Interview Suda51 on Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes


first_img Arguably the most shocking, exciting announcement from Nintendo’s recent indie game blowout at PAX was the reveal of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Initially teased at the Switch reveal in January, we finally got a confirmation that the “most hardcore assassin in video games” would be making his return on Nintendo’s console/handheld hybrid.To me, the original No More Heroes from a decade ago is a modern classic, as is its sequel to a somewhat lesser extent. Beyond the novelty of playing a crude and violent action game on the family friendly Wii, making jerk-off motions with your bloody beam katana, the game is true punk art loaded with social meaning and allegory that would make Hideo Kojima blush. The article “No More Heroes is Not Punk” offers its interpretation of the game’s relationship to Western vs Eastern game design and the gaming industry in general. It was one of the first pieces of gaming criticism that really blew my mind, and that’s based on the artistic density of the game itself.However, Travis Strikes Again, which sees Travis and his rival Badman sucked into a haunted game console, appears to be a very different kind of game. It’s not called No More Heroes 3 after all. But every public attempt to explain it, while remaining somewhat coy to preserve surprises, has only left us more confused as to what the game actually is. To settle this, we went to source and interviewed Goichi “Suda51” Suda, the game’s director and head of maverick Japanese game developer Grasshopper Studio.Geek.com: In the trailer Travis talks about reintroducing himself to modern players. Do you think Travis Strikes Again works as a jumping on point for Switch owners who didn’t play previous No More Heroes games? Why bring him back now?Suda51: I actually hope that TSA works as exactly that. While I obviously wanted to create the sort of game that fans of the original NMH series would enjoy as much as they enjoyed the first two, I also wanted to make sure that this game could be picked up by someone who had absolutely no knowledge of Travis or NMH whatsoever and still be enjoyed without having to go back and play the first two games as well.Although it’s definitely not necessary to enjoy this title, I would highly recommend to anyone interested in checking out Travis’ previous adventures to go out and pick up some used copies of the original NMH 1 and 2 for the Nintendo Wii as soon as possible, as the prices have apparently been going up since this game was announced.As for why I decided to bring Travis back now, I’d been wanting to revisit him and see how he’s been doing for years now, as well as to reintroduce him to the newer generation of gamers who may not have had the chance to meet him back during the original run, and with the unveiling of the Nintendo Switch and all its capabilities and features, this felt like the perfect time to do that.Geek.com: How did you get the idea to collaborate with indie developers? We figure you probably can’t reveal more partners yet other than Hotline Miami in the trailer, but are there any devs you wanted to work with that you were unable to?Suda51: I decided to work with indie developers because not only am I a huge fan of indie games, but I feel that Travis would definitely be a huge fan as well. You can see him playing Hotline Miami in the trailer, and if you look closely you can see that he’s actually really close to beating the game – that’s how much of a fan he is.I also wanted to work with indie developers because I still see myself and Grasshopper as indie creators, which is how we began, and I wanted to show my support for these guys and help get the word out as I feel that what they’re doing is truly great and they really deserve all the recognition they can get.As for devs with whom I wanted to work, at this point I can’t mention any specific games apart from Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight, but altogether we’ve got about 15 games lined up for the collaboration and so far nobody has said “no”; they’ve all been really supportive and have all been more than happy to help out.Geek.com: What aspects of past No More Heroes games can fans expect to see in the sequel? How does the indie anthology aspect change things?Suda51: Apart from Travis himself, who, while having possibly matured just a little bit and having had some major changes in his life which will be detailed more in the game, is still the same old Travis at heart, the game will include some of the more iconic elements of the original games. Things like the beam katana and the “charge” using the motion controller, Travis saving his game on the toilet, and the general atmosphere of his trailer – which replaces his apartment from the original games – will all be very recognizable and familiar to fans.The indie collaboration aspect won’t really change much of the game itself. At this point, the only aspect of the indie collaboration which I can speak concretely on would be the t-shirt collaboration, in which Travis will be wearing t-shirts featuring the different games with which we’re collaborating. I definitely want to go even deeper with the collaboration and try out some really cool ideas we’ve come up with, but at the moment I’m afraid that that’s all I can say about that.Geek.com: Do you see a kind of kinship between what modern indie game developers are doing now and what Grasshopper has been doing for years?Suda51: Definitely, yeah. Grasshopper – and myself – started out as a true indie developer, and while we have grown in size somewhat and have worked on some larger titles over the years, I still consider both myself and Grasshopper to be indie creators, and one of the things I hope to accomplish with TSA is sort of getting back to those indie roots, with a smaller team size and more direct control over every aspect of the game.These indie creators out there who you see at PAX and Bit.Summit are really amazing guys, and what they do is truly great stuff, creating the games that they want to create and doing the real “punk” thing by creating things on their own terms and trying stuff that larger companies aren’t willing to try, and I really respect and want to support that.Geek.com: Between the first two games on Wii and now Travis Strikes Again on Switch, is there a particular reason this franchise sticks to Nintendo platforms?Suda 51: I’ve been working with Nintendo since the first two No More Heroes games, and they have always offered an immense amount of support and have always been willing to allow me to try new things and make the games I want to make. Just as the Wii was revolutionary in its time, with its motion controls and the various features it had, the Switch is also a revolutionary console, and I feel that the Switch and Nintendo are really the most “punk” console and maker out there, doing things that nobody else has done yet.On top of that, as always, Nintendo has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout development of Travis Strikes Back as they were with the first two titles, and in addition to the ease and comfort of working with them, I also simply felt that the Switch would be the perfect platform on which to bring Travis back from the first time I saw it demonstrated back when it was still called the “NX”.Thanks to Suda51 for his time and to Nintendo setting up for this interview.View as: One Page Slides1/51. In Travis Strikes Again, the most hardcore assassin in video games returns on Nintendo Switch.2. This time, players are sucked into a haunted video game console, loosely connected to fellow Grasshopper game Let It Die.3. Travis’s nemesis is Badman, who is seeking revenge over the murder of his daughter in the first game.4. Like a true gamer, Travis will wear different shirts featuring actual acclaimed indie games like Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight.5. There’s still so much left to learn about Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes before its launch next year.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President Stay on targetlast_img

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