Grasshopper Manufacture’s much anticipated No More Heroes 3 has released a “Series Digest Movie” to catch players up on the story thus far while hyping up the latest entry in the franchise.
The digest movie concept is interesting, presented as a parody YouTube channel run by NMH’s resident love interest and scammer, Sylvia Christel, complete with mid-roll ads and pseudo-end-card Call to Actions.
A fake ad-break, that’s an actual ad… within an ad for a game…? Sheesh. Good job, capitalism x the arts.
No More Heroes 3 is set to hit Nintendo Switch in late-2021. We learn from Sylvia that the upcoming scuffle in Santa Destroy will be on a galactic scale. An alien army has created its own ranking system for protagonist Travis Touchdown to climb. So, the core No More Heroes narrative structure remains the same, as does the core gameplay loop by the looks of the footage.
Travis will have to complete odd jobs to earn money for each over-the-top alien fight, much like the first entry in the series when Travis was making his way through the assassin ranks. In the original NMH, the city was so visually drab, yet the world felt fully realized. This is a real testament to director Suda51’s characters — and ability to make a small scale believably grand. This time around, Santa Destroy is much more lively, NPCs are more interesting, and the environment is varied.
There is the addition of a Death Glove, which brings up a quick-select of new attack options. NMH3 also seems to feature a more extensive upgrade system. We can also expect some genre-breaking boss battles, paying homage to other popular video game titles. The alien-boss designs are also next-level nutty, colorful and intricate, drawing inspiration from Japanese squad-centric action-adventure.
Travis is back at his weeby motel with his pudgy cat, Jeane. He’s got on a neck brace, and his classic douche-hawk is uncharacteristically unstyled. Fan-favorites Shinobu and Bad Girl will also join Travis in his battle.
While some of this “digest movie” is supposed to serve as a recap of the story thus far, Sylvia really wants you to know that you don’t need to play the prequels to enjoy NMH3.
No More Heroes is known for its meta-commentary — and this digest showcase is no different. The presentation references the franchise’s own arbitrary character choices, plot inconsistencies, and even pokes fun at its mixed reviews, mentioning how Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes will be considered an experimental cult hit in the near future.
I love meta-commentary as a device to critique the medium, but it is often used to forgive lazy writing and uphold tired tropes, defeating the purpose. The second installment in the franchise, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle, has received criticism for becoming the type of mindless revenge plot the initial entry received acclaim for deconstructing. I hope this won’t be the case for NMH3.
Reasonable concern for unironic corniness aside, I am still excited to jump back in with Travis Touchdown and the gang.