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Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (Nintendo Wii) Review
Review by 
8.8/10 from 22 user ratings
I have been wanting to write a new review for the Negative World for quite some time now. I have posted a few reviews of mine on the site, but they were all written back before we set up the review functionality here. I think my most recent review was for Resident Evil 4; not the Wii edition, the Gamecube game. As you can see, it has been awhile. And it was a tough decision choosing which game to use to break my born again review virginity with. Although there are recent games which I think are superior to Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (Super Mario Galaxy 2, for instance), when all is said and done, I decided to choose a game that deserves to have more attention called to it than it has received.

If this doesn't make you think of Gradius, I don't know what will.

My first experience with the Sin & Punishment franchise, as it was for many in the West, was the recent release of the original game on the Virtual Console. I bought it on a whim, hopped into it, and was instantly hooked. It reminded me a lot of Starfox 64, a game which, despite having several sequels, has never been matched since. Sin & Punishment was a bit short, and the controls were iffy, but I was instantly in love, and gave the game several playthroughs. When the sequel was announced, I had reservations as to whether Treasure could hit the same magic so many years later, but let my expectations get fairly high nonetheless.

Little did I expect the successor (pun intended) to surpass my already high expectations and then some.

So what exactly is Sin & Punishment: Star Successor? Well, the quick answer is that it is one part of the aforementioned Starfox 64 combined with one part Ikaruga (mostly the balls to walls nonstop action part), with a whole lot of Gradius boss rush thrown in for good measure. You can choose to play as either the boy (Isa) or the girl (Kachi), which have similar moves, with just enough variety between them to make it worth trying them both out. There is a story involved, but it is semi-ridiculous and often barely coherent, and the story bits are mostly brief and unobtrusive before they let you hop right back into the action.

Somehow everything becomes more badass when it is underwater.

For the majority of the game you play in a 3rd person perspective on rails with full control over your character, ala Starfox 64, although there is a ton of variety in how you play, including 2D sections, a vehicle section, and a couple of areas and bosses with control / perspective mechanics that are unique to them and them alone. There is also a ton of variety in the environments; you will battle across cities, underwater, in fortresses, even in outer space. There are a few control options, but I can't really see the point of using anything but analog to move and pointer to aim and shoot. The game is incredibly intense, and feels like an onslaught that rarely lets up. You are generally dodging and shooting at everything in sight like your lives depends on it ("because they do"), although you also have a melee attack which can be used both to attack enemies whom are near, and to deflect certain projectile attacks back at enemies. There are lasers and projectiles and all kinds of things flying all over the screen, environmental elements to dodge and destroy, hundreds, if not thousands of enemies per stage, and multiple bosses, with multiple life bars, often with multiple forms, with many of the bosses followed directly by another boss. Think the boss rushes of the Gradius games, but not constrained to a single stage. And unlike the original Sin & Punishment game, there is a fairly forgiving checkpoint system, which is a very good thing, because this is a super tough game, and you will be dying a lot (provided you play on medium or hard.)

Simply put, this game feels like the evolution of the intense action SHMUPs of the 2D era, brought into the 3D world in brilliant form.

One of the many bosses whom is large, angry, and totally inconsiderate of your basic survival needs.

The graphics are also pretty exciting, if not technically the most impressive, and fit the overall creative feel of the game. The music is fast paced and catchy, and keeps you coming back for more. Overall the presentation is very slick, outside of the aforementioned goofy storyline and the somewhat poor quality voice acting that often goes with it. And if you were a fan of the first Sin & Punishment game but felt it was a bit short, I have good news for you; Star Successor is significantly meatier, probably close to twice as long as the first game. High score nuts will also find an incredibly deep scoring system for both individual stages and the entire game, and online leaderboards which, despite a few annoyances in menu navigations, work very well (and due to the poor sales of the game, it is very possible to place high up in the leaderboards!) There is even a 2 player co-op mode, though the second player only controls an on-screen cursor for shooting.

I could go on and on, but in the end it comes down to the fact that Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is an incredible game, and way too many people never gave it a second glance. You probably already own Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M, and you may even have a copy of Monster Hunter Tri or Red Steel 2 in your possession. But if you pass on Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, you are missing out on not just one of the best Wii games of the year, but one of the best Wii games yet, period. It's that good. So get on it, son.

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 Excellent  9.5 / 10
10/04/10, 10:30
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Bump, just bought this from NewEgg for 16 bucks per Zero's recommendation. I think I need to listen to him more regarding action-driven games (although I still don't think I'd enjoy Advance Wars).

I am pleased! I just finished the third chapter (which is technically the fourth level since the first stage is sort of tutorial-y) and the game just keeps getting better by the stage. It never really lets up and there's a ridiculous amount of variety in the action. It's pretty much Star Fox 64 on crack (albeit with a less-charming story and cast). The challenge is suitable too; on Normal, I was doing fine until I ran into one of the stage 3 bosses (the one that requires a lot of swordplay) who kicked my butt about seven times from Thursday.

A couple questions: do you actually get more points from not flying/hovering, and running/jumping instead? And is there any sort of hint or something as to what I should be attempting in order to get those medals?

Posted by 
 on: 03/24/11, 22:24
Glad you're enjoying it! That's pretty accurate, StarFox 64 on crack. YES.

You started out on normal? Oh right, this is TB I'm talking to. Hm, I don't think running or hovering makes a difference for points. If it does, then mind =blown. I just position myself wherever seems most safe on the screen. The medals are largely still a mystery. There's still no comprehensive medal guide anywhere on the internet, which says something. Either nobody played the game, or medal locations are obscure and balls-hard to reach. I think it's a bit of both. On my next run through I'll post the medals I discover and how I think I got them. Though, honestly I've probably only uncovered a quarter or a third of them all, and this after 25ish hours with the game.

Posted by 
 on: 03/24/11, 22:48
Yeah you get more points running, it's easy to notice in a spot where nothing is happening because if you fly your points stand still, whereas on the ground they keep going up. As for medals... Gamefaqs? They're tough to figure out on your own outside of stumbling upon them.

Posted by 
 on: 03/24/11, 22:51
My copy from Newegg arrived yesterday. I'm currently focusing in on RE4, once that is done I'll check this out.

Posted by 
 on: 03/25/11, 01:43
Haha, I've gotten about one medal per stage so far. This really feels like the Wii's Ikaruga to me so far.

Posted by 
 on: 03/25/11, 02:07
Wow, I never even noticed the points while grounded thing. I need to play some more!

Posted by 
 on: 03/25/11, 02:15   Edited:  03/25/11, 02:15
I started playing this yesterday on Normal, but after having so much trouble with Stage 3 I've decided to just restart the game on Easy.

Posted by 
 on: 08/23/11, 20:51
No shame in that. You're going to die plenty on easy towards the later stages.

Posted by 
 on: 08/23/11, 23:20
No there is tons of shame in it. This is from the guy ripping on me for not getting super big into Ikaruga? FOR SHAME. FEEL YOUR SHAME. BE COVERED IN SHAME.

It's a pretty tough game but I finished it on normal without too much trouble. Hard mode gave me a bit more trouble, I did get to the end boss though. Want to finish hard mode eventually but man, the end boss on hard mode is nuts, it's such a long fight you have to basically not get hit at all.

Posted by 
 on: 08/23/11, 23:25
It took me at least an hour to beat the final boss on hard. And I never did figure out a surefire strategy to dodging its attacks, I just got lucky one time after countless tries.

Posted by 
 on: 08/23/11, 23:58
I remember when I beat this game.

The voice-acting hurt my ears and the story was absolutely terrible but other than that the game was fantastic for someone who likes on-rail/arcade shooters/SHMUP's.

Final boss for me took some time, but it was fun in the end.

Posted by 
 on: 08/24/11, 00:02
I agree with this thread. The game is excellent, one of the most visceral, fun and varied shooters I've played in a long, long time. The only thing I remember enjoying nearly as much was Panzer Dragoon Orta and this one may very well have that one beat... though they are different kinds of games technically I suppose.

Posted by 
 on: 08/24/11, 00:04
@Oldmanwinter Why did we ever used to fight? You're a good man after all.

The rest of you though... *shakes fist*

Posted by 
 on: 08/24/11, 00:56
The game looks nice and shiny in its plastic wrap on my game rack 2 ft away from TV and 7 ft away from where I'm sitting.

Posted by 
 on: 08/24/11, 18:09
If you start running now, you may have a chance to survive before Zero reads that message.

Posted by 
 on: 08/24/11, 18:48

I am sure he'll understand if I say that the game isn't sitting alone unopened in that rack. My backlog is 80+ games across all consoles and handhelds, with about 50 of them still shrink wrapped in shiny cellophane. I guess life finally caught up with me.

Posted by 
 on: 08/25/11, 00:30   Edited:  08/25/11, 00:32
After having spent time with my copy of the game (at last!), I have to say this review hits the nail on the head. S&P2 absolutely delivers the action and it is so satisfying. The boss battles are some of the best boss experiences I've ever had in any video game.

Graphics are stunning, well crafted, and detailed, especially when you're flying through them at all kinds of crazy angles at different speeds. This really is an impressive Wii game, there's just so much going on all the time.

Not sure I really like the main characters though. Well, Isa and Kachi's in-game models look kind of.. weird, especially when you see their faces when they're talking to each other.

I love the way the 2D levels are mixed into the game, they're integrated so well with the flow of the game.

Anyway, the funny thing is, against the recommendations of some of the replies in this thread, I started the game on Normal and struggled quite a bit. I made it to the last boss of Stage 6 (his first phase, where Commander Deko hovers in the background, while waves of enemy soldiers and battle tanks spray you in every direction). I had to give up at this point! That was brutal. I started a new file on Easy and breezed through most of the chapters, only dying a couple of times before reaching that guy again.

So I did beat it on Easy with Isa. If I had more time, I could try another Normal run, but it'll have to wait for now.

And WOW at the final boss. Now that's what I call bullet hell.

Zero said:
Simply put, this game feels like the evolution of the intense action SHMUPs of the 2D era, brought into the 3D world in brilliant form.

Amen to that.

Posted by 
 on: 08/28/12, 22:58

Same with me actually haha.

Posted by 
 on: 08/28/12, 23:58
See Stephen this is why you will never become a moderator.

Posted by 
 on: 08/29/12, 00:18

That's fair enough. I'm gonna make my own site, and when I do you can't be a mod there! Huh? How do you like me now?

Posted by 
 on: 08/29/12, 00:20
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