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  • Published By: UBIsoft
  • Platform: Nintendo Wii
  • Rating: Teen
  • Series:

Red Steel 2 Game Review

Game Review: Red Steel 2

By Tim Janson     April 20, 2010


Red Steel 2 Game Review
© UBIsoft 2010

 

Red Steel 2 is UBI’s sequel to Red Steel, a first person sword/shooter action game that makes use of Nintendo’s new MotionPlus add on device for the Wii controller. The small device (running about $20) plugs into the bottom of the Wii controller and promises to offer more fluid and greater range of movements. If you didn’t play the first Red Steel, don’t worry. The sequel has little to do with the original outside of the name.
 
The setting of Red Steel combine elements of Feudal Japan, the American Old West, and a dash of Road Warrior mixed in making for a strange dynamic. In true Clint Eastwood tradition, you play a no-name hero, a Kusagari (think Samurai with a gun) who has returned home from a long absence to find his town under siege by a marauding motorcycle gang known as the Jackals. After an opening cinematic sequence in which you are dragged through town by one of the gang members, you enter the town and locate Jian, The Swordmaster. Jian will provide you with your training throughout the game. As you advance and learn new moves and combo-attacks, Jian will give you the opportunity to practice the moves on training dummies. Credit the game designers in this area…when you are training, a video of an attractive young lady will display on screen showing you the proper movements to make with your Wii controller. With the MotionPlus controller, the exact movements such as the arc of your swing are very important. Fortunately, Jian will make you practice until you get it right.

 
In a lot of games, combo-attacks tend to be unnecessary and often times your basic attacks will suffice. Not so in Red Steel 2. Learn the attacks, and use them as they are the key to your survival. One of the simplest attacks is the “rush”. This two-button combo allows you to knock your opponent to the ground allowing you to finish him off while he is still down. This is also an important combo to give you some much-needed space when surrounded by multiple attackers. There is also the “Storm” attack, which gives you a spinning attack with your sword, another useful attack when surrounded by multiple enemies. You will find that learning these moves will help you dispatch the grunt enemies that much faster. Holding the Wii vertically or horizontally and pressing the A button will allow you to block attacks which can then be quickly parried. 
 
In addition to learning these new attacks there are various safe houses located in the game where you can go to purchase additional Kusagari powers, weapons and weapon upgrades such as making your gun do more damage, have better accuracy, or greater ammo capacity. You’ll purchase these with coins found when defeating enemies and destroying just about everything you see in the game like boxes, vending machines, barrels, postal boxes, safes, etc…
 
One of the safe houses has a bulletin board where several different messages are posted listing different messages you can undertake. The choice of missions is about the only thing keeping Red Steel 2 from being straight line linear in its approach and even then you’re just doing things in a different order that need to be done eventually. The missions feature a variety of activities from blowing up Jackal trucks to taking out communication towers and rescuing VIPs. As such, the gameplay is nothing special. There’s very little character or plot development in the game. The entire game consists of combat, breaking objects for cash, and learning new techniques and buying upgrades and it gets to be a little repetitive. 
 

Graphically Red Steel 2 looks gorgeous, eschewing realistic graphics for a cel-shaded environment that gives the game a comic-book-come-to-life look. And as the game feels much like a comic book the graphics are perfectly suited to the task. The Wii remote with the MotionPlus add-on performs very well. Just try it out and watch how your sword mimics your own movements. Occasionally there might be a “miss” but overall the MotionPlus does perform as advertised. Your sore shoulders and arms will let you know just how well it’s working! The enemies also move fluidly with a solid frame rate that doesn’t lag even when you’re up against an entire group of baddies.
 
While the gameplay is repetitive, and the story lacking in depth, the solid fighting controls and smooth visuals make Red Steel 2 a vast improvement over the original. 

 

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