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No More Heroes III - Return to the garden of madness.


Keyboard Koala
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Yeah, after a few more hours I think it's great. Sure it looks a bit rough and the mini-games are as samey as they've always been, but this is NMH Suda madness through and through.

Anyone who liked either or both of the previous NMH games should pick this up without hesitation.

 

Between this, Psychonauts 2 and WarioWare it seems like festive season for people who like B-tier left-field games :)

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It might just be me being weird, but the jank-ass roughness of this game is really refreshing. It reminds me of the sense of place established in your average N64 platformer; blocky and solid and videogamey. I can't really describe it.

 

The soundtrack is also superb, jesus. I've had the episode credits theme stuck in my head all weekend. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Let us measure said:

It might just be me being weird, but the jank-ass roughness of this game is really refreshing. It reminds me of the sense of place established in your average N64 platformer; blocky and solid and videogamey. I can't really describe it.

 

 

Same, it kinda felt nostalgic. There was one area in particular where there was this opening and I went in, followed it around the edge of the map for quite a while and it was just a total dead end. Any other game would have had at least something there for the player :lol: 

 

What fascinates me is how much of this is intentional (i.e he's playing into nostalgia) and how much is down to just wanting a speedy production? 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Started this last night and its fucking awesome (as Travis would say). Having the time of my life and binged it up to Ranking 7 boss already. I think I only played No More Heroes 1 and not the sequel, but the combat is much better fun than the first and really, really satisfying. The humour, the style, the script, the voice acting, its all on point and constantly has you smiling, confused, in awe, pumped, or usually all at once!

 

The premise is great as well, I thought we were getting trolled with the intro cutscene but no, it is an actual thing. There's a bunch of characters I don't recognise who are probably from the sequel or Travis Strikes Back, but it really doesn't matter. The guy who voices Travis is on fire yet again, and I don't know how the translators do it but what a script, so many great lines and so much comedy. Even though its all as stupid as ever, its still cool as hell, just little things like the start of a fight the sequence where Travis gets out his lightsabre on your button prompt always makes you psyched for the battle. 

 

And the soundtrack, oh man, its the best yet - so many great tunes and beats, right from the get-go. One of the dankest soundtracks in recent memory for sure.

 

I switched from the Pro Controller - which I usually use - to the Joycons just like the good old Wii days, its just more satisfying doing throws and swinging death blows with the motion control. 

 

Of course as it's No More Heroes there is still a bunch of jankoidery, the open world still sucks massive ass although at least the battles are fun to do. The other mini games mostly suck and the open world itself is awful, terrible system performance, once again an annoying bike that crashes far too easily, basically just a big waste of time. But there's so much good here it doesn't even bother me much. Thankfully just doing battles gets you decent stuff, in the first game I hated the mob fights but in this I actually look forward to them. The only problems with combat are issues with enemies off-screen, annoying ranged attackers, and the awkward use of left bumper to trigger abilities, when left trigger is lock-on - meaning unless you go for a crab style grip, you have to stop locking on to do your abilities, which feels clumsy.

 

Overall though its an absolute riot and you never know what the game is going to throw at you next. Definitely a worthy successor in the series and as one review said, I would say its the best so far. What a breath of fresh air! Really hope Suda 51 and co continue to work on mad-ass titles like this. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got around to finishing No More Heroes 3 this week. What can I say? It's more No More. With all the style and warts that entails. I only played No More Heroes 1 before, so I can only really use that as a comparison.

 

Lets start with the good. The style here is on point. Travis is as vulgar and funny as ever, with superb voice work along with the rest of the cast in a bonkers but very entertaining script. The premise is great fun, taking on intergalactic spandax aliens and their leader, Jess Baptiste the 6th, who is a quality villain - an absolute pyscho who'll eat ramen with his buddies in one scene, and headbutt someone's face until they explode the next.

 

No More Heroes 3 is constantly mixing things up in its main missions. You never know what you're going to experience when you go into a new cutscene or boss fight. The music is also insanely good, full of absolute bangers. The game is as over the top, random, gorey and funny as you would expect from a Suda 51 game, and I'm all for it. There's simply nothing like Suda 51 games out there. Its incredibly disjointed but never dull as a result, at least in the main content.

 

The combat, when it's at its best, is really satisfying and filled with excellent visual audio-visual touches. I played on the Joycons for the authentic experience and would recommend that, it feels so good to swish the controllers in the right direction for those finishing slices and throws. Hits have great feedback and the combat feel is the best in the series. They've added 4 special abilities as well which are good for managing crowds but have fiddly controls, requiring ZL and L triggers to both be pressed at once if you want to keep enemies targetted. They end up being a bit of a crutch although it does add some welcome variety in fights.

 

Talking of crowds, the combat works best when you're only facing a few enemies, or in boss fights. There it shines, allowing you to dodge and execute combos and time your special abilities. It starts falling apart when you get shoved into arenas with 4 or 5 enemies, with a tight camera and no warning indicators making for a frustrating experience as you get battered from multiple angles whilst you try to focus on one target. For some reason they also thought having lots of ranged enemies would be fun, but the way they're implemented is not. Getting blatted from offscreen without warning and dealing with different types of proximity mines whilst you're dealing with melee mobs never feels good and just gets in the way of the fun. The new mech transform sections are an extra bit of variety but are a bit awkward, though it always feels good to pull out the mech in a regular goons battle and completely obliterate them.

 

Most fans can overlook this next point but its still a problem - technically this is a mess. Graphically the game is poor (rescued in key scenes by the excellent art design), and the open world is as barren and ugly as No More Heroes 1. Loading times are way too long and frequent. The open world's split into sections seperated by lengthy loading screens, building interiors mean more loading screens, side missions and battles have loading screens both entering and exiting them. Its a joke, especially when the game looks so bare bones, and the frequent loading really hurts the pacing of an already laboured money-grind in the open world that you have to do between boss fights. The framerate struggles at times too, again most noticeable in the open world, thankfully not so much in combat. This game would be so much more enjoyable on a solid state drive. Its pretty embarrassing that 10 years on, we're still getting a 15 second loading screen for a mowing the grass mini game that looks almost identical to No More Heroes 1. 

 

The structure is big boss encounters broken up by side content in the open world, where you must earn money to earn passage to the next boss. Fortunately you can earn some of this money by doing mandatory and optional combat arenas, which are enjoyable aside from the aforementioned crowd issues. The rest of the side content, well, it mostly sucks ass. There's a bunch of mini-games which range from the tolerable to the outright infuriating. None of them I'd call fun or interesting, two of them I refused to play again after a few goes, they were so bad. 

 

There are collectibles scattered around the open world, but I wouldn't waste much time trying to hunt them all down, I did and its mostly a chore. There's a handy secrets tracker you can unlock which makes it more tolerable, but it only works on foot and not on your bike which really sucks. The city map doesn't even record secrets to return to, and you only get one manual map marker so its a patience-testing excercise in sweeping large areas on foot if you want to make inroads into them. The bike handling is better than previous games (which had notoriously terrible bike control), though it still has plenty of issues like the camera and the turning circle. Aside from the mini games and collectibles, that's about it for the open world. In small doses I feel like the open world is ok, its just not a place you feel you need to be in for long, and the whole experience is marred by all those loading screens and other annoyances. Maybe they should have ditched the open world like they did in No More Heroes 2, it really just serves to pad the game out more than adding much to it. At least make the mini games actually fun instead of janky and frustrating messes.

 

As for the boss fights, its a smorsmaborg of great characters, unique fights and mechanics. Mostly really good, with the occasional duffer or rage inducing section. Still, its these and the cutscenes that are the highlights of the game. There's a lot of references and returners from the previous games, plus a load of random newcomers, which makes for a very disconnected feeling for someone like me who didn't play the original for 10 years and missed the sequels (I was often parroting Travis: 'who the fuck is this guy?') - but it doesn't really matter. Just embrace the randomness and the madness and enjoy the ride. The cutscenes have the usual Suda 51 panache; cool, funny, mental, hit and miss, amazingly directed, full of quotable lines and awesome moments. I can't get enough of this stuff. They've gone all out this time with a ton of wicked animation styles thrown in, including a full-on Studio Ghibli style prologue. I'd honestly be happy with just skipping all the fluff and just experiencing the main content, and I'm tempted to play No More Heroes 2 now as I hear they ditched the open world in that one.

 

But for all No More Heroes 3 triumphs, its let down by the general jank and niggles which line its quality core. From intrusive loading screens, to unskippable animations after mini-games, getting thrown off your bike at the slightest collision, invisible walls, dodgy combat camera, a boss that can kill you in one hit... examples like these unfortunately add up and bring the whole experience down a peg, and they're always present in some way. The franchise hasn't really progressed, for better and for worse. If Suda 51 and co could just take the time to polish and streamline No More Heroes, make the whole package as fun as its best bits, this would have been a proper 9/10 for me. As it is, I'd give it an 8/10 - if I counted all the optional crap I endured as well I'd probably give it a 7/10, but that was my choice. But its always the style, the originality and the awesome factor that draw me to these games, and in that it delivers in spades. Can't wait to see what comes next from these guys - hopefully they're on an upward trend. For now, Travis, I say farewell to the Garden of Insanity, and thanks for the ride.

 

Edit: Just found this good interview with Suda 51, Travis' voice actor and Tim Rogers from back in the day:

 

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  • 5 months later...

https://www.siliconera.com/no-more-heroes-3-ps4-ps5-xbox-and-pc-ports-announced/

Quote

No More Heroes 3 will come to the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC in Fall 2022.

The PC version will be available via Steam and Microsoft Windows Store.

This game looking like it does and appearing exactly the same on PS5/XSX would certainly be something.

 

Day 1 edition has some bonus items -

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Should someone get that $59.99 version, they’ll get some additional merchandise with a copy of the game.

There will be a CD with some songs from the game. (Note that this isn’t a full soundtrack.)

People also get a 70 page art book and a miniature Santa Destroy license plate with “Moe~” on it.

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