Review by SamuraiX424

"It's a good start."

Well, let me tell you that I was excited as anyone else to get this game. The E3 footage had made this game seem like a revolutionary title here. I mean, who wouldn't want a game were you could simply point the gun as if it were in your hands, mimic your exact movements, and fight as if you were holding the samurai sword yourself? Unfortunately this wasn't exactly the case with Red Steel upon release. As you can see, I will review this game by graphics, sound, gameplay, story, and replay value all out of 10.

Graphics: 6.5/10

For a next generation system, Red Steel's graphics isn't to much to be proud of. A lot fo the levels toward the beginning of the game tend to be somewhat "blocky", but as the game progresses graphics suddenly get better. Also, you'll find your character sometimes having body parts going through walls, or enemies disappearing, yet still shooting at you. All of this can get pretty annoying, but some of the environments in this game can be quite pretty, such as one of the last levels outside forests. Some of your enemies will have some of the exact same faces, body stature, and voices [see sound section] as the same ones appearing in a certain level. It wouldn't have killed Ubisoft to throw some variety in this game now would it? What didn't appeal to me to much either was the cutscences. Most if not all ended up being little "comic strips", with no cool animated affects or anything. I guess it's not to bad if you're into that kind of stuff, but I expected something a little more... advanced? Among most of the games at launch though, Red Steel was sadly one of the best. So hopefully the Wii's graphical powers could be put to use, and we can see what it's really capable of.

Sound: 6.5/10

Now, I understand where Nintendo/Ubisoft was trying to go with the Wiimote's stereo, but the quality of it isn't exactly the nicest of all stereos. But on the better hand, it did give more of a sense of realism by blocking an enemy's sword attack coming out of its stereo. Also reloading sounds was kind of unique by how it starts in the Wiimote's stereo, then advances on the TV's stereo. While on the subject of reloading guns in this game, most of the gun's reloading features sounded about the same. And like mentioned in the graphics section, voice acting wasn't exactly to great in this game either. First of all you'd find many characters in the level you are playing at not only speaking in the same voices as eachother, but also saying the same lines. On the category of music, some of the selected Japanese songs were good, and some level songs weren't to bad either. Nothing to z0mg over though. Overall a good attempt was made here, but some of the sound effects just weren't up to par. Kudos for trying?

Gameplay: 8/10

Well here it is, the "gravy train" of the game. This is what fueled the hype of Red Steel so much. The innovative controls, the life like feeling, so much expected, and most of it delivered. Using the wiimote as the gun/sword was really what made me get this game. This game had no lag what so ever when pointing it as a gun, and most if not all of its aiming sensors were accurate. The sword battles didn't exactly have 1:1 movements [movements that exactly match what you do with the wiimote], but it was clever non the less. The sensor in both the wiimote and the nunchuck truly made the sword experience better, by using the two at once for a combo finisher, or to parry an enemy's attack. Also I thought using the nunchuck for either rolling/throwing a grenade was clever [depending on how you whipped it], opening doors with it, pushing down to reload/pick up a new gun, and flipping tables for protection.Some things made the game a little to easy, for example, the locking button made killing some enemies to easy, but this could simply be turned off. Also, the freeze frame attack with your gun was really clever, but if you find the leader of a gang, shoot his gun out of his hands, and wave the wiimote, the whole crew submits. I guess this is good if you just want to simply pass through levels. What also made this game a little to easy was how fast and easy your life meter would grow. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to use health packs or something, but all you really need to do if you take a hit is hide and regain health, then you're free to go on an all out shoot spree again. Something that gets on most people's nerves also is how in a sword fight you could get the enemy down to his last bit of health, then all of a sudden he comes back and manages to kill you. Also some blocks arent to fair, considering they'll be completely open once you parry, but some how manage to block your attack from a complete other direction. All in all I liked the sword fighting though, it gives you a good feel on what a hands on game should be.

Now, is this starting to sound a little to good to be true? Probably because it was at times. Around mid-game, my pointer started jerking itself to the middle screen and back to where it was originally. This happened quite frequently in some parts of the games, and I just tried to bare with it for the sake of completing the game. By the way, this didn't happen to just me, there were a series of complaints of the same problems by other gamers on this same subject. You might also say, "Well what if the wiimote is the problem?" Well it wasn't. When this first started occuring I popped in Zelda: TP, and WiiSports, and both games seemed like the controller was operating just fine. In the end, I liked how this game's controllers worked, it was a great idea, and truly showcases what the Wii is all about. Basically a decent start to a really bright future.

Story: 7/10

The story of what the game revolved around wasn't exactly to "creative", but did keep the game going. To sum up the story of this game without spoiling anything, your meeting your girlfriend's father who is a member of the Yakuza, gangwar occurs, your girlfriend is kidnapped, you [a complete stranger] gains the main reason for the gang war [the Katana-Giri],you venture across Japan to save her. What made this game creative though, was the fact after a sword battle you have the choice to spare or kill your defeated enemy. The more you spare, the more respect points you gain, which leads to more oppurtunities for new sword techniques, and later in the game that character could help you in one way or another. By killing you don't gain to much, less respect points, and possibly fighting even more enemies as the game progresses. Personally, I spared most of my enemies, and found it to my advantage seeing as I enjoyed the sword battles [at times]. At the end of the game, there are alt. endings, which I supposedly got one of the "good ones". Only problem is, depending on how you play on the final battle, affects your final story. If you messed up that part, you'd think it'd be simple as to reload your file and fight that final battle again right? Wrong. Once your credits roll at the end of the game, that's trully the end, if you want to check out the other alt. endings... Then suit up, because you've got the entire game to play over again. When I found this out I wasn't to happy, but this game wasnt exactly the longest game anyways, so I guess it isn't to bad of a replay. Not to mention you can redo missions to earn better grades than your originals -- Which also supposedly leads to those other alt. endings if you're interested.

Replay Value: 8/10

This game's replay value deserves a good grade, mainly because of the multi player. I personally liked the multiplayer, and getting a group of your buddies together and just going through an all out massacre on eachother can be fun. This game's multi player also somewhat operated like Golden Eye's, which was a pretty good game also. The alt. endings also give you something else to do if you aren't content with the one you settled with. This also gives you a chance to spare or kill those other guys you werent exactly feeling on your first playthrough. The replay level opportunity isnt to bad of an idea either, it gives you the oppurtinity to get a better grade on some of the levels you really bombed on. Or if you just liked a specific level, and wanted to go through it again just for the heck of it, this is your thing!

Red Steel definitely did not deserve all those extremely low grades that "official" gaming sites had been giving it. I mean, a 7 seems to be a perfectly reasonable score to give it, considering it wasn't the best of its class, yet wasn't the worst either. I think that Red Steel will open some major gateways on first person shooters to come for the Wii, and with a more time, Red Steel could have been one of those games. I liked Red Steel, and I recommend buying it to add for your Wii gaming collection. Through and through, Red Steel did prove to be almost as strong as E3 said it would be, and like my tagline says... It's a good start.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/06/06

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