No More Heroes 3 Review — Desperate Struggle

No More Heroes 3 asks the question, “What if E.T. came back to Earth 20 years after leaving and was an insufferable asshole?” It’s the kind of offbeat set-up for a video game you would expect from the unorthodox minds of developer Grasshopper Games and game director Suda51, and this basic premise contributes to what is a strong opening for No More Heroes 3. Between its 80s anime-inspired opening, your first taste of Travis Touchdown’s cathartic combat, plenty of call-backs, and a suitably inventive first boss fight, it makes it all the more surprising when this initial goodwill is gradually chipped away.

The first two games in the series were rough around the edges, but that was part of their charm. They were scrappy and stylish, both revered and derived, with a punk-rock spirit that made them cult classics. No More Heroes 3 is zany and maintains those coarse elements, but it also feels forced in a “How do you do fellow kids?” kind of way. You still have to go to the toilet to save your game and jerk off to recharge Travis’ Beam Katana, so the juvenile humor remains intact–it just isn’t very funny. Not because the jokes aren’t landing, but because there aren’t that many to speak of.

Most of the story revolves around returning alien FU; an intolerable antagonist who’s prone to random outbursts of violence. There isn’t much more to the character than that, and the conversations he has with his cronies are plodding and shallow, with dialogue that’s often about nothing in particular–and not in the good Seinfeld way either. No More Heroes 3 still has a habit of breaking down the fourth wall to provide knowing commentary on video games and gamer culture, and there are plenty of self-deprecating lines and overt references to the likes of The X-Files, Terminator, Akira, and Rocky. But these are flimsy band-aids on a narrative that’s disappointingly tedious.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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