Wii

North America

Red Steel 2

by Neal Ronaghan - March 24, 2010, 10:37 am PDT
Total comments: 17

9

This is the MotionPlus game we've all been waiting for.

When Red Steel 2 was first announced, I was very skeptical. As most of you probably remember, the original Red Steel was a lackluster Wii launch title that promised a lot and failed to deliver. Over time and exposure, it appeared that the sequel was shaping up well, eschewing many of the trappings of the original game for Wii MotionPlus controls, an overhauled game world, and cel-shaded art style. When all is said and done, Red Steel 2 is not only a great game, but one of the best games currently available on Wii.

Much of the game's success hinges on just how much of a game it is. While early on everyone was concerned about the lack of blood in the title, it fits when everything in the world spills out coins so you can upgrade your hero with no name. It's deliciously a video game, and it embraces this fact. You won't see realism in Red Steel 2, and that's for the better.

The sword and gun controls are spot-on aside from a few issues. The gun uses the pointer, the gold standard for Wii games, while the sword makes use of Wii MotionPlus, easily the game's biggest addition. Every swing of the Wii Remote is represented on screen. It's not true one-to-one swordplay, but it's as close as it needs to be. It's a bit awkward switching from sword to gun, though, because when you're in an open environment, swinging your sword will screw up your pointer's position on the screen, which will then make your character spin around like a fool when your gun is drawn.

Luckily, this is more or less corrected in combat thanks to the game's lock-on mechanic. When a fight begins, you automatically lock on to the nearest enemy. You can easily switch your target with a tap of the Z button. The game does a fantastic job of allowing you to keep your focus on the foe in front of you, displaying a warning whenever an off-screen enemy is about to attack you.

Combat is split into separated brawls. Generally speaking, you'll enter a room and a number of foes will appear. Once you wipe out those foes, your health will be regenerated and you'll get a monetary bonus. It works quite well in the context of the game, especially when the fights get harder and you start praying for that end-of-battle health regeneration.

The combat works fantastically well, and you have tons of tools at your disposal despite only working with a sword and a few guns. As you progress through the game you are introduced to a variety of moves, ranging from deadly sword combos to special powers named after animals. The sword combos are spectacular and fun to execute. For example, an early move called The Guillotine requires you to double-tap A, which thrusts your character into the air, and then swing down to attack. Usually, these combos allow you to use a finisher, which you can execute with a simple sword swing or another combo. The special powers do special things. The Bear launches an earthquake around you, The Eagle launches an enemy into the air, and The Tiger is a powerful parry attack. These special moves, along with the guns you come across and your armor and health, are all upgradeable.

Red Steel 2 is similar to an open world game in the sense that you go to different regions in the linear story and explore one region as much as you want, collecting money for upgrades by smashing boxes, unlocking safes, and completing side quests. If there's any problem with that, it's that the world is sometimes a little too barren, and the environments, while absolutely beautiful, are too similar. There are also challenging boss fights along the way, some of which become recurring mini-bosses, that coincide with the game's shoestring story. The cannon fodder enemies repeat, but each enemy requires you to employ a different method to conquer them, and you'll learn different methods that take advantage of every combo and power to take out each one as you go.

With a subtle progression of moves, an excellent sense of empowerment when you defeat a tough area, and a solid learning curve, Red Steel 2 manages to keep up the pace throughout its 10-hour adventure. Any fan of video games should check this game out, especially if you're into first-person shooters and/or combo-based brawlers. Plain and simple, this is one of the finest games to grace the Wii console.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
9 9 9 9 6.5 9
Graphics
9

The cel-shaded style fits the game perfectly, and the clashing Western/Japanese art style is fun and interesting to behold. With the exception of some annoying elevator-like loading sequences, the graphics are amazing.

Sound
9

The Western twang of the soundtrack is reminiscent of Ennio Morricone's famous film scores. It fits the game perfectly, and ramps up the intensity when appropriate.

Control
9

MotionPlus is one hell of a game-changer. It makes swordplay feel fluid and fun, and the fact that you only need to calibrate the device at the start of your session is all the sweeter. Every move is easy to execute and makes you feel like a bad-ass for doing so. It's got some small issues, fortunately outside of combat, but it's fantastic otherwise.

Gameplay
9

There is a good deal of depth in the intuitive combat, which features a variety of combos, special moves, and guns to unlock and upgrade - almost all of which are rewarding to execute, and serve a purpose against different enemies.

Lastability
6.5

It's a 10-hour adventure that, outside of a challenge mode that allows you to replay sections of the game, offers little reason to play through it again. Still, it's a lengthy experience that doesn't really overstay its welcome.

Final
9

Red Steel 2 is a rebound of epic proportions that discards the failures of the original game and rises like a phoenix from its ashes. With excellent combat, great graphics and art direction, a moody soundtrack, and an array of upgradeable moves and weapons, Red Steel 2 is one of the best games to hit Wii. It shouldn't be missed by anyone.

Summary

Pros
  • Beautiful art direction and graphics
  • Excellent combat
  • Great upgrade system
  • MotionPlus + Sword = Awesome
Cons
  • Exploration can be bland
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

ShyGuyMarch 24, 2010

Everything I've played of the game so far makes me completely agree with Neal's score. Best Third Party Exclusive on the Wii? I think so.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMarch 24, 2010

HEE HAW! Man I can't wait to pick mine up! Good review! gonna read it now. j/k

NinGurl69 *hugglesMarch 24, 2010

Red Steel 2HD for PS3 at E3.

EnnerMarch 24, 2010

I'm glad they styled it to look so much like an animated series since they can get away without having blood effects much more easily than before. Good to see this game getting a favorable response thus far, considering that this is only has a ten hour single player adventure and some challenges.

Kohler complained about the number of crates and barrels, saying you have to destroy most of them to afford upgrades. Did you have a problem with that, Neal? Is he just exaggerating?

HypotheliciouslyMarch 24, 2010

Nice review. I'm going to persuade my friend to purchase it now and let me play it.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Kohler complained about the number of crates and barrels, saying you have to destroy most of them to afford upgrades. Did you have a problem with that, Neal? Is he just exaggerating?

I can see that complaint (there are a lot of crates and barrels), but it didn't bother me at all. One, they're fun to break. Two, you're not required to do it, and there's a number of other ways to collect money to buy upgrades, most of which aren't necessary to get (though the moves are usually pretty bad-ass and fun to pull off). Farming for coins is only a necessity when you're getting your ass kicked, in my opinion.

KDR_11kMarch 24, 2010

Sounds interesting but I'm currently on a constrained budget and have too much of a backlog anyway.

StratosMarch 24, 2010

Your review has totally upped my hype factor for the game.

I've actually been more excited for gaming recently than in a long while thanks to this, Monster Hunters Tri and The Second Holy Nintendo Trinity (Sin & Punishment, Galaxy 2, Other M)along with the 3DS too.

ZoltanMarch 25, 2010

Quote from: KDR_11k

Sounds interesting but I'm currently on a constrained budget and have too much of a backlog anyway.

Same here.  Also, 10 hours seems a bit short for me considering they didn't have to make multiplayer and I'd have to buy a new Wii motion plus, but it's nice to know it wasn't another disappointment like the first game and should make an interesting purchase once it reaches a price drop/I get more money.

PeachylalaMarch 25, 2010

At least it isn't six hours, and the game IS GOOD.

MaxiMarch 25, 2010

Quote from: Zoltan

Quote from: KDR_11k

Sounds interesting but I'm currently on a constrained budget and have too much of a backlog anyway.

Same here.  Also, 10 hours seems a bit short for me considering they didn't have to make multiplayer and I'd have to buy a new Wii motion plus, but it's nice to know it wasn't another disappointment like the first game and should make an interesting purchase once it reaches a price drop/I get more money.

Uh the game comes with Motion + so you don't have to buy a Motion Plus.

Mop it upMarch 25, 2010

I don't like realistic games, so this sounds intriguing.
About what percentage would you say is the split between the sword combat and the shooting? Is it 50/50? 60/40?

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusMarch 25, 2010

I had some great fun with a buddy of mine playing deathmatch in Red Steel one. It had a certain jankyness to it that I appreciated

Quote from: Mop

I don't like realistic games, so this sounds intriguing.
About what percentage would you say is the split between the sword combat and the shooting? Is it 50/50? 60/40?

Sword combat is the focal point, but you can really play however you want. I'd say the game directs you to a 60/40 or 70/30 split, but you can go all sword, or work heavily with guns.

What's great about the combat is that each enemy type forces you to figure out how to defeat them in different ways. For example, there's some quick ninja guys that block a lot of attacks. You can just dodge far away from them and then blow them away with one of your guns. Or you can dodge their attacks and get hits in methodically.

YmeegodMarch 27, 2010

Actually there's two versions of the game.  One with and one without motion plus.  The one with M+ costs $10 more unless you were lucky like me and got the combo for $40 at amazon.  :)

KDR_11kMarch 27, 2010

The store I bought it from had the version with Motion Plus for 10€ less (probably a promotion limited to that version).

Share + Bookmark





Genre Shooter
Developer Ubisoft
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Red Steel 2
Release Mar 23, 2010
PublisherUbisoft
RatingTeen
jpn: Red Steel 2
Release May 27, 2010
PublisherUbisoft

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement