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SummaryFun for fans of light-gun genre, yet not of Samurai Shodown.
The GoodRed Steel's abundant strengths outweigh its glaring weakness. It is easy to judge this game based on its awful presentation, but Red Steel is essentially an hours-long Time Crisis with all of the strategic ducking and vibrant locations, but none of the time limits, cheezy multi-hit bosses or anti-climactic vehicular mayhem. This is the game I dreamt of when I first opened Time Crisis 2 on PS2 and the Guncon2 had a wee little d-pad on the back just begging to be used in a FPS. The pacing of the gunfights is well balanced and non-lethal forced surrenders add depth to the gameplay as does the ability to envelop henchmen in confusion by taking out the leader of their pack. The art direction is particularly well done. The effectiveness of the graphics is displayed in the lush detail given to subtleties such as the ground reflections and rays of sunlight coming through sometimes incredibly complex window frames. The lighting plays off the edges of every object in its path, blurring them and appropriately distorting the lines of the polygons. Clearly, time was spent designing and organizing the layout of these locales, each of which appears to be one movie set after another with all of the movie magic turned on in terms of shadow and coloring. Ubisoft's strengths come through in the atmosphere of the levels, all of which is unfortunately tarnished as soon as anyone opens their mouths.
The BadTo put it simply, the swordplay mechanics are disjointed and weakly implemented overall. The tempo and fury of some of the battles is excellent, but executing any of the more complex moves Scott receives after training is based more on random luck than precision movement, which robs them of any potential depth. Your enemy will block and dodge your sword swings with the grace of Obi-Wan Kenobi, yet it never feels like any input from the remote registers in any tangible or reliable way. Blocking your opponent's attacks feels perfect with the nunchuk, but a swing of the remote practically guarantees the opposite direction slash on screen. It seems that Ubisoft had a great handle of how to program the motion of the nunchuk, but were clueless in the motion sensitivity of the remote. The mission structure is rather plain as well, despite sounding complex coming from those who give the missions. It may also sound like willful nit-picking but the voice acting of each and every character is unbelievably bad. The voices not only take the player away from the slick visual immersion, but the henchmen also rather stupidly alert you their location with each shout of "you murderer!" and "stupid gaijin!".