Review: Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (Wii)August 3rd, 2010 | Written by Danreb Victorio | Topic: Reviews, Wii
Sin & Punishment was the best Nintendo 64 game you’ve never played. This statement should probably ring true, especially since the game never made in stateside before its release on the Wii’s Virtual Console a couple years back.
The game was a 3D on-rails shooter in the vein of Star Fox 64 that featured nothing but on-foot action. Developed by the hardcore gaming veterans at Treasure, responsible for cult hits like Ikaruga and Gunstar Heroes, Sin & Punishment became a cult-hit of its own on the N64.
Star Successor on the Wii picks up where the last game left off. The game’s main character, Isa, is a descendant from the previous game’s main character and his objective is to help a young girl named Kachi escape the planet. Like most or all futuristic shooters, the story is truly nothing memorable, but that’s not what’s important. The original game was all about fast-paced action and planning, and that’s an area where Star Successor definitely does not disappoint.
Star Successor is best played using both the Nunchuck and Wii Remote. The remote allows you to aim anywhere along the screen, while the analog stick on the nunchuck allow for unlimited maneuverability. While you can’t charge forward or backward, the ability to roam around the screen will be vital as the main way to accumulate points is through chains of attacks that are dealt while not receiving damage. Using the Z button’s dodge function will be key, as it’s essentially what the “barrel roll” was in Star Fox.
With that, the camera is extremely fast-paced. The original Sin & Punishment had the camera fixed in certain areas until you killed everything on the screen, but in Star Successor you’re constantly moving. There will be times where it stops for you to kill everything, but during those times there will be so many enemies, you won’t even notice.
This is because the camera is also good at changing your battle perspective. Sometimes you’ll be fighting through the same rails and pipeline, but other times the camera will shift at a certain angle so it seems like you’re playing a left and right sidescrolling shooter. This is where the strategy starts to come into play because of the different tricks you have in your arsenal.
As far as the shooting mechanics go, all attacks are done with the B button. Holding the button results in a never ending slew of lasers to be fired from either character, while tapping it allows Isa or Kachi to use hand-to-hand melee strikes. The latter is more powerful than the projectiles, but it’s on small occasion that enemies would be that close without damaging you in the first place.
What really gives the game its old-school feel is its bosses. Not only do they take up a large percentage of the screen, but their attack patterns usually take more than two tries to fully comprehend. But as unforgiving as the bosses are, there’s usually a checkpoint right before them, so it should give the player ample time to figure things out and adjust their strategy.
Speaking of help, the game also features a cooperative mode where both main characters can play. The only problem is that for some reason or another, the game doesn’t give the second player full use. Instead what’s left is a bulls-eye and default lasers. There’s no charge shot, and that’s pretty much it. Instead of cooperative play, it’s more like assistance. Think of the star cursor from Super Mario Galaxy, and that’s pretty much what you’re getting.
Visually, the game looks good, but it’s no masterpiece. At first, it’ll be confusing trying to decide which sprites in the game are enemies and which are just there for the background. This pretty much forces the player to use a “shoot anything that moves” strategy in order to get things going. Eventually, it becomes a lot easier to play because the eyes will get used to the visuals, but because there’s so much going on at once, it’s really hard to get to that point. The main thing is that the game feels as intense as it does visually.
The sound isn’t a particularly amazing either. With a mediocre “epic” soundtrack and laser shots that are so quiet you wonder if you’re even killing anything—it’s hard to really take anything seriously. On top of that, the voice acting is horrible. Luckily, you have the option of turning on the Japanese dialog, but even at that, nothing in the game is really worth listening to.
While Star Successor suffers greatly from a few shortcomings, the utter challenge and tight gameplay should be enough to keep the most hardcore gamers pleased for a while. The game should roughly take 7 hours to complete the first time, while players who are more competitive will continue to play just to maintain the top spot in the game’s online leaderboards. Overall, the game is an extremely hard title that is forgiving enough for everyone to try out—just as long as your eyes and ears (and reflexes) can handle it.
Score: 8.2 | Recommendation: Wait for a price drop.
Verdict: One of the most hardcore games of the generation is on the Wii.