Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
To many, the first Sin & Punishment was touted as one of the coolest games never to come out in North America. Originally made for the Nintendo 64, the fast-paced action-shooter only recently saw a release in this part of the world via the Virtual Console. Thanks to its success as a downloadable game, a sequel was announced last year, and now Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is available for your shooting enjoyment. For those who have been longing for a challenge, Star Successor manages to satisfy those needs as well.
Star Successor follows the events of the first game as you control either Isa or Kachi, two young protagonists looking to out-run evil foes and at the same time, discover more about Kachi’s mysterious existence. Your journey has you traveling to various locations above and below ground, fighting various foes and hopefully learning more about Kachi’s true secret. This is a shoot’em up game in the truest sense of the term. Moving from location to location, battling wave upon wave of persistent foes, attempting to dodge attacks and learning patterns are all required just to stay alive long enough to finish each of the game’s 7 stages.
Combat consists both of standard shooting attacks and close-up melee strikes, both of which will be key in defeating all opposition. This mix in the combat offers some really interesting results - thanks in part to potential projectile attacks the two characters face. If an enemy fires a projectile, managing to time a melee attack properly can re-route the missile to hit either the same target or a different one.
There are a number of different control schemes available for use. If the preference is to not play with the standard Wiimote and Nunchuk, a classic controller can be utilized or the Wii Zapper attachment, or even the GameCube Controller. In all, while the Wiimote and Nunchuk work well and feel really good, the classic and GameCube controllers are great alternatives if you want to get away from using IR-based controllers.
Both Kachi and Isa have a similar play style, but there are a few minor differences. These mostly appear in the melee attack animations and their power-up attacks. Kachi’s power-up attack allows for multiple characters to be targeted, while Isa’s melee strike is more potent thanks to his use of a light sword.
In terms of a challenge, Star Successor offers plenty, thanks in part of the nature of the genre. Shoot’em ups are typically a challenge, and this is no different. Fans of these types of games will absolutely adore the keys to remember attack patterns and the necessity to react quickly to both close-up and far away attacks. While there is certainly a challenge, the people at Treasure have done a good job in offering varying difficulties and have the check-points placed generously so that you’ll never feel disappointed should death arrive at any particular moment.
Some of the best moments are the boss battles. Luckily, there are plenty of them to face. Each stage features at least three different bosses, and thankfully, they never feel cheap or fail to impress. There is a lot of strategy required when facing one and this will make for some really interesting results. Also, when it comes to showing off Sin & Punishment’s cool visuals, it is the boss battles that offer the most eye candy.
While the visuals during the boss battles a marvel to look at, the rest of the game plays out out really well too, with fluid animations and tons of variety in both the environments and the generic enemies that you encounter. Not once was there a situation where the game would slow down or feel choppy. Considering that shooters like this require proper and quick reactions, the smooth nature allows for even greater enjoyment..
The audio is probably the weakest part of Star Successor, but it is definitely not bad by any means. As one might expect from a Japanese influenced game, the English-language delivery can be quite comical at times. It’s not laugh-out-loud awful, but it is enough that anyone walking into a room and listening for the first time will still be able to tell where the game gets its influence. On a very positive note, the sound effects step-up and deliver, matching and going along with the strong visuals. Everything - from the enemy sound effects and blast effects to the ambient sounds - does a great job complimenting the graphics.
An interesting, but unfortunately disappointing, addition to the game is Co-Op. One would expect that a game featuring the ability to play as two different characters would allow them both to be played at the same time; unfortunately, that is not the case. If you decide to play with a friend, one person will control the character while the other only manuvers the reticule. Though this is still serviceable, it doesn’t excuse why both characters aren’t on screen, considering the co-op nature of the story.
When it comes to Shoot-em up options on any console, the selection has always been pretty slim. Thankfully, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor does a fantastic job in offering a fun and frantic adventure. Even without a strong familiarity with the series or the genre, it is easy to quickly get into this game and still have fun. Newcomers will want to start off the game on Easy and get accustomed to the controls and nature of the action. Once you’ve done that, you will quickly adjust and want to tackle each stage on higher difficulties. Regardless of whether you decide to take on the challenge alone or with a buddy, the 7 stages offer plenty of depth and should take a sizable amount of time to complete.
+ Stunning visuals
+ Intense sequences
+ Plenty of challenge
- The way Co-Op is set-up doesn’t make sense (why can’t we play as both characters?!)
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Release Date : 2010/06/27
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Treasure
Category : Shoot ’em up
ESRB : T
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