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    dkirschner's Red Steel 2 (Wii)

    [June 9, 2012 11:41:37 AM]
    Opened and closing a bunch of these right now. Funny story. P is out of town and I'm making use of his Wii. I figured I'd bring over all the Wii and Gamecube games I've collected over the years (6 in total, 4 Wii 2 GC). These were supposed to easily last me the month he was gone. But it's been like 4 days and I'm done with the Wii! What madness is this?! Turns out I didn't like 3/4 of the Wii games, this Red Steel 2 being the only one I enjoyed. And then I had bought a knockoff GC controller for my GC games, and turns out the yellow joystick is stuck to the right. I loaded up a Tales game and the camera just spun round and round and both GC games are currently unplayable. Today I brought my PS2 over here. Glad I never bought a Wii. Wii is a weird system. I've played just a few Wii games, like these 4, MarioKart, Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, maybe one or two others a little bit, and they vary wildly in how they make use of the technology! Some go all out with the motion sensor and nunchuck, for better or worse, some use a few features, and others oddly don't use a thing (Fire Emblem, I'm looking at you) and might as well have been Gamecube games. Anyway, will comment on some of this in other entries. For now, the one Wii game I liked...

    Red Steel 2 is the sequel to the much-maligned Red Steel. I accidentally bought Red Steel instead of Red Steel 2 last year. I remember being excited when Red Steel came in the mail, then I went to look up a couple reviews again and get a time estimate for it and realized I'd mixed them up and bought the one with like a 60% on Metacritic. Woops! I sold it back and bought the one I'd meant to.

    Red Steel 2 is a samurai Western shooter. Samurai clans hunt each other down in the wild west and the lone hero must find the villain who murdered his entire clan, retrieve his clan's fabled katana, restore his honor and get his vengeance. The story was simple and sweet, characters not too interesting. The art style is incredible. It's got a comic book look to it, less gritty than Madworld and with pretty colors. The animations are fluid and the game looks really good. I especially liked the backgrounds of the desert, burning oil, clouds and dust, and other slowly drifting/moving/blowing in the desert wind canvases.

    As the hero, you wield both a katana and a gun, so there's swordplay and gunplay. The katana is definitely featured more and is more useful (although I annihilated the last boss with a gun, in a bizarre twist of simplicity). The game makes excellent use of the Wiimote and nunchuck for attacks. The wide range of attacks included A A DownSwing for a nice leaping charge attack that was my primary move most of the game. Later on you learn some moves that break enemy armor, A DownSwing and Back A HorizontalSwing. Another I used a lot was this defensive block move. You hold A when enemies attack to parry. If you push the Wiimote and the nunchuck forward while parrying just before an enemy attack, you kind of counter-stun them and can attack. The one I killed the final boss with was Cobra Strike, which is the very last thing I learned and it's just a gun charge by holding B and then moving the Wiimote to place 'marks' on enemies, and it just fires off bullets on targets for however many marks you put on each one, up to 6 I think. I'm still surprised I wasted the last boss with that. I was having a lot of trouble defending against him and hitting him, and I just tried shooting at him for the hell of it and it knocked a chunk off his HP. He was dead a minute later, yay.

    So you encounter waves of enemies and you just kill them one by one. They start off very easy but get a bit trickier over time, and you end up having to deal with multiple enemy types at once, which depending on the mix could get interesting. There are 3 samurai clans and each had strengths and weaknesses. Ok well the first clan definitely had more weaknesses than strengths, but you have to figure out what works against each enemy type. Each clan also has a miniboss type enemy who comes out occasionally and could post a challenge, especially if they threw out two at once. Winning battles is all about keeping your cool, remembering which moves work best on which enemies, and executing. Again, the controls were phenomenal and so perfectly responsive. Obviously I have to compare these Wii games to one another, and Red Steel 2 just kills them for Wiimote accuracy and motion smoothness.

    There are merchants and lots of gold, like any good Western game. The gold is in barrels and tables and boxes and...payphones and vending machines. These destructibles are scattered everywhere. There are also safes and lockers to open. The safe cracking minigame was cool. You put the Wiimote up to your ear and turn it like you're turning a safe dial. When you hear it click you push A. Get a few correct clicks and it opens. Safes always have $3000 in them. There are also hidden Sheriff's Stars and some kind of token that give $3000 and $5000 respectively. The Sheriff's Stars are always hidden somewhere out of range and you have to spot them and shoot them. The tokens are usually behind boxes and other out of the way places you have to walk to and pick up. The game progresses by quests on a bulletin board. There are main quests and optional quests like destroying wanted posters that all net you extra cash. You need all this money because there's a lot of stuff to upgrade. There are a few NPC shopkeepers who function as your allies, intelligence, support. You can buy guns, weapon upgrades, armor and health upgrades, new moves...I bought everything except most of the weapon upgrades, but I definitely had cash to buy most of the rest of them at the end, and would have done so if there had been a weapon store anywhere near the end of the game. There are 4 guns to switch between, but I used the pistol pretty much exclusively. When I bought the machine gun and shotgun, I immediately used up their ammo, but then oddly didn't find anymore ammo for them until hours later. I was wondering whether or not I had to buy ammo for those or what was the deal. Turns out it just...didn't drop yet. Only pistol ammo for like half the game.

    One of the only criticisms I can level at the game is its linearity. There's 0 exploration, no NPCs to chat with, the side missions all involve just backtracking to look for wanted posters or comm stations or something. I didn't mind too too much because it was a fun ride, but the environment was so damn pretty I wanted to be let loose somewhere or just discover something interesting. Those side missions I said you have to backtrack because you can't like destroy the wanted posters or activate the comm towers UNTIL you get the quests for them, which are given linearly. So you might not get the wanted poster quest until like the 4th quest in the level, and by that time you've seen and been unable to interact with a few posters, so you have to go looking for stuff you already found if you want to do the quest. Quite annoying and not really worth the time, especially since I pretty consistently missed 1 thing in the side quests. 9/10 posters, 17/18 trucks destroyed, 5/6 bandit treasures...where are the last ones of all these hidden?! Also, as much as I enjoyed finding and shooting Sheriff's Stars, those things became annoying too because I was compelled to look for them everywhere I went. Walk into a new area, scan up down and all around for glinting yellow stars. Looking for those kind of killed the excitement of going to a new area after a while. But, easily enough ignored, and you certainly don't need to find them all.

    Fun game, definitely recommend.
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    dkirschner's Red Steel 2 (Wii)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 6 June, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Friday 8 June, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    really the controls a lot, have to think and be quick! great art style too.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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