Preview

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Diving Into The Cooperative Action Game Within The Death Drive Mark II
by Brian Shea on Mar 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM
Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Release: 2018
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: Switch

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes features the return of Travis Touchdown in his marquee series. However, rather than the traditional No More Heroes experience, Travis and his nemesis Badman are sucked into a game console called the Death Drive Mark II. There, the two fight, race, and platform their way through various games that are odes to classic video game genres. While developer Grasshopper Manufacture has confirmed that racing, platforming, and other genres will be included in the game's roster, I went hands-on with the arcade-style action game.

I jump into a cooperative level in control of Badman. Together with a player in control of Travis, we hack and slash our way through waves of enemies as we work our way through the stage. Unlike traditional No More Heroes combat, the camera pulls way out and the screen is presented in 4:3 to pay homage to the arcade brand of action titles. I swing my bat a little too much and Badman leans over seemingly in exhaustion. I press down on the left stick and shake my controller to essentially reload.

Electric barriers impede our progress until we clear the room of enemies, but that's not the only strange thing happening visually. The entire area is glitching out, with chunks of the floor not loading, and some serious discoloration. The visuals give it a punk-rock feel while working within the narrative reasoning of the game console glitching out.

We reach a long tunnel, use a toilet to save our progress and heal, then enter a boss battle against Electro Triple Star. The boss character blasts a thick laser our way and uses electric projectiles and area-of-effect attacks to try and take us down. Electro Triple Star is powerful but doesn't stand a chance against our combined might. Using the left shoulder button, we unleash our special abilities, which operate on a cooldown. After hitting him with my spinning attack, I throw down a healing circle that replenishes our health. We continue wailing on him until he delivers a witty line of dialogue and promises this isn't over.

The combat was easy to pick up and play with minimal guidance, making it an ideal multiplayer experience. In addition, this section was just a small part of one level within the action game. The team tells me this boss encounter was just the first of three times I'll face off against him in that stage. With much more content for that game, as well as other game styles to explore, the full release could deliver a diverse experience that brings something for everyone while remaining true to the vibe of the No More Heroes franchise.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes hits Switch this year.