Review Code Provided
Travis wants to live a life of solitude, just him and his video-games but that gets spoiled when Badman shows up to exact his revenge on the high ranking assassin and Travis ends up roped into helping Badman fight his way through a series of dangerous games on the Death Drive Mk II in order to receive the wish granted to those who can beat all of the games available on the mysterious platform.
Travis Strikes Again is a game for the gamer through and through, filled with references and nods to other games and often even addressing the fact they’re in a game themselves. There’s quite a bit of humour and there are plenty of unexpected moments to keep players engaged.
Most often during Travis Strikes Again you’ll take a bit of a backseat where the camera is concerned and you’ll be watching the action from above but it will change the perspective based on the scenario. The game is first and foremost a hack and slash title, you’ll control your character around the stages and fight off hordes of enemies known as bugs with standard and heavy attacks, often you’ll be required to charge your weapon or risk dealing minimal damage but you will have access to a number of skills to hold the enemies off while you do so. To charge your weapon you have to click in the left stick and shake the controller, you can charge it all the way or just enough to fight back if you’re in a pinch. As well as your standard attacks you also have the ability to level your weapon temporarily to increase its power by attacking enemies and filling a circle then executing a finisher to take your weapon to the next level, the power up will last until you take damage and you’ll have to power it up again.
Throughout Travis Strikes Again you’ll find collectables and money, the money being used to buy new t-shirts for your selected character, the other collectables you’ll find are Azteca Coins and Unreal Engine tokens which are another way of buying t-shirts, there’s plenty of t-shirts to choose from and their designs feature images from other games or have various different styles featuring the Unreal Engine logo. By far the most important collectable you’ll find are the Skill Chips which allow you to unlock a new arsenal of moves to defend yourself with but you’re limited to four at a time, one for each of the controller’s four face buttons but you can switch them out at any time or have saved loadouts if you fancy switching things up.
You’re not limited to a single character during play since you can switch between the two you have with you at the time, for me it was Travis and Badman for the whole game, there are other characters available but you’ll have to find them, something I unfortunately wasn’t able to do so I can’t speak to how well the others play, you’ll have to find that out for yourself. What I can say is that Travis and Badman play almost exactly the same, right down to their movement. I didn’t use Badman as much as I probably should have and most often had him on reserve for when Travis was on low health so I could continue fighting without risking having to use a life and since they’re different characters they do level up independently and they can have their own Skill Chips equipped, unfortunately any experience you earn is shared between the two so you’ll have to choose which of them you want to level up.
For the most part Travis Strikes Again had you running through maze like stages and clearing rooms of enemies but since each of the levels was based on a different fictional game and loaded on devices known as the Death Balls, they each had their own bit of flair to them. Some of the stages take a complete departure to the main bulk of the game, one for example has you doing some drag racing while another sees you piloting a ship like you’re playing Asteroids, by far my favourite of the fictional games was one called Damned: Dark Knight and was a fictional sequel to Shadows of the Damned. Before Travis can load another game into his Death Drive machine you have to go and find another Death Ball which involves going to your motorbike and starting what the game calls “Travis Strikes Back”, this was my least favourite part of the game because you have to sit through long walls of green retro text and don’t get to do anything other than read, even when the game calls itself out for the boring wall of text it doesn’t do anything to change it which is especially annoying because Travis often has to fight and it would have been much better getting to participate rather than read about it.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is an okay game but it could have been a lot better, it has some nice ideas but ultimately it falls flat. It spends the majority of the game referencing other games and feels as though the developers might have been experimenting with ideas and decided to make it into a game. At one point you even enter an under construction level which has Unreal Engine default textures and models in it and it’s brushed off as being an incomplete Death Ball game. The worst offender was the Damned: Dark Knight level which had you going through a portion of Shadows of the Damned re-tuned to fit Travis Strikes Again, it wasn’t bad that it was included it was more that it teases you with something you’d rather be playing, at least in my case, and further teases you with a sequel for that game.
Travis Strikes Again definitely isn’t the worst game you could spend your time playing but it just serves as a constant reminder that there are better games you could be playing. If you want to play something with the No More Heroes name, I would recommend you go and play one of the full fledged titles instead since this one is more of an in-between title more suited as a handheld experience.
If you want to learn more about Travis Strikes Again you can visit the official site here or you can visit one of the links below to buy it for yourself;