As a fan of Suda51’s No More Heroes series, I just had to try out Travis Strikes Again at EGX 2018.
Unfortunately there was only one Switch demo unit with the game on it, and of course, everyone wanted to try it, so that meant a wait was involved. It was because of that wait though, that I ended up opting to play it in co-op, which I’m glad I did.
Honestly, before trying Travis Strikes Again, I had no idea what it would be like. I’d heard that it wasn’t like the old No More Heroes games, but I’d purposefully not read anything about it because it didn’t matter; I’d end up getting it anyway because it’s a Suda51 game. When has the man ever disappointed?
With my new co-op friend beside me, we began a demo that had been made purposefully for the event. I passed up the opportunity to play as Travis, instead opting to play as Badman, though it made little difference – they both seem to play exactly the same.
With the camera zoomed out we began hacking at slashing at foes that warped into the environment. Fast attacks were mixed up with strong attacks, the dive button was used to avoid danger, and we jumped to perform aerial attacks and traverse the environment. The action was thick and very past-paced; it felt like an arcade game. Playing it in co-op felt like the right thing to do.
The level we played though frequently presented force fields that prevented us from continuing until all the enemies in the area were defeated. It was never a tricky task, but we had to pay close attention to our energy meters, which depleted as we struck out at enemies. Recharging our energy was pure No More Heroes: with the analogue stick pushing in on our respective Joy-Con controllers, we had to furiously shake them up and down. It’s amusing, and also forces you to consider your energy reserves so as to not get caught short in a heated moment.
Aside from the recharging mechanic, the appearance of a portable toilet also provided some relief as we made progress towards the demo’s boss. Travis made a visit to it, and it reported that progress was saved, but I imagine it was just a joke rather than an actual mechanic.
The action reached its climax upon us reaching the boss of the demo. He taunted us in typical Suda51 style, and then let loose a bevvy of laser attacks which were easily avoided. After repeatedly pounding him he was seemingly defeated, but no, another phase of the fight began. This time, we had to contend with generic enemies while also taking numerous lasers spread around the outer rim of the arena out of commission. It didn’t pose too much trouble.
The final phase of the fight is where the boss really gave it his all. Generic enemies swarmed us, the boss spewed lasers as us wherever possible, and he also didn’t remain stationary for too long. My co-op buddy was downed in the battle, but was thankfully able to rejoin the fight after a short while. Working together, we gradually wore down the boss until he was well and truly defeated, and was rewarded with the humorous quips that you’d expect from a No More Heroes game.
Travis Strikes Again wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, but what I played was bloody fun nonetheless. If the rest of the game can match the intensity and humour of the demo, I think we’re in for a treat when it launches early next year. It may not be No More Heroes 3, but it has certainly got the spirit of the No More Heroes series, and that’s good enough for me.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is set to release on Nintendo Switch on 18th January 2019.