Product Type: Ubisoft Wii games
Newest Review: ... a nuge hotel to Little Tokyo slums and a peaceful (well untill you come and shoot up the place) retreat in the mountains. You fight you... more
Redsteel belongs in your collection, if you get it cheap!
Red Steel (Wii)
Member Name: Sunrisesunset
Red Steel (Wii)
Advantages: Varied levels, destructible environments, replayable, smart enemies
Disadvantages: Respect points are worthless, repetitive sword fights, checkpoints, time limits
You play as an American called Scott, who is about to be introduced to his future father-in-law in Japan. The evening goes horribly wrong moments before the meeting when armed men enter the restaurant and cause chaos. You are thrown straight into action and must fight to protect your new family. There are kidnappings, betrayal, and murder along the way before a final showdown with a bitter enemy.
I will address the good and bad side of this first-person shooter game.
I never got a sense of Deja Vu whilst playing this game. Every level was different. You will find yourself in nightclubs decked out with a DJ booth and dance floor, creeping through bamboo in the jungle, riding a jeep through a carwash, and many more interesting places.
Not only are the levels varied, but most have destructible objects. You can shoot the glass out of doors to defeat your foes, shoot toxic waste cans to blow up your enemies, etc. Not only does it show how much effort they put into the smaller details, but you can use the environment to your advantage if you need a slight edge over your attackers.
-Guns versus swords
The swordplay really makes this game stand out from other shooters I have played. At first it seemed odd every time Scott puts away his guns to use a sword, but then you learn about the history of the swords and it makes more sense. The swords suit the honour and respect system in place. Almost anyone can fire a gun, but only the best can master a sword.
Some enemies are stupid enough to walk straight for you. However, others use their brains. You can never get too comfortable whilst playing. Just when you think you have your enemies cornered, one of them pounces from behind. You can clear an entire area and they will still appear from there and catch you off guard. This made the gameplay really tense because I always wondered I would end up cornered. There are even times when they shoot from one place and quietly move to another. They work their way forward and attack when the time is right.
You can shoot your way through every level without a care in the world, but you will get the lowest rating for accuracy, time, and 'respect' every time. To encourage you to replay the game, you can try levels again after beating them the first time. You can beat your previous time and accuracy to truly master this game. The 'respect', earned by sparing your enemies, means you can tell some attackers to drop their weapons and submit. This comes in handy when you are being ambushed by several enemies at once.
-Submit? Only for a while...
It is great to use your respect level and clout to order enemies to drop their weapons, but it feels pointless when they submit for a few seconds and then start shooting again. Another time the leader and his two associates submitted, but there were still another five or so shooting further ahead. The submission saved me from defeating those three, but still left another ten or so in the same area. What was the point?
-Respect? Big deal...
You earn respect by letting the boss enemies live. I was so irritated by some of them that I killed quite a few. After the long and repetitive sword battles, the last thing I wanted to do was let the enemy live, knowing that they were going to kill me. As a result, my respect level by the end of the game was only 5. I have seen someone else who had 10. I still managed to complete the game in thirteen hours, and only had some trouble figuring out how to defeat some bosses.
-How to win a sword fight: Block, block, move aside and hit
That was almost every sword fight in the game. When you start fighting ninjas, it is like you are fighting the same person over and over again because they all fight the same way. There are times when you have a slight variation, but they are mostly copies of one another. Fighting them once is bad enough, but the checkpoint system means you will be facing them again from time to time.
I was not impressed by the obsession with the swords. It was nice to hear about their history and the part they play in the madness, but every sword played exactly the same. One sword in the game is touted as the best, but it worked just as well as another sword made of wood. To be honest, it felt quite silly every time Scott died when I knew that he could have just drawn either of two guns and ended the fight there and then. Who would really die for respect? Respected and dead? No, thank you.
-Sword fight interruptions
When you start to get into the swing of things, and sense victory, the game halts the fight and the characters move around a bit with their weapons still drawn. Be on your guard because suddenly the fight resumes, so hopefully you manage to block or hit in time. I have no idea why the fight seems to be broken up like this. The characters are still in their fighting stances, but neither is hitting the other. If they were exchanging words, I would understand why the fight has been halted, but they just move around in their fighting stances. This was irritating when I was winning and the game interrupted before I had the chance to defeat the enemy. The only good thing about these interruptions is that some enemies change tactics after the break. This means you must figure out how to defeat them all over again.
You cannot save the game because it saves itself at the end of every level. This means that you must start the entire level again if you cannot finish it there and then. The checkpoints' layout is terrible. There are times when the game gives a checkpoint after an easy gunfight with three or four enemies. Then there are times when you must fight a ninja and then battle ten or more enemies afterwards. Or the enemies first and then the ninja. At one point, you must fight a ninja, then the bad guys with guns, and then another ninja. If you die before reaching the next checkpoint, get ready to start again.
The checkpoint system became a bigger problem when I realised that the bosses play differently almost every time. For example, one ninja started attacking before I had the chance to move. I eventually died, but after returning to try again, all I had to do was keep hitting time and time again until he was defeated. The first time he was on the verge of impossible, and the final time he died so quickly I could hardly believe. I had used the same strategy-hitting and hitting until one slash got through- and seen very different results.
-Time limit? Not quite...
This is the first game I ever played where they kept adding time to the time limit. Most games give a set time and you must achieve a certain number of tasks or goals before time runs out. In Red Steel, they gave far too much time. Most games stick to a minute or so, but Red Steel gave four or five. I always reached the target with ample time to spare. The one time I started to panic, the time limit was increased. They should have given less time, to really produce that feeling of panic, or discarded the time limit completely.
-Anti-climax ending (NO SPOILERS!)
There were some amazing levels in the game, for example, when a mentally disturbed man sets 'games' you must play in order to earn his trust. There were rabbits, masked assassins, and mannequins. I won't say anymore. Every level was long and drawn out, and built up to boss battle or next part of the game. The final level was very shot in comparison. I felt a rush knowing the game was about to end, but then the final level was over and I felt unsatisfied. The final boss was one of the easiest. Yes, he did kill me a few times, but he was doable. There were much, MUCH harder bosses and enemies before him.
-Good or bad ending?
There are two endings. Unfortunately, I got the bad one. I thought that I could just replay the final level or fight and get the good one. No. You must replay the ENTIRE GAME. Yes, they expect me to replay the game for half a day just to see five minutes of my characters being happy. I like multiple endings, but there should be a clear definition between the two from the beginning. For example, earning lots of respect and sparing enemies should get you one ending whilst being ruthless should get you another. Instead the ending is determined by one fight at the very end.
Red Steel 2 is about to be released. If they take on board some of the criticism, it should be a great game. Despite the annoying side of this game, I really enjoyed Red Steel but not enough to play it twice. The multi-player options should make this a keeper for guests when they come around, but the solo campaign is over for me. I got this game for £5 because it was part of a 'Buy 4 for £20' deal. I think that is a good price for thirteen hours of gameplay with multi-player fun on the side.
Summary: Fun gun and sword fighting with a great story.