A slice of the Orient
This is our first review of the New Year and now the heady sway of alcohol and Christmas cheer has gone, itís time to knuckle down. So anyway, the Wii has been out now for a short while in Europe and itís launch line-up was fairly good, amongst the list of games there are some that deserve a mention for having a try at something innovative and fun.
Red Steel is one of those games that attempts to hit a high bar and just misses it, not to say itís not a fun game but itís just a little too unpolished in places. This could be attributed to the infancy of the console and the development behind the game for the platform.Story
A Japanese Yakuza bossís daughter is kidnapped. Her old man is in trouble and here you are with guns and swords to save the day. Itís a clichťd story but itís got some twists and turns in the tale that should keep you going until the end.
The story is told through a mix of in-engine cut-scenes and graphic-novel like frames, only in both types of storytelling the dialogue is stilted and pretty generic.Gameplay
Right from the get-go Red Steel has got a sharp learning curve that will take some people a while to get the best from the game. The Wii-mote should lend itself to the point/shoot style of gameplay in Red Steel but it doesnít quite mesh up, you can adjust some things but it still feels quite a bit sluggish.
Red Steel is a FPS/Sword swinger, the Wii-mote controls the aiming and the Nunchuck controls various actions like opening doors and movement. The system is clunky at times and the game itself is relentless at first. Fortunately there are no health packs and pickups since it uses a regenerating health meter, take too much damage and youíll need to find cover.
Once youíre in cover you can take a few moments to try and catch your breath before dipping out to get shot at again. The game handles zooming in with the Wii-mote; you just need to hit aim and then push the Wii-mote forwards towards the screen. The game does a good job of showing you the controls as you play through the first few levels; it doesnít lead you by the hand and fully expects you to be able to hold your own.
It gets more interesting when you get hold of a sword, but even the sword combat isnít as fluid as it could have been. You can perform a couple of combo moves that will essentially win you any sword fight. One of the nicest features of the game is that you donít have to kill your defeated opponent; you can show mercy and gain Respect that way.
Respect unlocks new bonuses and moves.