Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Review
Every once in a while a game comes along that just feels completely out of place in its environment. As soon as I heard that Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was to be released on the Nintendo Switch, I knew instantly that this would be one of those games. Travis Strikes Again: NMH, in all of its raunchiness and straight-up adults-only dialogue, on the family-oriented Nintendo Switch? It just didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t. But you know what, that might just be one of the best things about it. Confused? As you will come to learn, confusion is just part and parcel of the Travis Strikes Again experience!
In this day and age, it is extremely rare to come across a game that truly does something different. Sure there are a number of games improve upon a genre, add more depth or new mechanics and help breathe new life into what can sometimes be a stale, cookie-cutter industry. But for a game to simultaneously do nothing that has not been done before and yet provide a one-of-a-kind, eye-openingly unique experience is a true rarity. Travis Strikes Again: NMH somehow manages to do exactly that.
There is surprisingly little I can say about the gameplay without spoiling most of the fun, but those of you who have seen the trailers (fair warning, will know that you have no idea what to expect from this game at any point. Twists and turns do not stop in storyline and dialogue. In fact, some of the biggest surprises come from the actual variance in gameplay itself.
The game balances this elegantly with just enough of its satisfying, button-mashing action to keep your attention while disorienting you constantly. I cannot count the number of times I have simply put my console down and stared in utter disbelief and confusion about what was happening in this game. The genius of this is that no matter what happens, it keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. And you will almost always be wrong.
Aside from all of the wonderful trickery it offers, Travis Strikes Again offers seriously enjoyable action gameplay that allows you to level up both of your protagonists separately. It also offers a completely customizable array of skills of which you can equip 4 at a time, per character. You can swap these in and out when needed and save presets of your favourite combos. The abilities range from telekinetically tossing your opponents and stunning them to healing yourself or even calling down an orbital strike and so much more.
As I have hinted at, each level offers a very different experience from the one before it while still including lots of hack-and-slash fun. This blend of old-school game styles brought waves of nostalgia crashing down on me, as I was thrown back into many of the games from my childhood. The graphics styles of the game are intentionally retro, and also change with each level.
As much as I love the collision of worlds and the juxtaposition of styles seen in Travis Strikes Again: NMH, it is important to note that having the action gameplay as a constant acts as a much-need anchor for the game. It prevents the entire experience from snowballing into an incoherent ball of madness by steadying the ship frequently (only to have the next twist send you reeling again).
One warning I will give is that this game certainly deserves a ‘Mature’ rating. Between the language used, topics of dialogue and the simple fact that saving the game requires Travis to drop trou and use the toilet, it should be clear to anyone that this game is intended for adults only. Parents should definitely think twice before snagging this game for the young’uns. I do, however, highly recommend they grab it for themselves.
Travis Strikes Again: NMH rewards anyone who has a good sense of humour and an open mind with a delightfully unpredictable and slightly-twisted adventure that you won’t soon forget. Pick it up in store and on the Nintendo eShop on January 18th.