Review: Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
I died. Again. The boss keeps hitting me with that horizontal swipe. I have to find a sign for when this attack might be coming. She moves forward a little bit and raises her arm slightly every time. Alright, when I see that, I got to be ready to dodge.
Crap, I died again. Alright, I have the horizontal swipes down, now what can I do about those annoying yellow needles that she rains down on me in her first form? If I use my charge shot, it destroys them. Alright, I'll play defensively and find ways of avoiding her attacks and take the bigger charged shots when they're available to me.
Got her. Finally. It may have taken 20 minutes just to beat this one boss but now I'm even better at dodging and I learned the importance of using defense to help my offense.
The anecdote above describes my battle with the final boss of Stage 4. In retrospect, she wasn't that hard, I just was not using the right strategy. However, when I first ran into to her, I had no idea how what to do and died before her second form.
For me, nothing is more gratifying than overcoming a challenge and after dying three more times, I thought I might be stuck. I trudged through each loss though, and with each death, I learned more about her patterns, adapted, and overcame. The game challenged me to learn its ticks and use them for my advantage. That's beautiful game design.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is a perfect example of how to create a unique gameplay experience that is different than other consoles. Using the Wiimote to aim and the joystick to move is the perfect way to enjoy an on-rails shooter like this one. Add on a ruthless multiplier system that increases as you kill and lessens as you get hit, and you have a high score blood-thirst like Star Fox 64.
Treasure, the developer of Sin and Punishment, has had a great history making bullet-hell shooters. You might remember them for the Sega Genesis classic Gunstar Heroes or you might remember them for the Nintendo 64 sleeper hit, Mischief Makers. I only mention this because this Sin and Punishment game follows in this style trend, so if you like any of their games before you're likely to like this one as well.
Graphically speaking, the game is very pretty. You and your enemies' energy shots will constantly light up the screen and for the majority of the time, there will be more things that can kill you on the screen than there is space for you. Just don't look at the character models too hard, you might mistake this game for a PSX title on that alone.
There is a story too, but trust me when I say you won't care. Some chick named Kachi is kind-of human and Isa, an actual human, is protecting her from bad guys who transform into big scary things that you kill. Whatever. Also, the voice acting is terrible, just like the Nintendo 64 version.
Seriously though, this game is about blowing stuff up with a simple laser cannon in classic shooter style. There are no upgrades or different weapons. This isn't a knock against the game, Sin and Punishment is a pure, simple-looking shooter.
I say simple-looking because while the controls are simple, the game is hard. My first playthrough was on Normal difficulty and by Stage 6 I wanted to eat the Wiimote out of frustration. Hard mode is even more maddening but, once you have the boss patterns down and can execute a strategy, the difficulty ramp-up isn't unbearable.
All-in-all, I give this game a buy it. Sure, you'll “beat” the game in two days but, you'll want to come back and increase your high score. You'll want to see if you can get through the entire game without dying. You'll then want to see how far you can get without getting hit. In addition, the replay value on this game is endless because there are online leaderboards for high scores. Good luck getting a high ranking!