We very much enjoyed No More Heroes 3 when it launched on Switch last year, but it wasn’t without its fair share of technical issues.
Spinning a tale in which assassin Travis Touchdown is drawn out of retirement in order to combat a group of alien superheroes that threaten Earth, it’s full of irreverent humour, pop-culture references, and bouts of bloody combat. We were particularly fond of the latter, with the bosses of No More Heroes 3 being a truly inventive bunch of weirdos that are simply fun to take down.
It was the extraneous stuff that wasn’t too hot though. You see, to go up against the bosses of No More Heroes 3 and climb the Galactic Superhero Rankings, you need to earn the right. That requires you to go out into the open world and fight a number of Designated Battles. Though once you’ve done that, there’s still the matter of paying the entry fee, too, and it’s never cheap.
You have to engage with the open world of No More Heroes 3 quite a lot, then, and it’s safe to say that it’s somewhat lacking. It’s relatively dead compared to the open worlds we’re now used to, with pretty much nothing to do apart from travelling to markers to see what they have in store. Well, unless you prioritise making visits to public toilets, first. These are liberally spread throughout Santa Destroy, and if you visit them and give them a good plunge, all of the activities and points of interest around them will be revealed.
Activities range from yet more battles where you get to further show off your combat skills, to tasks such as mowing lawns and picking up litter from crocodile-infested waters. We quite enjoy them, as as you proceed further into the game and gain access to more areas they get even more outlandish. It’s up to you: you can engage with them just enough to earn the required cash to push through the story, or you can try and complete and master them all.
Engaging with the side content of No More Heroes 3 does pay off, too, especially if you’re playing on one of the game’s higher difficulties. Money can be used to buy sushi, granting you temporary power-ups, and if you have the required materials a range of Death Chips can also be bought to equip to your Death Glove, allowing you to tweak your stats and abilities. It’s WESN that you’ll come to appreciate earning the most, though, as that can be used to directly increase your stats and unlock new moves.
On Switch, the open world of No More Heroes 3 was undoubtedly the worst thing about the experience. It looked terrible, with horrendous pop-in and lots of aliasing due to its low resolution. Despite this, it still performed terribly too. Now that No More Heroes 3 is available on a wider range of formats, however, including PS5, it’s no longer quite the issue. We’ve been playing the PS5 version for review, and while the world still feels pretty dead and empty, it’s now at least nowhere near as as ugly to look at. And more importantly, performance is very much improved.
The entire game is simply better on PS5, in fact. The combat system of No More Heroes 3 was very enjoyable on Switch, but here it benefits from the extra fluidity and responsiveness provided by 60fps. And of course, the visuals are not only much sharper, but have also received tweaks here and there to make them more eye catching. You can still tell the game started out life on Switch, sure, but enhanced textures as well as improved lighting and shadows ensure No More Heroes 3 isn’t an eyesore.
There are other PS5 enhancements, too, such as reduced loading times and Activity Card support – both make engaging in activities and just enjoying the game a more seamless and immersive affair. And then there’s DualSense support. While we’re not too keen on how resistant the triggers are when riding your bike, elsewhere we very much appreciate the little haptic touches that have been added.
Everything considered, No More Heroes 3 is an absolute treat on PS5. With the performance issues found in the Switch version a thing of the past, the visuals tidied up, and less waiting around for loading screens, you’re free to simply enjoy the zany story and wild action of Travis Touchdown’s latest caper. And what a rollercoaster of an experience it is. It won’t be for everyone, but if you have any love for the No More Heroes series or enjoy action games that are filled with silly humour and outrageous characters, this is for you.