Red Steel

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This game gets a 7 out of 10!Happy New Year’s everyone! I’ve finally beaten Red Steel (Official site - lots of flash or Wikipedia - contains spoilers), at least the main part of the game, and I’ve decided to review it here.

We’ll start with a little bit of the background storyline. You play as Scott Monroe, the faceless hero who is Miyu’s fiance and bodyguard. As Scott is preparing to meet her father, the restaurant you are at in Los Angeles becomes infested by Yakuza gang members trying to kill your fiance’s father (Sato). After he escapes with severe wounds, the Yakuza members kidnap Miyu. And so, as the player becomes intrigued by the deep storyline (as far as FPS games go), Scott becomes caught up in the drama in order to save his fiance.

Now what’s so great about this game? We all know there was a lot of hype about it when it was first revealed. Well, first of all, it’s a FPS (First Person Shooter) that really shows off the unique innovations with the Wii remote and nunchuck attachment. Weapons (all based off of real life weapons) include pistols, a revolver, rifles, grenades, and a sword. Yes, a sword (actually two); I suppose because there is more honor in fighting an enemy with a sword if he has no gun.

The aiming mechanics feel very natural since all the player has to do is point at the enemy at the screen. Movement is likewise simple, using the control stick on the nunchuck to move forward, back up, and strafe around corners (the two buttons allow you to jump or crouch with the left hand) while concentrating on your aim with the right hand.

When the player encounters an enemy wielding a sword (or, i.e., a bat) as a weapon, the game goes into a sword fight sequence as the player draws his sword. While in the sword fighting sequences a player can strike by swinging the Wii remote, dodge attacks, or parry weaker strikes in order to counterattack. The sword fighting is very intuitive and will strike almost perfectly in the direction the player swings the sword (though don’t expect to be able to slice-slice-slice; there is a delay in order to encourage players to use the Wiimote as though it were a real sword). As the player progress through the game, Scott has the ability to learn new special moves called katas. Landing specific combo sequences of movements with the remote will trigger a move that inflicts much pain on the enemy and earn the player respect points.

The AI in the game is amazing, at least when it comes to the gunmen. Level after level, the enemies sneak around in the dark, hide behind obstacles, and attack from behind. During one level that specifically comes to mind, I was in a hallway that goes around a central room in a complete square. I faced the enemy for a moment before ducking behind the wall to safely reload my gun. By the time the gun was reloaded, the enemy had circled around the hallway and started shooting me from behind. Unfortunately, I cannot honestly say the same for the swordsmen. They tend to follow strict patterns of movements and, once the player learns the patterns, it becomes increasingly simple to defeat any enemy.

So, fun gameplay, awesome storyline, and great AI, why give the game only a 7 out of 10 stars? That’s all that matters! Well, although great ideas, for one the controls are not always as responsive as they should be. When the remote gets stuck and the player is spinning in circles while under fire from ten enemies, it tends to get a bit annoying… But that’s rare.

Many reviews give the game props for it’s great graphics, but I’m not entirely impressed with them. I think the comic book style cut scenes between missions is genius, but I would’ve liked to see smoother, more realistic character models. It feels like you’re shooting a real gun, but it doesn’t look like your killing real people (though maybe that was necessary to keep it as a T for Teen rating). And as far as glitches go, don’t jump in any trash cans or you won’t be able to move. Also, large rocks tend to do the same.

Now this next gripe is only a personal irk, but I’d like to see online multi-player with it. I’m already impressed with the current online capabilities of the Wii, what with the browser and ability to send e-mails. I imagine an online, even P2P-style play (ala DS Download Play) would seriously pwn any other FPS on the market.

As for replay value, well…let’s say this game won’t be collecting any dust in the foreseeable future. With multi-player (which I haven’t tested due to not having a second nunchuck. Also, having beaten the game, it shows I only have 76% of the game finished. Whether this implies unlockables or not, achieving higher accuracy while replaying missions seems to raise that game completion percentage.

So, as much as I’ve griped, I really do enjoy the game. The fact that it’s intensely fun and addictive is it’s real saving grace. A 7/10 when being realistic about it, but it’s a new personal favorite of mine.

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4 Responses to “Red Steel”

  1. Jimmy (4) Says:

    Hey, you asked me to. =P

    I agree with almost every point you make, and rate it as an above-average game as well (7-8/10).

    The multiplayer is a lot of fun. Grenades are always a fun surprise (especially when your opponent is new and flails around, panicking). The levels are a tad big, so a 1-on-1 can take a bit of time to find your opponent. Also, since the health regeneration still exists in multiplayer, don’t expect a Hollywood style gunfight. It’s not happening. =P

    Now…the health regeneration bit has a big impact on the difficulty of the game. In Red Steel, health regenerates after not being hit for a short period of time (a la Halo’s shields). It discourages conservation, since you get it all back during a gunfight….but during each individual room, you’re likely to get hit several times, so the game would be ridiculously hard without it.

    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows Windows XP
  2. Kevin^L (43) Says:

    Red Steel? Fuck Red Steel, when I beat Zelda, I’m gonna replay it! I’ll be playing it until I die!

    Seriously though, I’m on the Sky Dungeon and it’s blowing my mind.
    *spiders mans outa here with his badass new wep*

    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows Windows XP
  3. Possum Says:

    @Kevin

    I spent four hours in one room of the sky dungeon looking for a switch that was somewhere else. It probably would’ve helped if I hadn’t been drunk and sleep deprived >.>

    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows Windows XP
  4. Possum Says:

    Just wanted to make a point that as I continue to replay levels with higher accuracy, the completed game percentage does indeed increase.

    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows Windows XP