Goichi Suda, or Suda51 as he is affectionately known within the industry, has a history in the world of long and popular videogames, and one of the most important names in his portfolio is undoubtedly No More Heroes . The original game released on Wii in 2011, introduced us for the first time to the eccentric Travis Touchdown, but in a recent event held in London we could get our hands on the return of Mr Touchdown in Travis Strike Again: No More Heroes , in I arrive on January 18 on Nintendo Switch.
We can say with certainty that No More Heroes and Travis have a lot of … personalities. The series has always been crazy, extravagant and colorful, and fans will be pleased to know that this aspect has certainly been maintained by Travis Strikes Again (TSA, as we will call it from here onwards). Just as usual, there is so much noise and color, and you know that you have entered the world of Suda51 instantly.
In about 30 minutes we played, it was as if we had entered a black hole of references to pop culture and indie games, from the scene of naked Arnie from Terminator to the classic Sega and everything else. It’s so bold and stylized that it resembles games like Hotline Miami , and the fact that you’re in a video game makes it all a little more weird and wonderful, breaking the fourth wall regularly while developers are constantly pointing to the audience.
As a consequence, this line moves in a fine way between the ironic, the self-referential and the embarrassing. Travis and co. often it makes irony about being a great player and that it is necessary to be a player in the true sense of the word to succeed in overcoming the levels offered by the game, and even if there is no lack of bad words and a slightly adolescent humor rescue is literally a chemical bath), sometimes it’s a bit excessive.
It’s hard to understand exactly what the plot is about, since everything flashed before our eyes as a near-death experience, but basically, this is Travis’s triumphant return and landed in a video game. The game master talks to you and guides you along the tutorial at the beginning, and practically all you have to do is go ahead and do what you are told: it is very simple.
It’s the usual mix of heavy attacks and light bindings, and you can combine the two with jumps and stroke for more devastating combos. Of course, there are some enemies who need a heavy beating, and while some grunts can be thrown with light bursts, you also have a special attack with R that you can use for a more devastating blow. You can also unlock skills, activate them by holding L and selecting a button, and we have tried two. One of these allowed us to provoke an enemy to high damage, while the other allowed us to throw the projectiles in a large area in front of you to hit more enemies. Joy-Con also plays a role in the game, as we had to shake the controller to regularly recharge the sword.
The format we played was top-down as we walked along various corridors, sealed at regular intervals to allow us to fight a lot of villains, with some luminous puzzles like swirling walkways to cross, but we have the impression that it will not be the same for all the way. Perhaps it is the reputation of Suda51 or the fact that this is based on a wide range of games, but we imagine that we will discover various ways of playing during the experience, in addition to many levels, settings and, of course, enemies. Even in our brief session we have seen various types of enemies with their unique dangers, such as those that explode on you, for example.
The funniest thing about all this top-down carnage is the severity of all the attacks. Using our light-saber style sword was very fun to chop and hit the various types of opponents. Everything is bathed in neon light, and it all helps bring back classic and indie arcade titles to memory, albeit with a little eccentric flavor.
All in all, what we saw of Travis Strikes Again was a lot of fun, even though we only saw the opening tutorial section. However, we were struck by what Suda51 seems to have achieved here: it is full of madness and color and could amaze even those who are not used to the style of No More Heroes . We can not wait to find out if the intensity can be maintained in a complete game, and the good news is that we have to wait only a month or so.