When the Nintendo Wii first launched, interests were piqued when a game called Red Steel was announced.
Red Steel promised to be the first Wii game to make proper use of the motion controller to for and FPS experience that gave people the ability to wield their Wiimote like a real sword. The game was received very badly, with most critics heavily unimpressed with the experience. That of course, was also greatly down to peoples expectations for the Wii and the accuracy of it’s motion controller being not quite as good as they had hoped.
Red Steel 2 now takes advantage of the Wii Motion Plus (bundled), promising better controls and a more accurate and immersive FPS and swordslashing experience.
Is this what the Wii was supposed to be all along? Find out by reading the full review after the jump.
Go Ahead, Make My Sushi
Red Steel 2’s is an interesting mix of a western setting with eastern Samurai elements, all taking place in a modern era.
You play the game’s unnamed protagonist, the last member of the Kusagari clan who is on a mission to get his sword back, get revenge and to save the local folks from a gang of menacing douche bags.
Slice and Dice
The main pull for Red Steel 2 is the ability to use the motion controls to break all of your TV lounge’s furniture and ornaments as you swing your arms around chopping up the bad guys.
It’s clear to see that the developers put a lot of effort into the combat system when creating Red Steel 2. RS2 plays more like a sword slasher than a first person shooter, so you can expect to be engaging in close combat more often than not.
Using the nunchuck and your Wii Motion Plus, you are able to have some crazy sword battles with your opponents. A great dodging system has been implemented that enables you to dart around your opponents, sometimes needing to stab certain armored baddies in the back to do any damage.
The Wii Motion Plus allows much greater control over your weapon, with different positions sometimes required for specific blocks and other motions used for finishers. While it still has a decent feel to it, I came out of my playtime with Red Steel 2 still very disappointed with the extra accuracy provided by the Wii Motion Plus.
What we all really want is to be able to control a sword on a one to one basis, with our true movements being reflected in the game. This is still not the case as you can still see how your movements are only effectively dialing through frames of pre-made animations.
That being said, the combat is still a lot fun and really gives you the ability to feel like a bad ass when the dust settles and you are the only one standing.
Over the course of the game, new moves and weapons are unlocked and allowing you to cap peeps in their asses real good, as well as break even more furniture in your TV room with all new arm flailing Samurai moves.
Big Trouble In Little… Oh Wait
The major problem that I have with Red Steel 2 is that it’s way too obvious that the developers spent almost all of their time on the combat, and left very few resources over to the teams developing the rest of the game.
The story in Red Steel 2 isn’t really worth paying attention to at all, and to make it worse, the delivery of said story is even worse. Characters that you encounter are really wooden with substandard voice acting.
The level design is maybe my biggest concern, as the entire game comes across as empty and lifeless. You will also track through the same areas more than once and even when you are in new areas, a lot of them tend to just all look the same anyways. The missions are also really lacking any depth. Your missions are collected from a pin-up board at your current HQ and mostly consist of go-her-kill-them or go-there-press-that-button kind of missions. Had some great missions and level been designed with the combat, rather than around it, the experience would be so much better.
You are also throw into a couple of cinematic sequences that require Wii gestures a la quicktime events. These sequences look better than the usual game as they are pre-rendered. The developers have then taken these pre-rendered videos and created a system so that, depending on your actions, stitch the sequence together with the required next video sequence. It’s cheating, but I like it and it works well except for a slight pause between each sequence shift that can interrupt the flow of the action.
The story mode itself isn’t that long either, clocking in at around 8.5 hours for a playthrough and the ending (no spoilers) is ridiculously brief and disappointing.
Games on the Wii obviously have no chance of looking anywhere near as good as the title available on rival next-gen consoles, but Red Steel 2’s line-art/comic book art style translates very well over to the less powerful hardware and ends up still looking great. If one could compare the visual style to anything, it would be that of Borderlands and it looks good for a Wii title and runs well too.
If you are looking for a realistic sword fighting/shooting experience on the Wii, then Red Steel 2 will probably let you down. If you are looking for an engaging story and great game to get stuck into, the Red Steel 2 is also not for you.
The truth of the matter is that Red Steel 2 is a pretty shallow experience, but still manages to deliver some great close combat action and fun experience, but it only goes that far.
For fans of: Samurai Movies, Westerns, Breaking stuff in your living room
Scoring (not an average)
Combat is fun with the Wii Motion Plus, but you will still get tired after swinging your arms around for half an hour.
A great art style saves this game’s visuals and keeps it looking decent
Nothing special, and the voice acting isn’t great.
There is some stuff to collect in the game, but besides that the story is shallow, not very long, there is no multiplayer and you won’t really want to go back to it.
A good attempt at a first-person slasher, which while really fun in the combat sections, still doesn’t get the rest of the game quite right. It’s a very decent and fun Wii experience, but not a great videogame overall.
[Reviewed on Nintendo Wii]
Last Updated: April 12, 2010