Review by TheRedneck14
Red Steel was one of the billion titles Ubisoft made to test the waters of the Nintendo Wii during its launch, a few people thought it sucked, a few people thought it was good. I am one of the ones who thought that many of the reviews [such as the Gamespot one] were unfair on this game. So, lets light this candle.
The basic premise of Red Steel is simple, you are a American named Scott Monroe, you are engaged to Miyu Sato, the daughter of one of the Yakuza [Japanese Mafia] bosses, Isao Sato. You are at a Hotel with Miyu and you are going to meet Isao when some other Gang Members disguised as hotel staff attack you, and Miyu is kidnapped at the end of the attack. Isao dies after that, and your goal is to protect the Katana Giri [a sword used to kill dishonorable godfathers] and rescue Miyu.
There is more to the story than that, you also do some work for other Yakuza members, but I will leave the rest of that to you to find out. Although I will agree with Gamespot here, the story did feel like a typical PG-13-rated, straight-to-DVD action movie. The good thing is that there are a few twists and turns in the story to keep it from getting boring.
There are plenty of good things in here, as most of you should know from the massive hype that followed Red Steel before it came out, this game was supposed to merge fighting with Guns and Swords in a FPS, and that it did. You get a few levels going across Little Tokyo, and Tokyo itself; such as a giant amusement park owned by some freak who has people dressed as Giant Dolls, Godzilla, and Exploding Bunnies [funniest part of the game], or a Geisha House. These levels are fun to traverse while you are blowing away Gangsters with one of the weapons you have.
Onto the weapons, you can only carry two weapons at once, you can also carry some Grenades, you can equip Body Armor, and you have your two Swords [the Katana Giri, and a little sword used to parry attacks, more on that later]. There are also some special abilities Scott has, such as the ability to freeze time and shoot the weapons out of someones hand [or in their head for an instakill]. The health system was also done simply, along with your Body Armor gauge,, there is also a Health Bar that depletes as you are shot, if you hide behind something and are not shot for a few seconds, you health bar instantly goes back to full power, cheesy huh? Finally, you get "Respect Points" that allow you to learn new attacks by doing honorable things. Such as sparing a swordsman after you break his sword, or letting an enemy surrender to you after you disarm them.
All in all, the game worked out better than most of the people are saying it did.
At the start of the game, everything is relatively simple. I was able to get through most of the levels without dying, and without too much of an effort on my part. But the later levels did get harder. For example, the early swordsmen were easy to beat, and I could just keep smashing their blade until it shattered, but around the end it got tougher to fight these people and you had to predict their movements. Also, some of the people in this game are way too accurate, I can be hiding behind something and they will still see me, and shoot the hell out of me until I can find them and shoot them back.
The only problem you will have is when the AI decides to screw with you, I'll just leave it at that.
For one of the first Wii FPS games, Ubisoft did quite well, but there were some problems that kept me from fully enjoying them.
First off, Aiming was simple enough. All you have to do is point the Remote at the screen and plug away with the Trigger to shoot the baddies, you are also capable of pressing the A button to target someone and zoom in on them, it does not feel as natural with some guns as it could but it does work. Also, you are capable of reloading by shaking the Nunchuck. The only big problem is that Aiming did feel a little too slow at times.
Moving was kept easy as well, all you really need to do is move the Analog Stick on the Nunchuck to move, you are also capable of jumping, ducking, and knocking things over with the Nunchuck to use as cover.
Onto the sword play, I was really disappointed by the Sword parts of this game, you can do some moves with the Nunchuck and the Wii-Mote to do a special attack, but often the only one that would really work is where you slam the blade overhead into the opponents sword until you break it, the rest proved to be too frustrating for me to use, and even the good parts were still really clunky for me. I often wound up slashing randomly with the Wii-mote until I took whomever I was fighting down.
Not the best I've seen, but it is a good first try.
I am amazed when people say this game looks bad, Red Steel is one of the best looking games I have seen on the Wii. The style looks good with the game, the people look good enough, the guns look realistic enough, and there are some pretty explosions to keep the pyromaniacs happy [although I did not know pumping bullets into a Forklift would make it explode like that]. Most of the places in the game look great, and the developers did a good job on this game that sadly got a "6" in Graphics from Gamespot.
The sound in Red Steel is just so campy and bad that it makes you laugh out loud sometimes; its like the voice acting in Resident Evil games, just some good old cheese. As my friend from the 90's Board TheFFVIGuy said in his review, the Asian Voices are horribly stereotypical, and it sounds a lot like the City Wok guy from South Park [or any of the Asian voices Trey and Matt have done in ANY of the things they made], but that would not bother me if it wasn't for how badly some parts of the game are written, such as the people you're fighting call you a "Murderer" [you have a gun too hypocrite], which makes you appreciate that at least in Perfect Dark, Joanna got called a ***** by most of the people as they died.
I will be completely honest; I hated most of the voice work. But the Music was good, some of it did get you pumped up for the fight you were in, and some of the songs were catchy... some were annoying. But at least it was good.
Finally, the rest of the sound effects. This was the best part, the guns sounded good, swords clanging sounded good, bullets pelting the walls sounded better than a lot of what I have heard before. At least something was done to make up for the "City Wok Guy" dialog.
This was also done well, the levels look Japanese enough for the game, thats all that really matters to me. But, in the places you go there is plenty of Japenesey looking architecture, and the levels look enough like what they are trying to depict to be believable. The Music also has a Japanese feel, and there are a few actual Japanese songs with Japanese lyrics in them. But as I said, the Story is not the best I have seen, and some of the Dialog can make you laugh out loud [in a bad way] distracting you from the game. But everything was done good enough for me, and one of the most Atmospheric "crazy people" levels I have ever seen in a game was that amusement park I mentioned earlier.
I'll be honest right here by saying that I only played the Multiplayer mode once, but that is because my dad is the only person that I have played Wii games against, and he did not want to play again. So, I won't really cover all of the modes because I only played Deathmatch, but from what I saw there was a decent 4 Player game in here that feels like the one from Goldeneye.
I do not really have much to say about replayability besides the fact that there are some fun missions in the game [that can all be replayed from the menu], and there is a decent Multiplayer that can keep you busy for a little while. And if you love cheese, you will love the voice work.
Good graphics, controls are well done for a first try Wii game, good atmosphere, unintentionally funny dialog will crack you up.
Weak voice acting, frustrating swordplay.
Should you get it:
Even with the problems I mentioned, Red Steel is a fun FPS game that can keep you busy until some more good Wii games come out.
Red Steel is best described as a way of showing what is in the Nintendo Wii's future, while this was not the perfect FPS game like some thought it could be, it did prove just how much can be done with the Wii. And after some more work, FPS games on the Wii will surpass this in quality. Even though Red Steel is just an average FPS, imagine how much better Wii FPS games will get in the future as the System ages.
That is how I think of this game, even though it was just a average shooter with a basic plot and nothing big to offer, it is still a fin game that shows what the future holds for the Wii.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Red Steel (US, 11/19/06)
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