En Garde! Unsheathe Your MotionPlus For Some Ghost Slashing Action
Posted 3 years ago By - Jeff Wimbush
When I first heard about the Wii’s motion sensing capability and all the gameplay possibilities, I looked forward to slashing enemies to pieces. Sure, Wii Bowling and Tennis sounded like fun, but what I really wanted to do was wield a virtual claymore and stab virtual enemies in the face.
I was unsatisfied with the simplified slashing in Red Steel and disappointed when I found out a new accessory, the Wii MotionPlus, was required to make realistic swordplay possible. Now, GhostSlayer has arrived, and, while it has some minor flaws, this WiiWare title offers an affordable way to enjoy swordplay on your Wii.
GhostSlayer is a first person swordplay game on rails that takes you through a gauntlet of undead enemies. The camera locks onto enemies one at a time, separating the gameplay into a series of short one-on-one duels. Players swing the Wii remote to attack and hold the B button to block. Blocks are successful when the defenders sword is perpendicular to the attacker’s. The controls are the same as the swordplay in Wii Sports Resort and it all feels very natural. The sword reacts in real time and picks up practically every movement.
While some enemies in early stages are easily defeated, players will quickly meet ghosts that will deflect and counter any careless attacks. This makes for some tense moments when you face a ghost and wait for an opening, while you both alternate between defensive stances, trying to anticipate the opponent’s move. This is the type of swordplay I have been waiting for.
But it’s not perfect. For one thing, perpendicular blocking is all that matters. If an enemy is holding his sword vertically, all horizontal attacks will be blocked. If the enemy is protecting only his upper body and you slash him across the foot, it will still be a successful block, so long as the swords are perpendicular. There is also no difference in the amount of damage dealt when attacking different areas. This is a little disappointing considering the control MotionPlus provides. The game makes it easy to slash an enemy in any direction, and on any part of the body, so it would have been nice to see that as part of the gameplay.
The game also doesn’t recognize how hard players swing. A flick of the wrist does the same amount of damage as a full-on overhead slash. The game tutorial suggests using two hands, but it feels a little silly when there’s no benefit for the effort. It could have been a strategic element for players to have to balance their attack strength with their physical energy.
Another problem is the first three stages start off way too easy. There are too many enemies in the early levels who are unarmed and walk up to you waiting to be killed. In these early levels, it can also feel like the main character’s movement is too slow.
My two final gripes with the game are that you can’t dismember or stab enemies. A title like GhostSlayer lends itself to the ability to dismember enemies. It would have been satisfying to see your precise slashes result in a leg or an arm flying off your undead opponent. Also, the ability to execute a thrust attack is essential for a realistic swordplay game and would’ve been just plain fun.
The game includes the option of playing without a MotionPlus, but it is practically unplayable. Instead of controlling the sword at all times, players choose an angle while blocking and swing the remote to attack along that angle. If you don’t have MotionPlus, don’t bother buying this game.
At 600 Wii Points, GhostSlayer is a pretty safe buy. If you’re interested in using your MotionPlus for swordplay, this is the best value on the market. Although it lacks multiplayer, like Wii Sports Resort, at this price the gameplay can’t be beat. The game takes just under an hour to complete on the easiest difficulty. By the end of it, I was satisfied that my money was well spent, but I enjoyed it enough to want more.
Although it hasn’t perfectly realized my dream of turning my Wii remote into a sword, it comes close. Despite a few small flaws GhostSlayer is the best way to start slashing with your MotionPlus.