A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There are no positive messages in this game. It's an over-the-top violent, fantasy action game about fighting aliens.
Positive Role Models
You play as Travis Touchdown, a professional assassin, who isn't a positive role model, even though he's defending the Earth against an onslaught of aliens. He enjoys violence, makes sexually explicit comments and gestures, and uses strong profanity on a regular basis.
The star of this game is an Asian male, but there are other races and genders, with varying skin colors, including his main friends, a Black woman and blond Caucasian woman. But most of the human characters in this game are young and very fit, and most women wear tight and revealing clothes with voluptuous figures. So the gameplay could be more diverse in a few areas.
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Ease of Play
When you start No More Heroes III, you're prompted to choose from one of three difficulty levels, but you can't change back once you've started the game (you would have to start all over again from a new game save slot). While there are a lot of controls to learn, there's a mandatory tutorial. Controls feel tight and responsive, but the camera angles are sometimes ineffective (as it may hide a view during heated combat).
Violence & Scariness
This is very violent, bloody, and gory. As Travis Touchdown, you'll wield a "beam katana" which can slice through enemies, which are mostly alien and/or robotic in nature. But blood will spill and spray out of enemies, plus there are screams of implied pain and bloody finishing moves you can trigger, which is often a slow-motion and dramatic way to end the fight, such as decapitation, dismemberment, or disembowelment. Non-playable cutscenes are also violent and gory, including images of skull crushing, arm ripping, and decapitation.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The game doesn't contain nudity, but most of the female characters wear very revealing clothing, like short shorts and low-cut tops, and camera angles focus on a female's anatomy. There's a sexually suggestive reference early on in the game about a cat, with the word bleeped out. The main protagonist sometimes uses a masturbatory gesture to charge up his beam katana, as if he was stroking himself. Prince FU, the main adversary, makes reference to someone having "balls" for fighting back.
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There's very strong profanity in the dialogue, including "f--k," f--king," "f--khead," "s--t," and more. There's also toilet humor, with the main character Travis sitting on a toilet with his pants down, but his genitals are obstructed with toilet paper. Travis tells the game to "save your damn game" by sitting on a toilet when you find one, especially before boss fights.
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Products & Purchases
The game has billboards that advertise the series (simply with No More Heroes).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Travis Touchdown can be seen drinking a glass of red wine, with a bottle beside it, but he doesn't seem drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that No More Heroes III is an action adventure game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. This is a violent and gory game about fighting aliens on Earth. Using a beam katana (a high-tech sword that resembles a thick lightsaber), you can hack and slash against enemies, which are mostly aliens and robots and there's blood splatter, dismemberment, and some cases, beheading. There's no nudity but the game includes women who wear revealing outfits (short skirts, tight crop-tops) and the camera zooms in on these areas at times. The main character also makes sexual references and gestures, and the game's villain says someone has some "balls" for fighting back. Strong profanity and toilet humor can be heard throughout this game. Finally, the main character can be seen drinking wine, but doesn't appear drunk.
Is It Any Good?
If you're a fan of this 14 year-old cult franchise, you'll no doubt like this sensationalized action in this mature sequel. No More Heroes III isn't without its faults, but the ridiculous premise and dialog, tight controls and fast, stylized action should satisfy mature Nintendo Switch players looking for more of the same. It delivers the goods, especially with the addition of The Death Glove retro computer terminals, and using chips to customize what they can do during battles. In fact, the Nintendo Switch controls work well for Travis Touchdown to run around the environment, engaging in skirmishes, locking on to targets and then after a serious beating, triggering a finishing move to end the round in dramatic fashion (and capped with a snarky response). At any time, you can open the Status screen to view all your character's information at a glance and arcade cabinets called Power Up Machines let you level up your attributes and choose special attacks. These include moves such as a Dash Attack for faster and more nimble hits during combat, or a Charge Attack, which powers up your beam katana for a super-charged strike.
Boss battles are challenging and fun, as you often need to take the environment into account. After you win, a Results screen shows Clear Time, Damage Taken, and other various stats. There are some issues with No More Heroes III, though -- it can be somewhat repetitive in combat (even with being able to customize your moves), and there are frequent load screens and graphics that are outdated by today's standards (though colorful and artsy graphics, for sure). Never taking itself seriously, No More Heroes III is kitschy action game that definitely has an audience. Those who've enjoyed previous games in the series will find this last entrance in the series a fun, frenetic, and climactic conclusion.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.