Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is out now on Nintendo Switch, bringing the self-referential and highly irreverent stylings of Travis Touchdown back for another round. In this installment, Travis finds himself sucked into a video game console - the Death Drive MK-II - and forced to play through and beat various genres of video games in order to receive the reward of one wish before his foe and rival, Badman.
Even though you're playing through six different video games technically, most of Travis Strikes Again is played from a top-down perspective and fits into a traditional action, hack-and-slack formula. There's a convenient tutorial at the start that will guide you through all the buttons you need to know, and the game is easy for anyone to pick up and understand. Still, if you're new to this type of game or just finding yourself struggling, here are some tips and assistance for starting out in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes:
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in Travis Strikes Again is jumping into a fight, big or small, with a low charge on your sword. Sometimes you'll run out naturally during longer fights, but when this occurs you've normally destroyed enough enemies that you can make space to recharge. But entering a fight with a low or empty charge is bad news. My recommendation is to recharge fully after every single fight and turn that into a habit so you never find yourself running on empty.
Even if at times Travis Strikes Again can seem like the kind of hack-and-slash where you hold still and just bust through waves of enemies without much effort, the truth is that you really do want to move around, a lot. Keeping Travis moving around and through waves of enemies makes it harder for them to hit you, and don't forget you have a dodge roll button as well. You can also jump, which is a good way to dodge most normal attacks and finish off with a jump light or heavy attack to destroy the enemies underneath you. Keep Travis' feet moving at all times and you'll have a much easier time staying healthy and putting together charge attacks.
Don't forget to level up
You level up from the pause menu, where you can also equip and try out new chips. Check in regularly and make sure you're leveled up enough, especially if you're struggling to defeat a tricky boss! A good rule of thumb is to always check in before you start a new stage (or after you finish one), and any time you reach a save point or ramen stall. These pop up frequently enough that you'll usually be at about the right level as you progress through stages and will easily catch any new chips you've picked up.
Of course, you can avoid leveling up for a while to play the game on what is effectively a "hard" mode, but that's entirely up to you!
Practice chaining charge attacks
Don't forget that you have skills and charge attacks at your disposal too! It can get very easy to fall into a rhythm of just using light and heavy attacks to mow down enemies, but Travis' skills and charge attacks are delightfully powerful and a lifesaver against bosses and stronger enemies. Change up your skill chips regularly to see what kinds of skills work best for you (you can have four equipped at a time), and keep an eye on the meter on the left-hand side of your screen that shows where your charge attacks are at. Use those liberally and keep moving and dodging to avoid getting hit and destroying your charge.
Play with a partner if you can
Travis Strikes Again is fine if you play solo, but it's even more fun with a friend. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op with the second player taking on the role of Travis' rival Bad Man, who is a valuable asset in tough fights. With a co-op partner, one can distract enemies while the other recharges or moves to a better position, you can do double the damage as a team, and you can perform a powerful team combo attack that isn't available when you're solo. Plus, the two have fun banter as they fight through levels together.
Though the tutorial starts out linear, most levels in Travis Strikes Again have a number of forking paths and hidden secrets that you can find if you poke around enough corners. There really aren't any points of no return for the most part in this game beyond the boss battles, so don't be afraid to backtrack if you missed a path after fighting a wave of enemies. By doing this, you'll find coins, as well as UE logos and Azteca Stones you can trade in back at the trailer for T-shirts that let you customize Travis' outfit. There are other hidden secrets, too, if you're dedicated enough to find them, so don't let a single part of the game go unexplored!
Other tips and tricks
- In huge mobs, focus on bringing down ranged attackers first to give yourself a bit more room to move
- Save points heal you fully! Ramen stalls similarly heal you and give you boosts, so always pay them a visit
- Skill chips that push enemies back or work from a distance are invaluable when fighting bosses or difficult enemies. If you're struggling, swap to something that will give you more space to work
- Back at your trailer, you can trade the currency you pick up on your PC for cool T-shirts based on a number of fun real-life indie games. You can change into these shirts in your bathroom
- The dodge button gets important when you start fighting bosses, so don't avoid it beforehand. Make sure you know just how to time a dodge before you face the bosses of the first mission
Struggling with something in No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again? Let me know in the comments!
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