Wii Games You Should Be Playing: Red Steel 2.

Red Steel 2: I lub you.

Hello, and welcome to the second installment of my ongoing “Wii Games You Should Be Playing” series where I tell you, yes you faithful reader what a sad sack of shit you are for not making certain Wii games more successful on the sales charts. Today’s game is Red Steel 2, a completely unrelated sequel story-wise to one of the worst games available during the system’s launch. In it, you take control of a Cowboy/Samurai as he slashes and shoots his way through wave after wave of futuristic enemies with incredible near 1.1 acuracy due to the magic of the Wii-Mote +. Sound fun? Good Lord it is so much fun.

First off, l’m just going to come right out and say it: Red Steel 2 is by far and away my favorite use of the motion plus technology and possibly the most satisfying experience I’ve ever had with motion controls. You hear that Skyward Sword? Why can’t you feel as good as this!?

Let’s break this bad boy down:

Graphics:

I can remember reading some impressions for this months before it came out where the dude said “this game could easily be mistaken for an 360 or PS3 game in passing” and what do you know? That is absolutely true. This game is jawdroppingly gorgeous and it takes the whole “good graphics…for Wii” garbage I hear all the time and bitch slaps it. From the details in Wanted posters scattered all over to the sandfilled clouds of a ghost town, Red Steel 2 would be worth buying if only to look at. Take this level titled “A Train to Catch” for example:

It starts at the 4:42 mark in the clip above.

You guide your character across the roofs of and through train cars as you scream through desert valleys and canyons at seemingly thousands of miles per hour. It’s an incredible set-piece and one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences I can remember having in a long time. What’s really nice too is that as pretty as this game is and with all of the nonstop action and stuff, the framerate stays solid 95% of the time. Very impressive

Sound:

Just atmospheric for the most part but still very effective. Acoustic guitars and fiddles punctuate a decidedly quiet soundtrack. The sound effects of your blade and guns are pretty great but some of the voice acting is unfortunately pretty rough to sit through. Still, there’s a neat trick that makes use of the built in speaker of the Wii mote that has you turning the combinations on safes in order to find the the three *clicks* that will allow you to crack them open. It’s very nerdy.

Control:

Good God, this is the most fun I’ve had swinging my arms around like an idiot since The Godfather: Black Hand Edition. The swordplay feels dead-on acurate with the actual strength and force with which you swing taken into account as light and strong slashes. I woke up the morning after playing this with my first Wii-related sore shoulder in years and still couldn’t wait to come home and continue. The seamless transition from slashes and stabs to pointing your gun and firing a magnum or Tommy gun at your enemies make this game one of my new favorite things to do after a long hard day of work. As you progress, more and more special moves are unlocked (some by default, some you have to purchase with the money you collect from crates, dead bodies, garbage bags, etc.) but there’s one in particular that once learned, good luck not wanting to perform on every bad guy for the rest of the game. Goes like this:

Hold A and B on the Wii-mote to charge your sword.

Walk up to the lucky contestant and swing your sword up.

This will launch him into the air and as he floats, the game hits a sort of slo-mo effect where you can then aim your reticule at his airborne soon to be corpse and pump his guts full of lead. I’ve got one tear right now just thinking about how beautiful it is.

With commercials like this, no wonder this thing didn’t sell.

The Final Word:

Now to be honest, at first I found the samurai/cowboy combo thing to be a bit cheesy. Maybe that’s why it took me forever to get around to finally playing it. I bought this game during the summer as part of some 2 for $20 deal at TRU and immediately threw it onto the backlog pile forgetting all about it until recently. But I’m sooo glad I finally tossed it in. It’s been so long since I just burned through a game like this because I simply flat out loved controlling it. I actually found myself paranoid at every cut scene not long into it because I didn’t want it to end. The main adventure is sort of brief I guess measured against other FPS’ and something like Zelda (obviously), but that doesn’t really matter because it ends up being the perfect length to come back and play through every few months or so. I knocked this thing out in 2 sittings and will more than likely do so again sooner than later. Red Steel 2 was a wonderful surprise and is now officially one of my favorite games of this generation and an absolute must own for anyone who has a Wii sitting in their home.

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