No More Heroes 3 is the latest, weirdest, and last installment in the fan favorite and bizarre No More Heroes action RPG series. While the game came out a few years ago for the Nintendo Switch, it is now available on all platforms where more players can experience its glory. However, it is unfortunate that the port can’t change many of the game’s glaring flaws.
No More Heroes 3 opens in a brilliantly cinematic way with a short animation that introduces players to a boy and his little Alien visitor FU, who gives him special powers. The animation takes a few minutes to tell us their story and show a tearful departure. 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. Not only does it capture and intrigue players with the fully animated opening, but it also holds said attention with a bombastic prologue chock full of high-octane action scenes, an intense but clever boss battle, and lots of crazy hijinks. And believe it or not, the story gets wilder as it progresses. 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 are particularly challenging, requiring players to dodge and parry attacks while trying to land critical blows. However, I quickly found that the combat gets repetitive after a while, especially as there is limited variety in the 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 when you realize that in order to progress the story, players will have to fight waves and waves of regular enemies just to face the main baddies, and I always hate when a game forces me to do unnecessarily repetitive actions to progress the plot.
Visually, No More Heroes 3 sports a superb aesthetic and great visuals. Vibrant colors surround you with every slash of your sword, the animations are as fluid as they are chaotic, characters and enemies have crazy yet interesting designs, and the retro/ cyber/city pop vibes are phenomenal. 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. In terms of performance, No More Heroes 3 runs quite well on the PS4 with few issues. However, it is also worth noting that I encountered a few glitches here and there, but nothing severe or game-breaking.
Overall, No More Heroes 3 sports challenging and engaging fast-paced combat, a unique story, and a visually stunning presentation. This makes it an easy recommendation to RPG fans who don’t mind its soulless world, grindy elements, and janky controls.
No More Heroes 3
- Intriguing story
- Fun gameplay
- Side mission like structure
- Soulless open world