31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
An intense, quirky, fast-paced old-school shooter,
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This review is from: Sin and Punishment: Star Successor - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
Sin and Punishment 2 is old-school, and in most ways this is a good thing. There is no pretense about depth and complexity. You will do two things, shoot lots of stuff and dodge lots of bullets. That having been said, S&P2 is a shining example of a genre. In many respects I compare the game to Nintendo's Star Fox or Sega's Panzer Dragoon since those are the two closest modern comparisons I can think of.
GAMEPLAY: S&P2 sticks to the classic design of some of the oldest shooters out there. There are no power-ups, alternate weapons, or any other gimmicks. There are two characters to choose from. Both play very similar, but the difference is how their charge-up shots work. Both characters also have the ability dodge, jump, and fly. Beyond that, the concept is simple... shoot everything that moves and blast away massive boss enemies. This game relies on brilliant level designs and boss fights, which is a welcome breath of fresh air to the genre. Some levels are strictly 3D where you shoot everything ahead of you and others are truly old-school 2D scrolling levels. The transition between the two level types is seamless and I didn't even realize it happened until several minutes after slipping into a 2D level. Unexpected but very welcome.
PRESENTATION: S&P2 is basically a huge chain of impressive boss battles strung together with short sections filled to the brim with enemies. Killing more than 600 enemies on a single level isn't unheard of. The storyline that ties this game together is pretty bad, basically giving the player a taste of some of the worst anime script writing I have suffered through. The voice actors sound bored and it is pretty obvious they didn't put much effort into their recording. I couldn't tell you what is going on in the story only because the voice acting and script is so painful to watch I end up skipping it every time so I can get back to the shooting. But seriously, this is a shooter and anyone who picks up any game in this genre is going to buy it for the action, not the story.
GRAPHICS: Sometimes S&P2 is beautiful and sometimes it is just a little bit too old-school for its own good. Many of the graphic textures are very low resolution. The character models are stiff, bland, and jagged looking, especially on the menu screens and during cut-scenes. In many respects it looks only like a cleaned up N64 game. Other times the game has really impressed me with neat lighting effects that I didn't expect. The game shines the most when it is in motion.
CONTROLS: The Wii is a perfect choice for a game like this. The nunchuck controls movement and the pointer allows for precision blasting. Top notch.
DIFFICULTY: There are three levels of difficulty, Easy, Medium, and Hard. One thing that I like is that bosses seem to have different phases or patterns depending upon the difficulty, which is a nice way of changing things up. Kudos to the designers for this. On easy mode I almost never die. On medium I have found that I usually have to fight most bosses two or three times in order to beat them. The difficulty feels almost perfectly balanced to give me a challenging experience without frustrating me.
VALUE: This is a short game. Playing through on Easy mode will probably only take about 6 hours, maybe a bit longer. A two-player mode is present, but the 2nd player only controls another shooting reticule and doesn't have the ability to charge their shots. It is a nice addition but so much more could have been done with it.
+++ Smooth, fast-paced action throughout the entire game
+++ Interesting levels with interactive environments
+++ Awesome boss battles with huge screen-dominating enemies
+++ Perfect controls
+++ A focus on quality levels and bosses that proves gimmicks and power-ups are not necessary.
--- Some of the graphics are pretty ugly, being only a step or two above N64 quality in parts.
--- The game is short, which is honestly pretty expected with this genre.
--- A terrible story with voice actors that sound bored out of their skulls.
For any fan of the old scrolling shooter genre or any fan of Star Fox or Panzer Dragoon: Buy this game. This is a shining example of a dying genre that definitely deserves a little more love. Everyone else should probably just rent the game to see if they like it.