The original Sin and Punishment is one of those games that you hear about around the elite circles of gamers. When it was released it became so popular that it was one of the games that US gamers learned how to play imports on their N64 for. Until recently the game had not seen release outside of Japan, but with Nintendo’s virtual console US gamers were finally able to experience this gem without the hassle of importing.
Developer Treasure is definitely known for quirky, yet expertly crafted titles such as Bangai-O, Gunstar Heroes and the more obscure Silhouette Mirage, but Sin and Punishment remains one of their finest achievements. Nintendo obviously took notice of this as they are the ones publishing this follow-up, and after all these years Treasure still has what it takes to craft one excellent, if not quirky, shooter.
Now describing Star Successor is extremely challenging thanks to the fact that it combines several elements into one unique package. It is some parts Wii shooter, other parts on-rails and all parts action. The game is one of the most thrilling and action-packed on the system. There is never a break in the action outside of the extremely corny cut scenes. There are several control options available here and finding your own groove is a necessity. You can control where you character is onscreen while aiming the cursor independently. You can also use melee attacks, lock-on missiles and even dodge incoming attacks.
At first a lot of this can feel overwhelming, but the tutorial does a fantastic job of slowly introducing you to each move. I still found myself aiming the cursor and not moving my character at the same time several times. It is like the game is almost full of too much action on your first play. That is one of the cool parts about the game, going back to try and achieve higher scores on each level. It retains that shooter mentality while still introducing so many other elements, it feels like a genre all its own.
Depending on which control scheme you go with, the challenge will vary. I tried the classic control style first as I am a fan of traditional controllers. This method works well enough, but aiming with the right analog stick can make things more complicated than they need to be. The Zapper method is by far my least favorite as it feels restricted. This is one game that actually uses the default Wii remote and nunchuk control scheme perfectly. It is also worth noting that this game is tough. Much like the shooters of old this game will punish you constantly until you memorize most of the patterns. I suggest starting on Easy to get your bearings in order that is unless you are one of those elite gamers that simply will not play on the wimpy difficulty. In that case Godspeed and good luck.
As I mentioned the biggest draw will be coming back for more after you learn the enemy patterns and boss fights. Going for the high score is definitely something Treasure fans will be happy makes a return. There is also support for two players, but as with most Wii games it is only local, and it only involves seeing the second player’s reticule. Outside of that the story is about as generic as they come revolving around you protecting your partner character, who isn’t human by the way, from a group of soldiers. Seriously I stopped paying attention quickly as it really is quite generic in every fashion.
The game does a nice job visually considering how much is going on. Only when the game takes one of its miniscule breathing moments do you notice the poor up-close textures. The frame rate stays rock-solid for the majority of the game and the boss encounters are definitely on an epic scale. The music attributes to the overall action feel with fast-paced rhythms ripped straight out of arcade legend. The voice acting is terrible in all regards, but you will quickly start skipping cut scenes anyways so no worries there. The main game will only run you 4-5 hours depending on your skill and difficulty setting, but it does give incentive to go back with high scores and the two-player mode.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is a nice follow-up to the cult classic from the N64 days. If you are an old-school Treasure fan you may be turned off by some of the casual changes to the core experience, but it still retains that classic feel. While this will likely end up being Nintendo’s first Wii title not to show up in the top ten for sales, it definitely ranks up there with their best work on the console to date. Treasure remains one of the elite developers when it comes to obscure shooters. This is one experience that Wii fans owe it to themselves to check out.
Review copy provided by publisher.