Over the two years I have been running this blog, I have seen games come and go. Some were great and/or amazing, some merely hit the bottom of the bargain bin for me, and some got on my black list of games to ban and destroy. Some games don’t even come under my radar until I read about them. One of those games I learned about is called Sin and Punishment. A lot of people consider this N64 game underrated, until I’ve looked into the game myself, I don’t know whether it’s true or not. I swear that I have never heard or read about one game that has been considered so underrated. To me though, I will download it when I can, but I don’t think it’s underrated. There are reasons why it never came here to America until the Virtual Console on the Wii. The first game came out in 2000. I basically think that’s the time we were getting ready for the Gamecube and Playstation 2. It probably wouldn’t have sold well anyway, so that is why it didn’t get an official release. However, Sin and Punishment is considered a cult classic, so I decided to try out the 2nd game in the series, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor for the Wii. It is a sequel that basically everyone in the retro community has wanted, and has so far gotten positive reviews. Critics say it’s filled with non-stop action and crazy-bullet-hell-style-game play. So let’s shoot our way through this Wii game and see what all the ruckus is about.
The story is rather confusing and hard to follow. It takes place years after the first game, and you play as the son of the main characters from the last game, Isa. You are basically protecting this girl named Kachi as you are being chased by some evil organization that wants Kachi for some reason, and it is your job to protect her. I know the story didn’t matter much in the last game, but I will explain my problems with the story for this series later in the review.
The game play featured in Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is a run-and-gun rail shooter where you are constantly moving and shooting at a huge number of enemies. You are also dodging the massive amounts of projectiles that are launched at you, and just basically moving around the whole screen. There are some interesting things like the ability to hit close range enemies with a sword-like attachment to your gun. You can also use said sword to deflect projectiles and get rid of debris that is falling all around you. You can also float in the air, do a rolling dodge move, and use a charge shot to wipe out a bunch of enemies or cause massive damage to an enemy. You can either play as Isa or Kachi, and they both play differently. Kachi has more or less a rapid-fire gun, where she can charge her power shot to multiple opponents at one time, which is pretty fun and increases your score by a lot, and Isa has a more basic gun with a single charge shot. Speaking of score, you actually gain more points if you’re staying and running on the ground. It’s an interesting gimmick and I like it. During some areas of the game, the camera changes to a 2D perspective to even a top down perspective. It just shows that little charm that Treasure puts into their games.
The graphics are well, hard to like. Granted, Treasure is a private company and does rely on a said amount of money for every game they make, and makes games for bigger companies like Nintendo or Konami, for example. It is usually on a budget and it shows here. It sucks since when the first game came out, it somewhat pushed the limits of the N64. The game here looks like a late or early Gamecube title. I wouldn’t say it looks like the N64. The boss fights though are just as crazy and creative just as other games made by Treasure. The best part is that there are a lot of bosses. and I mean a lot. There are usually like two or three per level. The music is also very upbeat and fun to listen to, though it has its faults. I also like how most of the enemies in the game don’t even want to harm you, but you can shoot them out of the sky anyway. In a way though, you feel like a jerk. That harmless enemy you shot down could have had the best day of its life, like getting a perfect score on a test, finally going out to date with a girl, and getting his dream job and then BAM! You shoot him out of the sky. Oh well, that’s life in Sin and Punishment land.
However, there are some things that puzzle me about this game that I don’t like as a retail game. First off, the game is short. You can basically beat it in 5 hours. This shouldn’t be possible by today’s standards. A game should be beaten in about 12 or more hours. The replay value is there, but very thin. The only thing keeping you playing is playing as two different characters and getting a better score, and that just isn’t enough for a gamer like me. The graphics are just horrible. I know I ranted on them already, but I can’t take it! This should have been a WiiWare game. It basically looks like one. It also seems like Treasure was rushed, and uses a lot of blurry effects on the graphics, and it ends up sometimes hiding hidden projectiles by accident that ended up killing me. Sometimes, I couldn’t even tell where I was during the top-down areas of the game. The voice acting sucks and when it’s on a budget you can see it through the acting. It just sounds horrible. They couldn’t get someone like Steve Blum and Tara Strong to do some voice acting? I know they probably ran out of money, but they could have at least made this a downloadable WiiWare game since I don’t feel like shoveling out 40 dollars for it. I’d rather spend it on 3D Dot Game Heroes or a Gamecube copy of Beyond Good and Evil. I also had some issues with boss battles and how balanced they are. Some of them are way too tedious, and takes me about 3 to 4 times to beat and then the next one takes only one time to beat. Why do I keep seeing this in video games? It’s annoying as heck, and I wish Treasure could have asked for more time to make it better.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is a worthwhile and solid game for the Wii, but I’d rather rent it than buy it. However, that is just my opinion. I usually like Treasure and the games they pump out, but I think they could easily make themselves an official third party company or become maybe a subsidiary for Nintendo or Konami. Either way, you should check out both Sin and Punishment games, and relax through the weekend with some bullet-crazy shooters like this game. Oh, and to anyone who has a Gamecube copy of Beyond Good and Evil, I can take it off your hands if you don’t want it.
This game gets a 7out of 10