Red Steel 2
Using the Wiimote as a sword, it sounds like a great idea, but how it was done in Red Steel 1 wasn’t all too perfect. Ubisoft now tries again with Red Steel 2 and while L0k1 was quite positive about it in our preview, the question is whether that same feeling remains with the final game.
Compared with the original game Red Steel 2 has undergone quite a transformation and it does will for the title. We’re no longer with the Yakuza in a semi-realistic setting but in a cartoony version of the Wild West. You play as some exile who returns to his home town but gets a rather nasty welcome from some vandals. Also your family has disappeared and it’s up to you to return the peace to the village. This story, however, is little more than a cover for the essence of the game: sword fighting.
The katana is your best friend. This iron prolongation of your manhood makes you believe to be a real swordsman and next to the “ordinary” flashy moves there are also spectacular special attacks. The kick-ass moves are of course what all gamers are looking for and we can say that there’s a couple of really neat ones present and there’s plenty to stand your ground with. And of course also enough hostiles to test every move on.
Next to the Katana there’s also a gun and later on you can buy some other weapons like a shotgun and machine rifle. Purchases are done in some stores that appear throughout the game and next to buying weapons you can also improve them. Money is gained by defeating enemies, smashing objects, opening vaults and finding hidden extras. Don’t worry, you probably won’t run out of cash, you’ll rather become rich.
RS 2 uses the Wii Motion Plus and it’s noticeable. The controls are fluent enough to really get the impression you’re fighting with a sword instead of a remote. There’s even a difference between swinging hard or soft, from the wrist or with a broad swing. There is, however, one catch: the Wiimote sometimes reacts badly and then it needs calibrating again.
Next to the main combat scenes you now and then get some interactive cut-scenes which means that you need to push the right buttons at the right times while on screen an adrenaline-heightening action scene unfolds. No matter how much fun the fighting is, it becomes a bit boring after a while. As long as you play in short sessions there’s no problem but you won’t really get addicted to it. On the bright side this means that you won’t get into a fight with other people in your house or have to leave work laying around due to this game.
RS 2 has a unique cartoony style. The combination of Western cowboys with Asian combat is a bit strange at first but quickly grows on you and it needs to be said; the game has courage. Blood and chopped off limbs are completely absent but the sceneries disappoint a bit as it looks like you’re in some kind of wooden carnival (but this can be a matter of taste). When you leave for other areas things do look better and personally I found the part in the riding train one of the highlights. The fine music luckily makes up for the wood-like sceneries.
As such Red Steel 2 is certainly not a bad game but it does miss a certain “magic touch” which makes that it doesn’t stand out of the crowd, head and shoulders above the competition. It’s better than most other games on the Wii, but not good enough to make it truly to the top. Nonetheless this is one that can bring you a lot of fun times, especially if you’re into all the sword fighting.