Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is the latest game from the much-beloved director Goichi “Suda51” Suda that features the return of the titular character Travis Touchdown. After over a decade away from leading a No More Heroes project, Suda51 has returned to one of his most popular franchises, but this time is putting a bit of a different spin on things.
During PAX East, we met up with Suda 51 to chat about all things Travis Strikes Again and to better understand why Suda51 decided to make Travis Touchdown’s return occur in this manner rather than through a standard numbered sequel.
Logan: It has been over a decade since you last led a No More Heroes project, so why did you feel like now was the right time to revisit Travis Touchdown and this world?
Suda51: I used to get a lot of comments from people asking about when No More Heroes would come back but it wasn’t until Nintendo showed me the Switch hardware that I got this instinct and realized, “Okay, now is when I have to do this.”
L: Why did you decide to go in the direction of making Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes a spin-off within the franchise rather than doing a formal No More Heroes 3?
S51: With No More Heroes 1 and 2 the formula of No More Heroes was put in place and became a sort of tradition. With this game, I really wanted to break the tradition and do something that the series hasn’t done before, which is why it’s a spin-off. Instead of the normal formula, it’s like a game within a game. Everything is different.
L: I think a lot of fans were surprised, not necessarily in a negative way, that this was the direction you decided to go in with Travis Strikes Again. Do you have a desire to one day return to that original formula of what a No More Heroes game is?
S51: Travis Strikes Again is a very new adventure for Travis but if it’s a success then I would like to make another numbered sequel that’s more in line with the tradition of the series.
L: You’ve shown that there are a variety of different genres within Travis Strikes Again but are there going to be any other differences in these games? Things such as different styles of music, art styles, or even graphics?
S51: Yeah, the music will be different and there will be some very extreme changes in the art between worlds. There’s going to be vector scanning in one world. I want everyone to be excited about what’s in store.
L: You revealed a bit of Adventure Mode in the most recent Nintendo Direct but you didn’t really expand on what that is exactly. Could you tell me a little bit more about what this mode is?
S51: So Travis is going to play through the games within the game but in order to get the actual games to play, he has to go outside of his trailer and search for them. That part of the game will be like a visual novel style adventure game.
L: The first two No More Heroes games had some open world sections that were a lot of fun to mess around in. Is there going to be any sort of hub world in Travis Strikes Again?
S51: The place where you can really mess around a lot in this game is in the trailer. That’s going to be the open world, or, closed world, because it’s inside the trailer.
L: This is a bit of an existential question, but how do you feel like you’ve changed as a Director and over the past decade since you last led a No More Heroes project?
S51: The more I think about it, the less I feel I’ve changed at all. I’m just as stupid as ever and I get really hungry quickly and eat a lot. I’m pretty much the same. I do drink a lot more beer now than I did ten years ago, though.
L: One of the things I really loved from the original No More Heroes games was the wrestling moves that you put in. Will there be any wrestling moves in Travis Strikes Again whether they be old or new?
S51: Of course there will be wrestling moves! Travis can use twelve illusionary different types of suplexes in this game.
L: On a personal note, do you still follow wrestling yourself? Are you into New Japan or anything like that?
S51: Every once in awhile but not as much as I used to.
L: Well, you should get back into it because it’s been really good lately.
S51: Whenever there’s some big event, I try to watch it. Shinsuke Nakamura is really popular here right now, so I’m really happy about that.
L: My last question for you is somewhat off topic, but there’s a new Super Smash Bros. game being developed and I’m wondering whether or not you’d want Travis Touchdown in the game, if possible.
S51: Of course, but it’s up to the media people. They have to take a stand and make Nintendo put him in the game.
L: Well, we’ll start a campaign at DualShockers and make sure everyone knows that they need to get Travis in the game.
S51: Thank you, thank you.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is slated to release at an undetermined date later this year, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.