No More Heroes 3 is the latest and most bizarre installment of the No More Heroes action RPG series. The game was originally released on the Nintendo Switch in 2011, but it is now available across all platforms. However, it is unfortunate that the port can’t change many of the game’s glaring flaws.
No More Heroes 3 opens in a stunningly cinematic fashion with a short animation. It introduces players to a little boy and his Alien visitor FU who gives him special powers. The animation tells their story in a few minutes and shows a tearful goodbye. However, 20 years later, Fu, who was exiled from his own planet, returns to the boy who now runs a top company thanks to his powers and decides it’s time to take over earth along with his 9 officers/ companions, starting with Santa Destroy. It’s up to Travis, who’s a bit rusty since the last game, along with his fellow assassins, to stop the aliens and their surprisingly political rampage.
In a word, I found No More Heroes 3’s story interesting as it includes elements I’ve yet to see in a game. It not only captures and intrigues players with its fully animated opening but also keeps them interested with a bombastic prologue full of high-octane action scenes and a clever boss battle. It gets more wild as the story progresses, which is a surprise. My only qualm is that while highly entertaining, the game doesn’t offer much depth in terms of storytelling, and it isn’t winning any awards either, which is acceptable for the type of game it is. It simply delivers a humorous and often absurd narrative that is true to the franchise’s roots. The English and Japanese cast does an excellent job with their character performances, making the game’s cutscenes a real treat to watch.
The Good and Bad
The combat is just as satisfying, if not more so, as your average hack-and-slash game, as players use a variety of weapons, including Travis’ signature beam katana, to defeat enemies. The boss battles require players to dodge and parry attack while trying to land crucial blows. The combat can get repetitive quickly, particularly with the limited variety of enemy types and attack patterns.
What’s worse is that engagement while present is limited as the game’s open world doesn’t offer much and is an empty, soulless environment that players will only use to get from point A to Point B, which is why I believe the game would’ve succeeded more as a linear narrative game. This is especially true when you realize that the main antagonists will be facing regular enemies in order for the story to move forward. I don’t like games where I have to do repetitive actions just to get the story moving.
Visually, No More Heroes 3 sports a superb aesthetic and great visuals. You will be surrounded by vibrant colors with every slash of the sword. The animations are fluid and chaotic. Characters and enemies have unique designs. And the retro/cyber/city pop vibes you get are amazing. However, It’s worth noting that the game’s models don’t transfer well from the Switch, even on a stronger console, the PS4, as they noticeably haven’t changed much since the previous titles. No More Heroes 3 runs very well on the PS4 and has few issues. I will admit that there were some glitches but nothing serious or unplayable.
No More Heroes 3 offers engaging combat that is fast and challenging, as well as a unique story and stunning visuals. This makes it an easy recommendation to RPG fans who don’t mind its soulless world, grindy elements, and janky controls.
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