Review by cold_as_ice21
"Setting The Record Straight On One Of The Most Underrated Games Of All Time"
I walked up to the till, palms sweaty with excitement. I had been looking forward to the Wii since it was first announced (back when it was codenamed the "Revolution"). Finally, I had one in my hands.
Launch games are very important. They're not only going to be the first experience you ever have with your new console, they also give you an idea of whats to come. Obviously, Zelda was a must have, but I had enough for one more game. I'd been looking forward to Red Steel for a long time, but let's face it, it got slated in most reviews. Still, it was either Red Steel or Rayman. I hate Rayman. Red Steel it is.
I drove home and set up my new shiny system. Sooner or later my friends would be coming around to check it out, and I wanted to have a quick go beforehand to get used to everything. Zelda is too epic for short burst, so I loaded up Red Steel.
Wow. Ignore all the cries of "bad controls", "terrible graphics" and "bad gameplay". This game is awesome. Seriously. Red Steel rocks harder than anything that has ever rocked before.
Now, about those controls. Back when Dual Analogues were first introduced, an extremely underrated PS1 game named Alien Resurrection used them both simultaneously to move and look around (which is the norm for any FPS now). It got terrible reviews because the controls were "unwieldy" as it had never been done before. However, nearly every FPS released after used the same control scheme, and the public gradually got used to it. Had the game been released at a later date, it would have recieved a much higher score. It's the exact same thing here. The control scheme is completely new, and at first you may find it a little daunting but after about 20 minutes you'll be aiming and firing like a pro. This is the staple control system for Wii FPS's in the future.
People complained that the uses of the nunchuck and wiimote were too gimicky, and could easily have been done by a button press. Having to shake the nunchuck to reload your gun was often brought up. Let me tell you, nothing feels better than blasting into a room and having to actually aim your Wiimote at targets, diving behind cover and giving the nunchuck a quick jolt to reload (with the reload sound effect coming out of the Wiimote speakers). You know on films like The Matrix where they place the cartridge in the gun then jab it into their legs to click it in place? It's like that. It. Feels. AWESOME. There's also a ton of neat touches put in there to make you feel like a total bad ass. If you twist your Wiimote, the gun twists on the screen, so you can run in gangster style with your gun on it's side.
The graphics are also way above average. No doubt you've seen the screenshots floating around showing blurry textures and jaggies. Let me tell you, anyone can find a bad picture. It's like when you see a photo of Elisha Cuthbert and for once, she actually looks pretty ugly, but you know it's been specially selected out of a variety of photos where she looks beautiful, just to make her look bad. Sure, the graphics aren't the best you'll ever see but they're pretty damn good considering the specs of the system. There are some genuinely beautiful visuals in here. One "wow!" moment that stood out for me was when you're trying to escape an exploding factory. Fire is bursting out the walls, and the air is thick with steam. It gives off a kind of heat haze effect, and everything in the distance seems to wobble and blur. It looks stunning, especially if you have the component cables.
The game is accompanied by a rocking soundtrack. The music picks up in speed and intensity as the action happens. There's your drum and bass music, dramatic operatic music and tense showdown music. Each one sounds crisp and clear. The sound effects are also brilliant. The guns sound meaty and powerful, and the speaker on the Wiimote blares out reload sound effects, bullets ricocheting around etc. It's very immersive.
The gameplay is equally fantastic. 90% of the environment is destructible. Imagine this: you're in the dining area of a posh hotel, and you're surrounded by bad guys. You dive out from behind your cover and start firing. Bottles on tables are being blown apart in an explosion of wine and beer, the mirrors behind the bar shatter into a thousand pieces, tables are thrown over for cover but splinter apart in the hail of gunfire, windows are smashed by the crossfire, pipes running along the ceiling are shot and steam bursts out, fogging up the whole room. Slot machines are destroyed in an explosion of sparks, fire and loose change. The giant aquarium on the wall is shot and thousands of galleons of water pour into the room sweeping all the men and debris away. You stand in the centre of the room, surveying the carnage and destruction you have caused. YOU have caused. Not by just twiddling your fingers on an analogue stick, but by physically aiming at your targets on screen. Playing with my Xbox360 control pad seems tame in comparison.
Finally, about the sword fights. These are incredible as well. If you're anything like me, you'll be pacing around the room, slicing and blocking. The controls are tight and responsive, and all your Kill Bill fantasies will come true. There are a variety of moves you can pull off, as well as learning more throughout the course of the game.
In conclusion, Red Steel must be one of the most underrated games of all time. It's fast, frantic, action packed fun. I HIGHLY recommend picking this great game up. If you like your action, you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/07
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