Ahead of the release of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes for Nintendo Switch on January 19, 2019, Wireframe sat down with series creator and Grasshopper Manufacture CEO Goichi ‘Suda51’ Suda.
We chatted with Suda about the upcoming game, which you can see below – and we talked more of his time in games, Grasshopper’s past and future, and a love for pro wrestling, all of which will be appearing as part of issue five. So keep your eyes peeled for that.
In the meantime, here’s Suda51 on his Switch exclusive:
Wireframe: Why have you decided to stick with Travis Touchdown and the No More Heroes universe, when it’s a totally different project to before?
Suda: It's been eight years since No More Heroes 2 came out, and in that time there's been a new generation of gamers grow up. They don't know about the old No More Heroes, so that was one of the big reasons behind not making this a numbered sequel to the series.
I thought it was a good opportunity to send Travis into a brand new setting on a brand new adventure, and make it a smaller scale game - which fits with it not being a numbered instalment. Another thing to note is he's not fighting assassins this time - he's in a completely different game world, fighting completely different enemies, so it just seemed like a good starting point for something new.
Wireframe: Travis Strikes Again is exclusive to Nintendo Switch - what's special about the console, and why did you go with it?
Suda: Nintendo showed me the NX, way back before it became the Switch, and were like 'this is what we're going to be able to do, this is what we have'. When I saw the hardware, the possibilities, what it was capable of, that's when I decided we would have to bring No More Heroes back with this hardware. It was just the right time.
Wireframe: You’re making a game influenced by other games [each level/world takes inspiration from retro/indie titles] – how much does this approach open the team up, creatively speaking?
Suda: There are six different worlds in the game, each with its own unique style of play. The first game, Electric Thunder Tiger II, my idea was just to make a straight up action game that just feels good to play. The second game world is an action game with strong puzzle elements... I'm building different variations from that core mechanic.
Another big aspect of it is I really wanted to bring the really weird games I played as a kid - the ones that had a big impact on me - bring that feeling to a new generation, and let them experience that in a way that's sort of re-translated for them.
Wireframe: What's the most exciting thing about Travis Strikes Again?
Suda: I really hope people get excited about seeing what game comes next, the way the game's set up you're always going to be looking forward to seeing what world you're going to be jumping into next.
There's probably ten hours, give or take, total playtime for the game - you could buy it and just brush through it in a day. But my suggestion, what I really hope people will do, is to just set aside a week, and dedicate one day to each game, so you can experience each game, one per day. That seems like the best way to digest it, to me.
Another element is that it's the 20th anniversary of Grasshopper, so in order to commemorate that we've brought back a few old Grasshopper characters to appear in cameos. It's another exciting aspect for people to look forward to.