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Righteous- Sin and Punishment: Star Successor Review

For hardcore gamers, a new release from Japanese developer, Treasure, is a reason for celebration. After all, the studio is responsible for some of our pastime’s most beloved and sought after diversions. From Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, (and my personal favorite- Bangai-O) the Tokyo-based coders are known for delivering intense action titles which demand a player’s unadulterated attention. With titles which often feature swiftly-scrolling screen filed with clouds of malevolent sprites, Treasure’s output typically challenges the dexterity of even the most seasoned gaming veteran.

Recent Wii release Sin and Punishment: Star Successor shows the developer pursuing a wider audience. Although the game’s normal and hard settings task player’s with dodging massive amounts of screen-filling enemy shrapnel, both the game’s easy mode and liberal checkpoint system reduce the frustration associated with the title. Star Successor shows a kinder, more mature Treasure were an earnest miscalculation won’t force players to replay the last twenty minutes of their game.

A large portion of the title’s success hails from the Sin and Punishment‘s intuitive control scheme. Forgoing any superfluous need for waggle, the game uses the IR pointer on the Wiimote to aim an on-screen reticule. Players can send a steam stream of firepower toward an opponents with the ‘B’ button. A tap on ‘A’ can lock onto an enemy, at the cost of having a slightly less-powerful shot. A secondary offensive measure is available with a charged shot, which is especially effective against Star Successor‘s more robust foes. Taking a cue from Super Mario Galaxy, an additional player may participate, but their assistance is relegated to adding an additional barrage of blasts. With screens so busy with obstructions and enemies, adding another on-screen character might have pushed Sin and Punishment unsettlingly close to its moniker.

Unlike the game’s Nintendo 64 predecessor which confined the protagonist to a horizontal plane along the bottom of the screen, Star Successor allows players to traverse the entire playfield. In conjunction with the shifting camera perspective, players will be persistently moving around the screen, searching for a temporary shelter from the endless torrent of enemy bullets and environmental objects. Invaluable to the players pursuit’s is the ‘Z’ button, which allows an evasive maneuver coupled with a flash on invincibility. Additionally, players can initiate a melee attack, which can damage an encroaching opponent or send a projectile hurtling back toward a boss.

Despite a wealth of offensive and defensive measures, a bit of fatigue can set in during Star Successor‘s four to five hour campaign. Some of this tedium emanates from the game’s bosses, which when defeated, take new forms and are as persistent as a unpaid debt. Although the game throws out medals to collect, like Ikaruga, there’s a conspicuous absence of power-ups to augment the player’s arsenal. Some relief can be found be the incorporation of two main characters- Kachi and Isa, who display varied charge attacks. Action aficionados will be happy about the inclusion of leaderboards, as well as a stage select mode to practice their record-setting runs.

While Star Successor succumbs to sporadic instances of slowdown when the screen is filled, the game’s framerate is otherwise fluid. Each level has a unique motif- from deserted space stations to underwater tunnels, brimming with corresponding monsters and subtle environmental effects. While each individual asset in rendered in restrained detail, when the player is racing forward, and the screen is filled with a myriad of baddies, the overall effect can be gratifying.

With Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, Treasure presents a game that should appeal to both seasoned shmup enthusiasts, as well as more casual action fans. Like most of the developers previous titles, this game can be a cathartic workout that both prohibits the blink reflex and induces controller-crushing concentration. Those looking for a bit of healthy sadism- Sin and Punishment is your game.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert ‘DesertEagle’ Allen is Tech-Gaming’s resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

31 comments

  1. Frys in TX has this for $39.99 today. Why did I pass it by?

  2. Whats a shmup? Did you make that word up?

  3. Glad there’s no waggle. Treasure earned my respect again.

  4. I heard this was really hard, even on easy. I don’t think I’ll have the skills.

  5. Good review, Deagle.

    Now, where’s that new podcast?

  6. I know I’ll like the game, but I dont have the money right now.

  7. $50 for a 5 hour game? Sorry, Nintendo. I’m not that hardcore.

  8. Maladjusted Manny

    And Nintendo never drops their price on their games 🙁

  9. Looks pretty good. So it moves at 30 fps?

  10. Doesn’t sound sinful at all. Ive always liked shooters.

  11. Good review, Desert the shooter lover.

  12. Charm Smile and a Sword

    Great review, you write very well!

  13. Sounds like its fun. Lets hope cheaters dont ruin the leaderboards.

  14. Are there any unlockables?

  15. People should buy this one. I’m surprised that Nintendo is publishing it.

  16. Shooters you play through again and again trying to get better and dying less. They are never more than 6 hours long.

  17. I would have thought it would get an A here. Good review.

  18. Finally, a reason to turn on my Wii besides VC!

  19. I saw a few A/90% scores for this. A B+ seems more realistic.

  20. The Bionic Penis

    There’s SMG2, that game is great!

  21. Ride on with a 20 sider on your back, bad boy.

  22. KillerWhiteRabbit

    So did you or your friend Shippy like it more?

  23. This is the type of game the Wii needs. Try playing it on a Classic Controller and you’ll see what I mean.

  24. Mister Megadrive

    When the cursor goes offscreen does it pause like almost every other Wii game.

    That could easily spell instant death.

  25. Ace of Darkness

    Id love if they put all those old Treasure games on a single disk!

  26. Yellow and Black Attack

    Nice, I just saw it go up.

    Great review, I will pick this up sometime.

  27. S&P2 is awesome,but I want to ask, is it really true that the sales failed in Japan? Bummer…

  28. Yep, its doing so-so in Japan. Everyone’s playing mobile/portable games these days. (just got back two weeks ago)

  29. Just bought this today. Man, my eyes are sore after playing for two hours. Still, its fun as hell.

  30. Just got mine from Amazon. Loving it so far.

  31. Sidebar looks like getting down.