Saturday, September 6, 2014
Wii review: Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
Set many years after the original Sin and Punishment, the Wii sequel, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, sees two new heroes facing off against giant artificial creatures deep within the Earth and waves of grunt units beneath the waves of the ocean, in sandy deserts, and even in dreamscapes as they attempt to best their pursuers, the ever-persistent force known as Nebulox. Isa, son of Saki and Airan from the original Sin and Punishment, was previously allied with the Nebulox, but has since gone rogue in hopes of protecting his non-human friend Kachi from their intent to kill her as part of a supposed ‘will of the creators’. While perhaps not as immediately exciting a premise for opening up the world of Star Successor as the original Sin and Punishment’s cyberpunk rebellion presented, this long-awaited sequel is arguably more adventurous than its predecessor with a greater willingness to change up environment and enemy designs (thanks in no small part to the greater capabilities of the hardware it is running on being two console generations forward).
The controls are simple enough – the Wiimote is pointed at the screen to aim, while the nunchuck joystick is used to move the protagonists around the screen. They can fire single shots, or simply carry out a constant barrage of blasts, as well as release a charged bomb blast every time the shot meter resets. Isa and Kachi can dodge in any direction to avoid incoming fire or environmental hazards, and the two have unique abilities that offer subtle differences in their play styles – Isa is able to switch between manual aim and locking on to singular targets, while Kachi can automatically lock-on and fire at multiple enemies. While firing shots from a distance will be the primary means for dispatching enemies, any foes foolish enough to get in close quarters with the heroes can be struck by a fast and powerful blade.
None of the missions are particularly lengthy, though they certainly branch off into more open and brightly-colored areas than those in the original game. Star Successor’s soundtrack retains much of the original’s upbeat and exciting electronic style, while enemy designs range from techno-organic hybridizations more common to cyberpunk works to gigantic marine wildlife and exaggerated Japanese mythos. Boss fights are often multi-tiered, making them both mid-stage and end-stage highlights of the experience. The difficulty factor for Star Successor’s normal setting, on the other hand, has been toned down a decent amount from that of the first game, so players looking for a more grueling challenge may be somewhat disappointed.
Aside from cooperative play, there’s really not much to speak of in the way of extra gameplay features. Once a stage has been completed in story mode, players can revisit it at their leisure from the mission select menu. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is a game that is primarily focused on doing a few things really well – and in an era when shoot-‘em-ups are few and far between (especially those heavy on the arcade-style gameplay of Sin and Punishment), it handles these fronts masterfully. While it would be nice to have received a greater number of stages, what Sin and Punishment: Star Successor does offer in its existing eight missions are highly-polished and creative enemy designs, exciting environments, intense and diverse boss fights, and finely-tuned controls that make for a final product which dares to break the mold of what is expected of games in the modern era.
My rating: 8 (out of 10)