Review by pYrAmId_bUiLdEr

"Red Stole my attention for a very brief period of time"

Red Steel is a game that uses the Wii's motion-sensing functionality and infrared aiming to provide a first-person experience through the eyes of the player. (Obviously.) The idea of the game? Your fiancée is kidnapped by the Yakuza and it's your job to go get her back from them. Along the way you'll pick up all manner of guns and weapons that'll help you blast your way to her once more.

Graphics: 82%
Okay, for starters, Red Steel's graphics aren't all too bad. Nice detail is provided to enemies, environments, and yes, even your arm. Visually speaking, some of the game is done really nicely, and the environments in which you duel with the sword are admittedly pretty cool. You travel to buildings, high-rise facilities, and even the Yakuza's factories, which are well done in terms of graphic detail. You'll head to some construction sites, some forest outskirts, and even an ancient Chinese shrine, and respectively, they're all crafted pretty well.

Sound: 73%
The sounds of Red Steel are all pretty typical, environments in which you explore leave a lot to be desired in terms of sound, and some parts of the game seem to be lacking in effective background music. However, the zipping of bullets past your head and the firing of guns as if it were some John Woo movie add to the experience, and you even get sounds like phone calls coming out of your Wii Remote telling you what to do next, which is alright. That's the reality of it though - you'll find the sounds from your remote usually more interesting than the actual in-game ones.

Gameplay: 71%
The true Red Steel experience consists of two main parts - walking around with a gun in your hand shooting anybody that looks like they want to kill you, and sword fighting, which involves using the Nunchuk to block attacks and the Wii Remote to attack using your sword, usually sparing opponents for points that ultimately don't do anything. The sword fighting aspect of the game is probably its main highlight; you'll do battle with enemies using a broken half of one sword in your left hand and a full sword in your other. However, this sword fighting becomes really hard to perform later in the game, and it is extremely difficult to predict opponent's attacks, usually leaving you at a loss of health. That said, the gameplay factor is a little on the slow side when it comes to keeping you occupied.

Controls: 63%
While it can be seen where the gun gameplay was headed, the controls can feel very sketchy most of the time, and the turning speed involving the remote's “aiming to the left or right” is very quick and feels loose. Reloading is not a problem (shaking the remote), however, zooming in to enemies by having to move the Wii Remote toward the screen can be a daunting chore. Players cannot jump very high at all, however they can crouch, which is marginally useful for dodging opponents' fire. On the other side of the game, the sword controls were done averagely, and the movement in terms of slashing your sword with the Wii Remote was not done to perfection, and could have been improved on. Some of the later sword battles are moderately interesting and involve intuitive use of your sword schema, but as far as controls go, overall it generally feels pretty all over the place.

Replay Factor: 51%
To be honest, after finishing Red Steel, I didn't see much point of playing it again, only because I didn't want to go through the tedious control scheme and somewhat undeveloped areas of the game. While it won't be bad the first time you play it, you'll reach a point where after you complete the game, you'll only want to play it again if you're a Yakuza yourself.

Final Score
6/10

Red Steel, as a game that was anticipated as using the Wii's control scheme to bring a new dimension to sword and gun fighting, was a slight disappointment. While some parts of the game do shine, notably the environments that you fight your way through, the rest of the game can have a slightly repetitive feel to it, and nothing else in the game really stands out. If you're looking to buy a new Wii game, Red Steel is probably only good for one real playthrough.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/07

Game Release: Red Steel (AU, 12/07/06)


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