda. Sign me up!

The stuff of nightmares.

I do hope he does more with the real indie games though. Clothing is great and it was always fun to customize Travis, but to just have clothing would seem like a wasted potential. In No More Heroes 2 there were old Super Nintendo style mini games that you could play or as side missions. One was a 2D side scroller where Travis would knock trees and catch the falling coconuts. Another minigame was to increase Travis’s maximum health and would have him punching away dumbbells thrown towards him. I hope that Suda does something like this with the indie game collaborations. Bonus stages within the new game or even optional bonuses in a hub world. Visual or auditory references or gags to the indie games would be a nice tough too. There is a lot of options and I believe we will something of that nature. And if not, I’ll take a Hotline Miami chicken mask for Travis instead. All I’m happy about is a new No More Heroes game and I hope this sells well so we can see a full sequel someday.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the new No More Heroes game. I’m really excited about it, as Travis is one of my favourite characters of the past decade. And I can’t believe I had to say decade but yep I just Googled it and No More Heroes 1 came out in 2007.  Now I feel old after that news. Oh well. DOWNWARD DOG!

Thank you for reading my ramblings and all the best.

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