Review by PsychicKid
"Does it live up to the hype?"
Red Steel is probably one of the most hyped games for the Nintendo Wii next to the new Zelda game. Even months before its release, screenshots were leaked and people were drooling at a game that combines FPS elements with Japanese swordplay. Now that the game is out, the biggest question is, does it live up to the hype? It does not, unfortunately, but it comes pretty close.
This game's got a serious learning curve. Like most FPS games, you run around and shoot the bad guys before they shoot you. You got your basic move, duck, jump, shoot, reload, and all that, but it's all done with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck attachment. The biggest learning curve is the aiming/turning with the Wii Remote. It may take some players an hour or two to get it down, but after you fully master it, controlling your gun and shooting has never been so fun or fluid.
The sword-play doesn't have exact mimicing of your remote movements, but it doesn't really take away from the fun. You use the nunchuck to parry or block enemy attacks with a small blade while you use the remote to slash at your enemy with your main katana. Even those the moves are simple and not over-elaborate, it's very exciting to take part in traditional Japanese swordplay. After subdueing your foe, you have the option to take his life or to spare it.
"Good guy, go get the bad guys and save the girl." We've heard it a thousand times, but this game executes an old concept very well. You play the role as an American named Scott. While at a restaurant with your fiance, Miyu, Yakuza thugs break into the place and start causing chaos. They're after Miyu's father, a rival Yakuza leader, and take off with Miyu. While it's not an elaborate story like an RPG, it has its share of twists along with genuine Yakuza clan tension that helps build to the story.
The graphics in this game look very well done. The textures and detail on some of the background and objects is very nice. Just about anything can be shot at with some sort of thing happening. TVs will go out and spark, oil barrels will explode, wine bottles will shatter spilling contents, papers will fly all over, you name it. The character designs aren't anything special, but they don't look bad. Just not super-good either. There are times when enemy bodies may fall into odd positions or a limb may go through a door. Aside from some odd quirks like this, Red Steel is a very beautifully detailed world.
Bullets zipping past you, grenades going off, and the KLANG KLANG of your katana against the enemy's. The game's music is rather ho-hum, but does have some interesting tunes that play during sword-fights. The guns and explosions sound very authentic. The only drag is some of the bad, cheesy voice-acting, and the very thick Japanese accents may make some words difficult to understand without the subtitles on. But there's something fun about hearing your gun reload and your clip hit the ground through your Remote.
Red Steel seems to be a hit-or-miss title with some people. I'm gonna be honest, the gun controls do have a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, things become much easier and way more fun. Sword-play is very fun, almost addicting, even with its limited pool of moves, but it still provides a very satisfying experience.
If you own a Wii, I really recommend trying to grab this game. If you're still unsure about the controls or what others have said, at the very least, rent it. You will not be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/25/06
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