Gamexplain interview Suda51 about Travis Strikes Again (gameplay, indies, more)

LordKano

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Now that there's a lot of different interviews, I can resume everything we know about the game so far in a nutshell (for more details, check the interviews) :

About the gameplay : It's 3D sword-based action centric like the first two games. You'll visit different worlds with different rules, defeat different bosses but the gameplay will stay fundamentally the same amongst all worlds. Motion controls are in, you'll be able to play the whole game with one single Joy-Con and even though it's not confirmed yet, Suda heavily hinted at co-op being in.

About the story : Bad Man, father of Bad Girl from the first No More Heroes, want to takes revenge on Travis for killing his daughter. He sneak into his trail to surprise him but Travis was prepared and they end up brawling in the trail. Suddenly, Travis's console, the Death Drive MK-II, a console created by the Dr.Juvenile on behalf of the company Hazure and that was never officially released, awakens and suck up Travis and Bad Man inside of the six games it contains. There's an urban legend that says that if you collect and beat all the six games from the console, a tiger god will come down and grant the player a wish.

About the six games : they're not based on indie games. They're all original worlds created for the game, and will mostly be retro-inspired. Suda51 revealed that one of them is inspired by old vector scan games. Each of these will have a different vibe, atmosphere and rules, but the gameplay will stay the same. Each of these will have at the very least one different and unique boss.

About the indies : there are indies collaborations, but they aren't tied directly to the worlds or the gameplay for now. Suda calls them "t-shirt collaborations", as they will all be featured in different T-shirts that Travis will wear. However Suda said that there's a possibiltiy some indie games will have a stronger collaboration in the game, but we don't have more information on that. For now, there are 15 different indie games concerned, and we know about two of them : Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight.

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Gamexplain interview: https://youtu.be/WrCyhB0WB-A (since I pretty much transcripted everything, giving them a click would be a nice gesture).

Here's a quick summary of what is said :

- It's the first game Suda51 is directing in ten years since No More Heroes. He's gotten back on directing because he want to return to Grasshopper roots, when they had a much smaller scale, something more compact and having an impact on everything.

- The reason it's on Nintendo Switch is because Suda51 liked what he saw when it was still the NX, and in top of that, it was a matter of timing as Let it Die was released and there was that new hardware releasing soon.

- About why it's not called No More Heroes 3 : while it's still a sequel, it's not a "direct" one as it will be the start of a new adventure for Travis, something different from the previous games. That's why they put Travis Strikes Again as the main title.

- The main inspiration for the gimmick about visiting game worlds were Let it Die and the movie eXistenZ.

- Gameplay : sword-based action game, similar to the first two games, and while the concept and controls will stay the same amongst the six games Travis will visit, each of them will have its own vibe, will be different about how they look and feel.

- The collaboration with the indies aren't necessarily about the levels themselves (he was answering about if there was going to be a Shovel Knight level in the game) or the gameplay. What they wanted to show was that Travis is a hardcore gamer. So Travis won't necessarily play these indie games or fight the characters, but Travis will have different t-shirts featuring these games for example and Shovel Knight is one of them. However plans aren't concrete and there may be instances where Travis interact with the indie games, like Hotline Miami.

- The development team is much smaller this time compared to No More Heroes 2. He was asked about if the retro mini games from NMH2 would return, and he answered that he's not sure if they have the manpower to make them, because everyone concerned want to make new stuff for the game.

- They were successful in finding a lot of indie partners at PAX who were willing to do some collaborations. It helps that a lot of these people played past Suda51 games.

- Motion controls will be in the game, but the main feature is that you'll be able to play the whole game with one joy-con. That was decided very early in the development process to give the player a limited area of control.

- You'll be able to recharge the beam katana just like in the previous games, but the size has got a bit smaller (lol)

- One of the reason he decided to make the whole game playable with one joy-con is that he hopes Sakurai will finally let Travis join Smash Bros.

- He was asked if there could be co-op since you can play with only one joy-con, and answered that he can't talk about that secret yet.

- About what he plans for the future, he want to makes sure this time that Travis's story won't stop just with this title, to make Travis some sort of video games superstar. That's why they don't call it No More Heroes 3, because he want to start from here and expand the serie.

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Another interview from Gameinformer that gives more info on the kind of games Travis will explore :
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/09/03/suda51-travis-strikes-again-no-more-heroes-interpreter-switch-reveal.aspx?utm_content=buffer571fe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

One thing that was surprising in the reveal during the Nindies video was that it doesn't seem like it's traditional No More Heroes gameplay. The focus is more on the retro games. Can you explain further how the gameplay works?

The No More Heroes franchise has typically been that Travis is an assassin and he's fighting other assassins. It's kind of like a fun slash 'em up kind of game. There will be parts like that in this game as well, but this new game is focusing mainly on Travis going further inside the [retro game system]. Inside the game, there are going to be six different games that Travis can enter into. As you said, they're kind of like retro style games. Each of those kind of retro style games has its own set of rules and I wanted to focus on how Travis would interact with the individual rules and the individual vibe from each game. So this time, the gameplay is going to be based on those six individual games and how Travis fights through those, and how he's able to get through them.
Can you discuss what kinds of retro games you'll be exploring in this?

We're still trying to keep it wrapped up with regards to what kinds of games will be in the game. One thing I can say is that there's going to be a game console called the Death Drive MK-II, and they use that console to go into the games. One of the games that I'm really looking forward to putting in is the sort of old-school vector scan type game where Travis goes directly into the game and he's basically playing his own vector scan game. That's one of the games I've been wanting to put in for a while, so that's one of the highlights of the six different retro games that you'll play. As far as the other ones, I can't really say yet.
More at the link.
The first thing I though of when he mentionned the retro games is that retro world in Saints Row IV, maybe it will be similar.

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Another interview, from Dualshockers this time. Not many new infos though.
http://www.dualshockers.com/no-more-heroes-travis-strikes-again-switch-exclusive/

He explained that he has always loved to develop games for Nintendo consoles. Every time they release new hardware, it always comes with all kinds of new features that other consoles have never done before. For instance, when the Wii came out, it had a really interesting controller that inspired the beam katana of No More Heroes. It had all sorts of things that you could do, that weren't possible with other controllers. Even with the Game Cube, the controller was really different, with buttons in different position.

Now with the Switch, you can play it on a TV or in handheld mode, you can attach and detach the Joy-Cons, and Suda-san feels that Nintendo is ”by far the most punk" hardware manufacturer. They're always trying new things that other manufacturers haven't tried, or haven't even thought of trying. Each time they releases a new piece of hardware, he feels that as a creator they're challenging him to find out what he can do with those features.
Asked whether Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes will remain a Nintendo Switch exclusive, Suda-san immediately responded ”Yes," but then he added ”Maybe," in English bypassing the interpreter.

For now, it'll certainly be good to play a new adventure for Travis Touchdown on Nintendo Switch, and then we'll see. The original No More Heroes was initially a Wii exclusive, and then it was remade as No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise for PS3 and Xbox 360 three years later. On the other hand, sequel No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle remained a Wii exclusive.
I'll do a big recap' of everything we know in the OP once more interviews will roll out.

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There's another interview that's slightly more interesting, from Nintendolife
http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/09/feature_suda51_on_travis_strikes_again_celebrating_indies_and_collecting_zeldas_korok_seeds

Why did you want to work with indie developers on the newest No More Heroes game? Are these games that you're a fan of? Are you trying to spotlight smaller developers?

It wasn't so much that I wanted to put the spotlight on other developers, but there are two main reasons. One reason is because I personally am a fan of these games and these creators and for me, these indie creators are superstars. Not just to me, but to Travis as well. I feel that Travis would definitely be a fan of these games. These are games that I think are awesome, games that Travis thinks are awesome, so let's see if we can do something together. Again, as opposed to trying to put the spotlight on them, it's that I personally and Travis as a character would definitely want to work with these guys. That's where the whole idea for the collaboration came from. This time at PAX I've seen a bunch of cool games and creators and talked to a bunch of them and so far it's been going really well as far as getting people together to join in the collaboration.
Has the full roster for Travis Strikes Again been decided, or are you still in the recruiting process?

It hasn't all been totally finalized yet. That's not to say that I haven't found people to collaborate with; there's actually a bunch of them, but I'm going to keep finding new creators, new games, pretty much right up until the 11th hour just before the game is actually released. If I find games and people that are willing to work with me that I want to work with, I want to put as many in the game as possible. There's basically no limit, it's an infinite space that I've got set up for these people and games to collaborate with. At this point, there have been 15 games that have been decided so far.
You've worked from a variety of genres, such as action games, visual novels, and wrestling games. Can we expect Travis Strikes Again to explore different genres?

Maybe. [Laughing]

Obviously it's going to be an action game, so that's one genre that it has to cover. As for the rest, all I can say is ”maybe" at this point.
Will gameplay reflect the indie games that appear in Travis Strikes Again, or will gameplay be in the style of early No More Heroes titles?

One thing that a lot of people seem to misunderstand is that there are definitely games inside this game, but they're not actually the indie games that I'm collaborating with. They're actually completely original games that exist in the world of No More Heroes, but they're not existing games in the real world. In Travis Strikes Again, there is a game console called the Death Drive MK-II that uses these objects that we are calling Tiger Balls as games rather than cartridges or discs. There are six of these games that exist in the world.

[...]

As for the games that you play, the fundamental gameplay for each game is pretty much the same. The genre of each game is different, but the fundamental gameplay is the same. The games that Travis plays in the game actually have nothing to do with the indie games themselves. The indie game collaboration is basically what we're referring to as the ”t-shirt collaboration." The indie games that I've been going around and collecting to collaborate with, they're going to be featured on Travis's t-shirts. At this point there are 15 games, and Travis will have as many t-shirts that you can switch back and forth for however many games I'm able to collect before the game goes on sale.
Are the indie developers involved in the development process of Travis Strikes Again?

At this point they're not, but that's not to say that they're not going to be. There are definitely some characters and some elements of certain games that, if possible, I'm thinking I'd like to incorporate into the game in some way. Right now, the only thing that's definitely decided is the t-shirt collaboration, but we're definitely thinking of deeper ways to collaborate with the indie creators if possible. But that has not at all been decided.
In previous No More Heroes games, each boss fight felt unique based on the various assassins that you came in contact with. Can we expect something similar with the bosses in Travis Strikes Again? If so, how might those play?

There are six different games that are going to appear in this game, so at the very least there will be six very different, really unique boss fights. The art and general aesthetic of the game is going to be really awesome, so I want everyone to look forward to that.

All of the new characters that are appearing in this game were all made by a new collaborator of mine who is an artist from the UK named Boneface. The characters in the game are sort of a collaborative effort between Yūsuke Kozaki and Boneface.
There are theories going around that the antagonist from the trailer is possibly Bad Girl from the original No More Heroes game's father or a relative. Could you shed some light on that?

I can't comment on that.

But that's totally right.
More at the link. I guess that finally settle how the indie collaborations will be integrated.
 

Sponge

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- The collaboration with the indies aren't necessarily about the levels themselves (he was answering about if there was going to be a Shovel Knight level in the game) or the gameplay. What they wanted to show was that Travis is a hardcore gamer. So Travis won't necessarily play these indie games or fight the characters, but Travis will have different t-shirts featuring these games for example and Shovel Knight is one of them. However plans aren't concrete and there may be instances where Travis interact with the indie games, like Hotline Miami..
That's deflates my hype a bit. Everything else about this game sounds fantastic.
 
Mar 16, 2006
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- The collaboration with the indies aren't necessarily about the levels themselves (he was answering about if there was going to be a Shovel Knight level in the game) or the gameplay. What they wanted to show was that Travis is a hardcore gamer. So Travis won't necessarily play these indie games or fight the characters, but Travis will have different t-shirts featuring these games for example and Shovel Knight is one of them. However plans aren't concrete and there may be instances where Travis interact with the indie games, like Hotline Miami.
Hype restored. If each game world is wholly original instead of using existing indie games like people thought, that will be way cooler.
 
Jun 27, 2015
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- Gameplay : sword-based action game, similar to the first two games, and while the concept and controls will stay the same amongst the six games Travis will visit, each of them will have its own vibe, will be different about how they look and feel.
Reiterated for people who are still being hard headed and dumb
 

Yukinari

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Kind of a shame its not a sequel to 2 considering how much more fleshed out and polished that was over 1.

I was hoping for like multiple playable characters or even bosses because that would be the next direction for the series after 2 i feel like.
 

Skittzo0413

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If co-op is a secret that kinda sounds like it's definitely happening. I wonder if it's gonna be competitive co-op, like the other player is Bad Man or something.
 

Triforce141

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- You'll be able to recharge the beam katana just like in the previous games, but the size has got a bit smaller (lol)
And now with HD rumble

I can't wait to feel the direction of Travis' beam katana slicing through enemies in my Joy Cons

And possibly a giant burst of feedback when the beam katana's fully recharged lol
 

NinjaCoachZ

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I hope this can get a physical release too. So many Switch indies have been pulling it off it'd be a shame if this one didn't. This is such a crazy idea but I am LOVING that this is the direction they went with.
 
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smaller than NMH2 but is now a HD title, he must really have faith in his team
I'm guessing really small hub world, consisting of Travis' trailer, the surrounding woods and maybe a couple places with a few NPCs to interact with. Taking places in (what's probably Alabama or something) should allow for a pretty small, but interesting hub. I bet most (all?) levels are accessed through the cursed game console.
 

Crocodile

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That's deflates my hype a bit. Everything else about this game sounds fantastic.
Hype restored. If each game world is wholly original instead of using existing indie games like people thought, that will be way cooler.
neogaf.gif :p
Both of these are fine opinions, I just got a chuckle from seeing them next to each other

Anyway good interview and I'm mostly liking what I'm hearing. I'm looking forward to learning more in the coming months
 

SatoAilDarko

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- About why it's not called No More Heroes 3 : while it's still a sequel, it's not a "direct" one as it will be the start of a new adventure for Travis, something different from the previous games. That's why they put Travis Strikes Again as the main title.

- Motion controls will be in the game, but the main feature is that you'll be able to play the whole game with one joy-con. That was decided very early in the development process to give the player a limited area of control.

- You'll be able to recharge the beam katana just like in the previous games, but the size has got a bit smaller (lol)

- One of the reason he decided to make the whole game playable with one joy-con is tha he hopes Sakurai will finally let Travis join Smash Bros.

- He was asked if there could be co-op since you can play with only one joy-con, and answered that he can't talk about that secret yet.

- About what he plans for the future, he want to makes sure this time that Travis's story won't stop just with this title, to make Travis some sort of video games superstar. That's why they don't call it No More Heroes 3, because he want to start from here and expand the serie.
Extremely happy about the return of motion-controls.

Edit:

Others are right I misread the quote. It sounds like he wants the series to now be about Travis being a gaming superstar and visiting other games. Actually can work considering how he much he addresses the audience in the past games.

The bolded sounds like Henry and Shinobu Will return. Would love Kimmy as well.

I've always wanted Travis in Smash (I voted in the Smash Ballot for him) but they need to get Robin Atkins Downes back or at worst just reuse lines from the first two games.
 

tirkaroKujo

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so the video game worlds themselves aren't actually based on existing indie games? Thank god. While Hotline Miami definitely fits, it'd just be weird having Travis going in and ripping apart characters from shovel knight, shantae, or cave story. Having Suda-style over the top parodies of established games is way more of an entertaining premise.


Put Travis in smash tho, deserves it more than Bayonetta, and I love bayo.
 

kunonabi

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Nice to know the indie stuff isn't as huge a factor as it sounded originally. Still, not liking the sound of the single joycon but I guess it will depend on how the motion controls turn out.

I don't give a shit about Travis in Smash if it isn't Downes.
 

Kneefoil

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The game being playable only on one controller has me a bit worried that they might be oversimplifying the game a bit much, although it's not like the previous games had very in-depth combat systems. It could mean automatic camera angles, which would be OK, if implemented well.
 

Mr. Smiley

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While I liked the idea of "Kingdom Hearts but with Indies" it being a more wholly original product brings back my hype.

That can change, apparently jusding by the paraphrase, so wait and see I guess.
 

Scoops

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This sounds wonderful

Nice to know the indie stuff isn't as huge a factor as it sounded originally. Still, not liking the sound of the single joycon but I guess it will depend on how the motion controls turn out.

I don't give a shit about Travis in Smash if it isn't Downes.
Single joycon is surely just an optional control scheme. It has to be considering the nature of the Switch.
 

NinjaCoachZ

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Suda has wanted Travis in Smash since day 1. In fact, I'm pretty sure every indie devs wants their character in Smash.
I vaguely remember him saying something like that. I remember him, Neku, and Phoenix Wright were three of the most demanded third-parties.

Funny thing is Suda had a special thanks credit in Brawl. I think because Masafumi Takada contributed a couple remixes and was still a Grasshopper employee at the time. Even aside from that I'm pretty sure he's friends with Sakurai so I can totally see it happening.
 

SatoAilDarko

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- The development team is much smaller this time compared to No More Heroes 2. He was asked about if the retro mini games from NMH2 would return, and he answered that he's not sure if they have the manpower to make them, because everyone concerned want to make new stuff for the game.
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Yeah I don't expect the have the ability to make new retro minigames. One thing I absolutely love about them is unlike other similar retro games within games like Splatoon's is that the sound quality of the samples was horrible.



With that said considering the sprite-based graphics of Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight it would be nice to play a very small part of those games as Travis, like a minute of gameplay. Just substitute a Travis sprite for the regular player-character.
 

Giga Man

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Smash Bros. is the ultimate prize for game developer recognition.

Beam Katanas out for Travis Touchdown!
 

Star Orpheus

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If co-op is a secret that kinda sounds like it's definitely happening. I wonder if it's gonna be competitive co-op, like the other player is Bad Man or something.
Most likely but I would hope Henry or Shinobu personally.

Also +1 for Travis in Smash.
 

Easy_D

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"- Gameplay : sword-based action game, similar to the first two games, and while the concept and controls will stay the same amongst the six games Travis will visit, each of them will have its own vibe, will be different about how they look and feel."

I don't believe this it's obviously a minigame collection
 

Drain You

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I really can't see Travis joining Smash. I'd love to see it happen though. Everything else sounds good to me though.

PS: I'd rather see Dan Smith in Smash. If we are expanding it to all GM games then I'd add Mondo Zappa to the list.
 

SatoAilDarko

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I really can't see Travis joining Smash. I'd love to see it happen though. Everything else sounds good to me though.

PS: I'd rather see Dan Smith in Smash. If we are expanding it to all GM games then I'd add Mondo Zappa to the list.
Mondo Zappa wouldn't even qualify.