Posted by Brad J. (IanAugust)
I’ve had my eye on Sin and Punishment: Star Successor ever since I downloaded the N64 import of Sin and Punishment for the Wii Virtual Console. Like most of us outside Japan, this was our first taste of the S&P arcade shooter goodness that Treasure can dish out. I spent my days dreaming of how the Wiiremote IR pointer could really bring this game into its own. Gladly, I am here to report that I was right.
Let’s just get this out of the way right now. The story in the game isn’t what you would call classic literature, but what you need to know is that the main characters name is Isa and you begin your journey trying to escape via your spaceship from the planet “Earth 4”. At your side is a mysterious girl named Kachi and as your being shot down by the bad guys, you soon learn that you are trying to protect her from being captured. Honestly if you get more than that from the game good for you. You get a cookie. Really what this game is about is shooting, slicing, high-scores, and blowing stuff up as fast as possible and we all know how fun that is.
As it’s basic level the game plays like an on-rails shooter, but you are free to move your character around the entire screen and shoot in and any direction you wish. You will quickly learn that this will be your biggest advantage, since the game will throw everything and anything at you from all directions. This is where the Wii IR pointer functionality works like dream. When using an analog stick to control an onscreen aiming reticule, it just shows you how far superior using the IR pointer is in a side by side comparison. This had such an affect on the gameplay that during development when Treasure sent the game to Nintendo, they were told to ramp up the difficulty. There are many points in the game where there is so many bullets and enemies flying around you can easily lose track of where your character is. In those types of situations your going to want to use the dodge button to get yourself out of harms way and continue blasting your way through the onslaught robots, soldiers, and gigantic bosses.
There is no denying that this game deliverers the pain and is one of the hardest games I’ve played in long while. Even taking the game on in easy mode, I found myself failing the missions and swearing at my television like a lunatic. Thankfully there are plenty of checkpoints placed throughout the levels. Your main goal is to rack up points by shooting and slicing enemies and the more you can destroy without getting hit, a multiplier meter will be added to your score. Thus giving you huge points and a chance to post your score up on the online leader boards. The game only features seven levels, but they are filled with tons of varied environments, multiple bosses, unique ways rack up your score, and the option to play through them with either Isa or Kachi. You also can throw in a second Wiimote for some two-player co-op, but the second player will only have their reticule on the screen. For some reason the devs opted to not include both character on the screen at the same time. Which seems like a strange choice to me.
While the game may lack a long single player mode (around four hours) and any real depth in terms of story. Even the best players will have to go back and figure out the best ways to get that high score and that's fine since the game is purely focused on what it's good at; providing intense arcade shooter gameplay. It's also worth noting that even with the insane amount of enemies on screen and some of the best effects I’ve seen on the Wii, it runs fast and beautifully without any hiccups. It feels like the small team at Treasure really put the time in to make sure each level has lots of variety in terms of level and character design.
To be truthful this type of genre always seems to be a hard sell for a lot of gamers today and I don’t see this game selling like a Paris Hilton porn video. Nintendo seems to be putting a little bit of marketing muscle into the game with a commercial and some online advertising, but nothing too substantial. But if your a fan of this genre, you really should go out and pick this one up. You will be challenged, you will fail, but you will also have an absolute blast doing it.
Intense arcade action
A difficult and satisfying challenge
Creative boss and level design
Short play through
Leaderboards could have been more streamlined and easier to browse
Two player co-op lacks second on screen character
Verdict: Must Play
This is some of the most intense action you going to find on the Wii that doesn’t involve mini-games and waggle. For Treasure fans I think this game will more than satisfy their need to shoot and create explosions at break neck speeds.