Review: No More Heroes III
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We’ve all had that gaming experience where we feel completely lost. Normally that happens when you jump into a sequel and the story is insane, and the world is crazy. That’s exactly how I feel No More Heroes III! This bright, fast-paced and Manga/Anime inspired beast is strange, funny and strangely compelling. Also, it is by far the best game in the franchise. Thanks to the wicked sense of humor, smooth battles and an open world, you experience an acid trip of a game.
Developed by Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. and published by Marvelous Inc., this is an open world adventure title. Also, it looks incredible, has some of the best swordplay I’ve experienced, and is undeniably weird. Beyond this, the script is excellent; the gameplay is balanced and you use a toilet to save your progress. In short, it throws in a lot of curveballs to keep you on your toes.
No More Heroes III is a story of triumph.
The series follows Travis Touchdown, an Otaku assassin who is badass, witty and obsessed with Asian culture. In this iteration, Travis has spent his last penny on a beam Katana. Consequently, he has to start working to fill up the coffers. After meeting Sylvia, Travis does what Travis does best and he slices, dices and completes the life of his target. However, you are quickly told that there are 10 better, stronger and more impressive contracts to complete. Still, that’s not all. No, because it’s also a hit on your head, and you’re a pretty valuable asset.
This is No More Heroes III in a nutshell. The action flows around in an open and seamlessly brilliant world. Still, the focus is on each of the 10 boss fights you have to complete. These amazing encounters are characterized by phenomenal cutscenes, unique mechanics and eye-poppingly difficult tests. As such, you’ll be desperately grinding for XP while hopelessly trying to upgrade Travis’ basic skills and stats. This is probably the low point of the plot, as it feels cranky, drawn out and possibly repetitive. The selection of side quests is interesting though, and luckily they retain the same charm as the main story.
Side quests and slick swordplay.
I have alluded to the open world. But in reality it’s more of a micro hub, containing very little action. This may seem boring, but it wasn’t too bad, as each of the 6 areas has a unique style. These fun nods to other game franchises are tongue in cheek and will make you chuckle. Also, the endless supply of side quests, collectibles, and clothing options keep things interesting.
The additional jobs are divided into 2 categories; voluntary work for society, and defense missions. Both tasks reward you with money for ranked matches, but the requirements vary greatly. If you tackle the voluntary tasks, you mow your neighbours’ grass, clean toilets or pick up rubbish. Now this may seem dull and boring, but it was strangely captivating. But if you take on the defensive battles, you’ll hone your combat skills, earn money, and work towards each brilliant boss encounter.
No matter what battle you take on, you’ll be amazed by the incredibly smooth swordplay. Additionally, the attention to detail and energy system keep it from becoming another mindless hack ‘n’ slash game. Instead, you must time your strikes, plan your defenses, and charge up your beam Katana. If you fail, you will be beaten into the next week by every opponent you face. Therefore, planning, patience and sushi are a must if you want to succeed.
No More Heroes III feel the power of the next generation.
Originally published for Switch in 2019, No More Heroes III was fraught with problems. However, the 2022 update has removed the boards and it performs admirably. With native 4k visuals and smooth 60 FPS action, it looks incredible. In addition, the sets, backgrounds and animation are brilliant. I loved the pure Manga/Anime influence, the wacky cartoon touches, and the tongue-in-cheek nods to pop culture. Then there’s a color overload, but one that isn’t overwhelming or OTT.
The brilliance continues in the sound. The crazy and loud soundtrack is matched by excellent acting. Consequently, the story is full of energy and timeless humor. Also, the futuristic sound effects work perfectly with it Matrix-like match. It was easy to fall for its unusual charm, even if it was confusing most of the time.
Although the insane story and excellent aesthetics will steal the show, we must not forget the smart controls. Thanks to a well-thought-out user interface and simple approach, the combat is incredibly smooth and fun to experience. On top of this, using sushi to replenish health or energy is a simple task. With standard combat mechanics and some unusual special moves, it offers both familiarity and originality.
I theorize, the semi-linear story and hub-like world should reduce the game’s appeal. But in reality, the huge amount of collectibles and non-stop side quests will keep you playing. Alongside this, there are plenty of custom options for Travis if you want to get creative.
No More Heroes III is wonderfully unique.
Whether you’re a veteran or new to the franchise, it doesn’t matter. Everyone will be confused when they tackle this crazy and deliberately exuberant title. Consequently, you may be exposed to playing it. Nevertheless, I encourage you to reconsider your decision. Consequently, once you understand the craziness, you will fall for the crazy charm and silly story. As such, I can easily recommend you to buy it here! Do you want to eliminate your targets and become the number one assassin? Split, dice and wipe out every enemy you encounter.