No More Heroes 3 is out, a sequel a decade in the making and the end of the series. Travis Touchdown’s adventures are far from over, but our role as audience is. No More Heroes 3 is a fascinating game, but as you may be able to tell from the divisive review scores, not everyone’s gonna love it.

But if you’re new and curious, or simply want to know what you’re in for, I’m here to help. After seeing it through to the end, there are a few key points I think would be helpful to know before jumping into No More Heroes 3.

Some of these are dependent on your history with the series, but new or old, hopefully you’ll find something helpful here. Or maybe you’ve just showed up to take in some content. That’s great too!

7 Things You Need to Know About No More Heroes 3

Play Travis Strikes Again

Here’s my big mistake. I haven’t gotten around to playing through Travis Strikes Again yet, because it just be like that sometimes. I figured I didn’t need to, since it seemed like a spinoff to me.

Joke’s on me, because I had to go and read a TSA plot synopsis to understand what the hell was going on here. No More Heroes 3, from the jump, assumes you’re all caught up. It’s basically NMH 4 in that way.

Definitely Don’t Start Here

If you’re totally brand new to No More Heroes, I’m gonna go ahead and ask you to put this game down. Don’t even buy it yet if you haven’t. Instead, hop over to the eShop, or Steam, or… Amazon Luna (?) and play the first two games. No More Heroes is a linear story despite its brazen disregard for logic and reason, and the third game is perhaps the worst possible starting point.

Killing the Past 

Even if you’re caught up on No More Heroes, there are going to be some moments that are still confusing. That’s because Suda51 decided to incorporate elements from his previous games, especially the Silver Case series.

Luckily, you can get both games in one pack for the Switch in The Silver Case 2425. That said, the good news is you really don’t need that stuff. There’ll be some momentary confusion at specific points if you aren’t brushed up on the Kill the Past lore, but ultimately this aspect of the game is way more optional.

Side Stories! Notice Them!

At a certain point, No More Heroes 3 introduces some visual novel-like side stories in a similar vein to the Yakuza series. Once of these storylines in particular is important for full completion, because you can’t get to the Gacha machine without it. Luckily, once these quests appear they’re marked on the map as little speech bubbles. Keep an eye out!

Brush up on your Takashi Miike

This isn’t just about understanding references. It’s about the vibe and understanding of Travis, Bishop, and their friendship. No for real. Travis and Bishop spend a huge chunk of No More Heroes 3 having conversations about Miike films, and if you don’t know these movies you’re missing out on some videogame mood food. Plus they’re awesome (albeit grotesque) for the most part.

Don’t Stress Collectibles (There’s a Radar)

No More Heroes 3 introduces several kinds of collectibles, and they can come off as pretty intimidating. The open world area is pretty big (for NMH) and these things hide pretty well.

Luckily, you don’t have to drive yourself nuts pixel hunting around buildings and alleyways. One of the chips you can craft gives you a radar that’ll take you right up to where the collectibles are.

You can just run around until Travis starts beeping, then zero in on your card/statue/scorpion/etc.

Pay Attention to Tension (and slow down)

Combat in No More Heroes 3 is kinda weird, compared to the first two games. There’s a distinct flow to it that’s hard to get used to, especially when you’re trying to figure out what does and doesn’t leave you open. The key to everything is the Tension guage, or the tiger icon on the HUD’s bottom right corner.

As your Tension goes up (or goes down if you mess up), Travis’ attacks actually change. 

You have to be careful, because as your combos shift with Tension you can easily accidentally overcommit to big, meaty swings or misjudge how safe you are otherwise. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with some of the game’s more mobile enemies.

Just step off the gas a bit, taking a little extra time to pick your shots and utilize your whole toolset to create openings. Between Tension and the slot machine power ups, there’s a lot of dynamism to what your buttons actually do moment to moment.

No More Heroes 3 is pretty straightforward, for the most part. The bosses don’t even get that tricky in terms of how you need to approach them in combat. So you might not see boss guides from me this time.

But this is a game with all kinds of little quirks, so you may catch us dipping into some minutia here and there. But these tips we’ve started off with are the most important, especially if you’re new. Also, check out our review if you haven’t already!

Related: No More Heroes 3 Review | We Love Suplex Dad