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Friday, January 18, 2019

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Released... And More Best Buy Shopping Adventures!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I bought Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. There's more to the story than that.

I last wrote about Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes in September, writing about its delay to January 2019 (a very smart delay) and how I was still unsure if I should buy it. Either way, January 2019 is here (specifically Friday, January 18) and the game has released. I decided to go to Best Buy today and see if I would impulsively buy it or not. Moment of truth time.

I do want to support the No More Heroes franchise, after all. But Travis Strikes Again strikes me as something to be wary of... again and again. (There's wordplay in that sentence.) That said, it's something I've been paying close attention to since SUDA 51 appeared on that stage when the Nintendo Switch and its concept was formally introduced.

The first thing I see when I get to the Nintendo section of the store is that Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is nowhere to be found. Instead, another game that I've been agonising over the purchase of was there, and in eye-catching fashion.

Hollow Knight plush plushie digital game download code bundle Nintendo Switch retail
A Hollow Knight bundle featuring a plushie and the game code? For $35!
(The game is $15 and the plush is $20.)

I didn't know this existed. Hollow Knight was supposed to come out in a physical edition via a team-up with the developer, Team Cherry, and Skybound Games. Then Skybound refused to answer my question about the physical edition. And then they went ahead and cancelled it entirely. That left Hollow Knight to wallow as a digital-only game for the night. (And the days following.)

This is still a digital-only game, but now there's a physical in-retail bundle with a plushie “presented by” The last time I had a “Ludwig goes to Best Buy” article, I wrote about the importance of merchandise like this. I'm a total sucker for it. Since I want Hollow Knight and I have full confidence in the quality of Hollow Knight, I bought it. I figured that there won't be a true physical version of it ever coming, so this is as good as we'll get.

Hollow Knight clearly passed the impulse buy test, since I never expected to see it here.

Otherwise, I saw some amiibo like Ridley, Wolf, and the Octoling Boy/Girl/Octopus set. Didn't buy them.

I certainly didn't buy any of these:

Nintendo Labo kits robot variety vehicle Best Buy retail
Featuring the Nintendo Labo Robot Kit's sneaky price cut!

Did they purposefully create a gap between the Robot Kit on the left and the Variety and Vehicle Kits on the right, to make it seem like someone is actually buying the Labo and that if you don't go buy one right now, there might not be any left? You know, urgency, social proof, whatever...

...The only urgent need regarding the Labo is to eliminate them entirely. I didn't use my fireballs on them right then and there in the Best Buy, because employees were everywhere. I was one of the only customers in the store, so the employees were bored and kept asking me if I'm finding everything okay. I said yes to all of them.

Perhaps they were suspicious that I had a camera and kept taking pictures of everything.

Then I remembered that I wanted to purchase a new GameCube controller. I looked around and the shelf label saying wired GameCube controller was devoid of any controllers. Just emptiness. Guess I was beaten to it.

I picked up two $10 Nintendo eShop cards so I can give them away in future rounds of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program (I already have the card for this round, Round 24) and I was going to the register. Near the front of the store is where they have a booth called NEW RELEASES, and lo and behold, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was there. That booth is pretty key—it's where I found Mario Tennis Aces when that came out.

Well, I picked up the game, and went to the register. And I got asked for my ID, because Travis Strikes Again is M-rated like the previous two No More Heroes titles... and I'm just so youthful-looking that it's not clear I'm above 17 years of age. (The cashier said the computer made her ask. I guess she could tell.) Anyway, I supplied the ID and paid $40 for the game... plus my other purchases that made me pay Best Buy a lot more that day.

Some people think that Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is like Hollow Knight in that it just had a physical presence, but all that's in the box is a download code. Well, that'd be wrong. Here's what you get when you open Travis Strikes Again:

Physical box Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes contents unboxed game card season pass code
There is a box, art in the box, a Nintendo Switch card of the game, and a download code for the Season Pass.

The Season Pass promises post-game (you have to complete the game to access it) content in the form of Shinobu stuff (is this spoiling that Shinobu is in the game?) and a “Badman Strikes Back Adventure” at the very end of February, and then a level expansion and a “new scenario” and playable Bad Girl (the whole point of this game's plot is that she's dead, though?) at the very end of April. Maybe I shouldn't play the game until May, then? To have the full experience? That'll disappoint everyone waiting for my opinion on the game, though.

(I haven't played it as of publishing, though I have put in both the download codes for Hollow Knight and for the Travis Strikes Again season pass into the eShop.)

On Monday, Wendy O. Koopa published her three criteria for what makes a good game purchase. While I can't speak to criteria #3, I'll say that Hollow Knight fits #1 and #2. Travis Strikes Again? The concept is iffy, and while I don't know enough about the content to determine what's in it, $40 is probably too high just based on my impression.

Judging games before buying them is dangerous, though. All I know is that the best thing from today is that I got a Hollow Knight plush. 

Ludwig was playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate while playing this article, so he's apparently not in a rush to play his new games or at a loss for entertainment. You'll never be at a loss for entertainment, either, if you come to KoopaTV every day! Anyway, please feel free to comment on anything in this article, even if it's a tangent.

Ludwig later returned to Best Buy seven months later, still not beating Travis Strikes Again or starting Hollow Knight.
By the end of 2019, Ludwig reveals he played Travis Strikes Again and absolutely hates the game.


  1. Someday I'll try this series.

    I also want to try Hollow Knight. But... I wanted to hold out for a physical release. Dx

    1. I'll take plushie + digital bundle > physical that probably won't ever exist.

      (If it does happen, we'll revisit the topic!)


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