A year later and we finally get No More Heroes 3 in all its glory and at an actually decent framerate. Don’t get me wrong, the Switch version wasn’t the worst performance-wise compared to some other titles I’ve played, but it still had the classic 30 fps locks, unstable frame rates, and an overall grainy and low-res look to try to optimize for the hardware that it was locked to.
Now with the PC version out – most of these are fixed! But again, that is just most of them – there are still some problems worth noting. For one, the game is still obviously designed for the Switch hardware and it shows, especially in the open-world segments that were previously locked to 30. These segments were easily my least favorite in the game being so large and devoid of life and still having so much asset pop-in despite the upgrade in hardware.
This also extends to the combat segments. In the first two games, you would go through these levels in a variety of different areas, killing enemies, before finally arriving at the boss. In this game though, those have been dropped entirely for almost exclusively arena-based combat segments that you have to teleport into each and every time. It’s a great way to optimize for lower-end hardware by cutting down immensely on what is being rendered, yes, but it does make for some disappointing level design and an overall increase in gameplay repetition.
That said, at least both the open-world stuff and combat segments run flawlessly. In fact, this port as a whole is just way better than what we got from the first two games released on PC last year. Those had a hard 60 fps lock, virtually no graphical settings, and were for some reason locked behind an always-online requirement. This port has none of that.
The 60 fps lock is done away with entirely and you can go all the way up to unlimited. The graphical settings, while still minimal, allow some basic configuration including shadows, anti-aliasing, Vsync, and a full range of resolution options. The game actually looks good at 4k and I had no issues playing at 144 fps on my RTX 3080 Ti. No random fps fluctuations, no freezing issues, and no crashes like I had with the first two games. It was a smooth experience all things considered and yes, the online-only requirement was dropped too.
Special shoutout to the keyboard and mouse controls too. While I still prefer a controller for this type of game, I played a significant portion of my playthrough using keyboard and mouse and it actually feels kinda nice to use. The bindings take a bit of getting used to, but I never felt the need to change them and it wasn’t long before I was taking down waves of enemies and bosses using that layout. So on the porting front – some good stuff overall and WAY better than the previous ports even if the settings are still minimal.
The game itself? That’s a bit more debatable. Like, the combat is the best it has been in the series and it’s a lot of fun to play around with the different abilities and just mow down these enemies as they are thrown at you, but the design issues I mentioned earlier do bring down the experience a bit. It gets a bit repetitive, especially so since this game brings back the system from the first where you have to grind for money to enter the next boss fight. It’s like a ten hour game but doesn’t even take that long to start feeling repetitive.
Otherwise, the graphics, the music, the story – all of those are great. The story is completely unhinged and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s par for the course for this series and honestly, it’s kinda hard not to like with its crazy character designs and plot developments that just keep one-upping each other at every turn.
All that said though, it’s still a fun experience overall and ended up being my favorite of the series, a much needed redemption after the second game and all the disappointment that that brought. This series may not be the best around, but you bet it is never not weird and 3 exemplifies this perfectly.
So yes, I’d say a light recommendation is in order for No More Heroes 3. The combat is fast and fun, even if repetitive, the story is some engaging stuff, and the PC port definitely elevates the whole experience over that of the Switch version. I had a good amount of fun playing it and would like to see what a potential sequel would look like.
Quote: No More Heroes 3 is fast and fun, even if a bit repetitive. The story is engaging too and the PC port really elevates the experience over the Switch version despite carrying over some of its flaws.
No More Heroes 3 retails for $60 USD on Steam. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.