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Red Steel 2

Reviewed on: Wii

Ubisoft Paris
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Before the Wii launched in 2006, the original Red Steel was a beacon of hope for hardcore gamers amongst Nintendo’s admittedly casual launch lineup.  Then, it was released and the results were less than stunning. It was buggy, it was glitchy – it was terrible. More than anything else though, it was a sign that the Wii’s much lauded motion controls needed a lot of work.

Red Steel 2 isn’t a sequel. It’s a complete reimagining of the concept that comes closer to the promises Ubisoft failed to deliver on with the original. It’s not perfect, and some of the game’s issues are incredibly frustrating, but with new technology and a laundry list of improvements, Red Steel 2 is a surprisingly good title.

Undoubtedly the biggest problem with the original Red Steel was that the capability of the Wii’s motion control was nowhere near where the developer’s wanted it to be.  The aiming was off and the slightest movement would send your character off into the wrong direction.  This time around, Red Steel 2 uses the Wii Motion Plus accessory and the results are miles ahead of what’s come before.  The movements are mostly quick (there were a few times the movement wouldn’t register right away.) and responsive. Most importantly though, it’s finally fun to play Red Steel. Slashing your sword and shooting your gun – yes, you can dual wield – is an amazingly awesome experience.  It’s the closest to what I thought the Wii would be like when it was first announced.

"The great thing about Red Steel 2’s control scheme is just how natural it feels."


The great thing about Red Steel 2’s control scheme is just how natural it feels. You’ll control your movement with the nunchucku’s thumbstick, look around, interact with objects and attack with the Wiimote. Going in, I was a bit uneasy that the Wiimote controlled both movement and activity, but once I got into the game I realized I had no issues with the setup mainly because Red Steel 2 doesn’t try to mimic your movements precisely, it merely measures the size, and angle of your swing to determine which attack you’re looking for. The end result is incredibly responsive and loads of fun.

When you start Red Steel 2, you’ll only have access to a few weapons, but as you progress through the game’s narrative – you’ll unlock a wide array of guns and blades. Ubisoft has done a great job encouraging players to use these weapons in conjunction with the techniques you’ll also learn.  As you progress through the game, you’ll need to learn these attacks and techniques to defeat the game’s enemies - especially the bosses.

The original Red Steel had a lame Yakuza inspired storyline. Thankfully, the developers treated the sequel as a true re-imagination and scrapped the storyline in favor of spaghetti-western style narrative. You play as a nameless hero; the last of the Kusagari, a clan whose only purpose is to protect the citizens of Red West from homicidal bikers and thugs. After a few years in exile, you return to once again restore piece to the region.

" end up not caring about what happens in the game..."


Yes, the storyline is tons better than in the original Red Steel, but it’s still pretty weak.  Seriously, imagine the Kill Bill movies, but take out all sense of direction and emotional investment and you’ll have Red Steel 2’s storyline. You’ll have a hard time creating an emotional link to any of the game’s characters and as a result, you end up not caring about what happens in the game, just who you have to fight next.  It’s not like the game’s objectives help the matter, often you’ll be given a task and you’ll wonder just what it has to do with the story – if you can understand it. Oh, and the voice acting is pretty terrible too.

What the new storyline does do though is allow the game to take on an original and innovative visual style. Coming off as a mix between the Wild West and Samurai Showdown, Red Steel 2 offers a cell-shaded, vibrant comic book art style that is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Like most cell shaded games, you lose some minor details in the process, but when a game looks this good, that’s okay.

Almost four years after the original disappointed so many, Red Steel 2 serves as an apology letter from Ubisoft to Wii gamers worldwide. The new setting and storyline lend themselves well to the genre and the addition of Wiimotion Plus seems like it was made for Red Steel 2.  Wii gamers looking for a solid experience that isn’t a mini-game collection should definitely check out the new Red Steel



CHEATS USED: Gecko Codes, Preorder Weapon Codes

There are no cheats available for Red Steel 2 yet, but I’m hoping a few will be released. More than anything, I’m looking for an invincibility cheat, as the moments in the game where you’re able to more or less mow down enemies is some of the most satisfying. I’d also like an unlimited ammo, and all weapons cheat.

There’s also room for a one-hit kill cheat, as some of the game’s enemies are annoyingly hard to kill.



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