|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Treasure||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 30, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The shooting itself was also disappointing in some respects. Though the original Sin & Punishment was innovative 10 years ago, Star Successors formula feels a bit dated. The shooting-gallery feeling is very prominent throughout the game, which makes the experience feel less like an actual adventure than a points contest. Considering the fact youre given the opportunity to upload your score at the end of each level, its obvious high scores were a major part of Treasures philosophy for the game. Its still a fun approach, though its a tough sell for a full-priced retail product.
The simple, retro style isnt the only problem I had with the game, either. The level design, too, feels somewhat dated. Being forced to rip through blocks in order to keep from getting buried alive isnt the most imaginative device in this day and age, and even with all the crazy action onscreen at a given time, there are still blind spots where your character can take a free ride out of harms way.
In spite of my criticisms, I had fun with the game playing as both characters. Once you complete a chapter, its unlocked for free play, and you can keep going back in hopes of upping your high score. The games pretty brutal, though. Even in the Normal mode, the average player will die a few times during each level. The games fair but frustrating. Though there are obvious patterns to learn for bosses and such, theyre not always the most enjoyable way to take on the challenge.
Star Successor does offer a cooperative multiplayer option, but its a novelty that is sure to grow old quick for Player 2. Rather than allow both players to control one of the two main characters from the story, the second player has only an onscreen reticule to shoot enemies with; it makes levels easier for Player 1, but the appeal is fleeting.
Visually, Star Successor is an odd beast. There are elements of the game that look truly next-gen. One or two of the games bosses exhibit texture effects Ive never seen in a Wii game, yet explosions are about on par with something you might see on Nintendo DS. The lighting is very impressive, yet most everything else in the game stacks up to meet the standards of a really attractive PS2 title. With all that being said, I never once experienced an issue with the framerate. Star Successor offers a constant flurry of visual stimulus, and the games less-than-stellar graphical elements get lost in a sea of excitement.
The audio also helps make the ends meet nicely, though the soundtrack is an acquired taste. Here, too, the game has a lot in common with Nanostray and other games of its kind. The gameplay stands upon a foundation of other-worldly techno tunes that do little to create thematic tension, yet the music still manages to greatly enhance the shooting experience. The sound effects are equally pleasing, though certain attacks and explosions lack the impact I would have liked.
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is a fun shooter, but its not quite a grand adventure. Nintendo deprived their fans of the first game for so long, and now they answer the cry with something that feels a bit outdated. Its also a fairly anemic package in light of the asking price. Make no mistake, as a fan of old-school shootem-ups, I had a good time with the game. As a fan of value, innovation, and the next, best thing, Star Successor left me feeling a tad disappointed. If you loved the first game and simply want more of the same, definitely check this one out. The controls are a vast improvement over the first Sin & Punishment, even if the gameplay itself has aged a bit.
CCC Freelance Writer