03| Sin & Punishment: Star Successor

Released: June 27th, 2010

Definitive Version: Wii; Also On: Wii U eShop

The Wii's success really caught everybody off guard. It caught Nintendo off guard, it caught retailers off guard, it caught the press off guard, etc. However, those who were the most surprised by the system's success were the game developers. They couldn't have imagined that the system would be such a runaway hit. However, while the console was flying off store shelves and racking up a huge install base, developers didn't know what exactly to do with it. Outside the obvious unique control scheme being a problem, there was also the fact that gamers associated with the Wii were primarily seen as casual gamers. Basically women in their 30s and 40s, middle aged men, and really people in general who aren't that into games. Most publishers figured the best way to go about this was to release their casual oriented titles on the Wii while releasing their more hardcore title son the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Despite this, there were some developers who attempted a third option. A way to bridge the gap between casual gamers and hardcore ones. During the late 2000s and early 2010s a lot of arcade type games appeared on Nintendo's console. The thinking was, "well casual gamers and hardcore gamers used to play in the arcades back in the day, why don't we just make arcade games?". Thus a lot of arcade games began appearing on the system. Games like NBA Jam, Jumbo Safari, and Tatsunoko vs Capcom were released for the system. It also arguably became the "go to" system for music games such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, The Michael Jackson Experience, and Just Dance. But the most obvious example of this arcade phenomenon was with light gun games. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Deadspace Extraction, and most famously House of the Dead: Overkill.

But of all the arcade games released on the system, by the best one by far was Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. An unlikely sequel to the cult hit that bombed, the game is a rail shooter in which the player controls the cursor and the X/Y axis of the character as they run along shooting at enemies. It is a very simple premise, but like most games by its developer, Treasure, it is very well done with a ton of chaos. This is a game that starts at a 7 for the prologue level, then rapidly switches to a 10 for the first level, but somehow breaks the dial so the rest of the game is stuck at a 10. The entire pace of the game is so fast and frantic that it gives one little time to breathe. It's either a constant stream of enemies and bullets in your face, or a huge boss battle...often with a constant stream of bullets in your face. The game is relentless and just does not stop.

This alone would be enough to put it on the list, but the game doesn't stop there. Unlike most titles in this genre, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is not a shooting gallery. The environments are very interactive, the camera constantly changes angles, and often the game will switch to different genres such as becoming a side-scrolling shooter or even beat-em-up. The entire thing is a rollercoaster ride.

I can't really talk about the gameplay without mentioning the control scheme. This is a game that was made for the Wii controls. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck are simply perfect for the game. One just simply points the Wii Remote at the screen to where they want to shoot and presses the trigger. The nunchuck feels nice and his light weight, so one can constantly move the stick and not get tired. There really isn't a better control scheme for the game. It's as if one is playing with arcade control hardware.

Presentation wise the game is good. The graphics are detailed, the voice acting is kinda bad (but in a good way), it has a nice artstyle, and the music fits. My only complaint is that the protagonists look very generic. It is a huge step down from the first game which had cool, though very '90s, looking protagonists. Outside of that I have no complaints about the game, even when I often replay it.

Treasure is a developer that has been on this list multiple times. There is a good reason for that, they are very talented and have quite a cult following. Unfortunately, they also haven't released a game in any form since 2014. What's worse is that it was rumored that the studio was done making games. Today, there isn't a single game that the studio announced. It is very possible that Sin & Punishment: Star Successor was the last retail notable budget game from the well regarded studio. If that is the case, I can't think of a better release to go out on.

Posted by Punk Rebel Ecks Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:31:56 (comments: 2)
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:26:37
I thought I would love this game but it left me cold. Just couldn't get into it.
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:34:31

I tried playing this one but I couldn't get into it either. I do wanna give it another go at some point.

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