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Going into Red Steel 2, I was excited. I had never played the first one so I don’t have anything to base it on but the look and combat all seemed very intriguing. After booting it up, I was very pleased. The opening sequences were very great, albeit hampered by terrible load times. The load times happen by your character just staring at a door, waiting for it to open. It breaks the immersion quickly and makes you want to yell at your TV screen.
Combat was one of the most stand-out things at last year’s Nintendo E3 Press Conference. It looked fluid and beautiful. For the most part, the game lives up to that. But there’s times when I found myself just shaking my arm furiously trying to swing the sword to no avail. And having to swing harder to do a more powerful attack seemed like a bad idea. It’s not that it’s necessarily broken or anything, it’s just that the combat is so hectic and crazy, there’ s no time to stop and try and throw your arm back even further to do a harder attack.
Thankfully, Red Steel 2 does Wii Motion Plus correctly. As I mentioned, the sword attacking can be a bit frustrating but blocking and doing finishers is very responsive and looks great. Your character moves like the cowboy-ninja he is. Your character and the story (to where I got) was not good. I respect the ridiculousness of it all and I think it was an awesome environment to play in, but the story itself was very bland and uninteresting.
The entire game has a very Borderlands feel to it. The cell-shaded art style and the crazy, sometimes randomly yelling enemies are part of Red Steel’s appeal. Things explode very well and the cut-scenes and Quick Time Events that happen during the cut-scenes are by far the best I have ever seen in a Wii game. It looks like you’re playing a 360/PS3 game at times.
You have a few hub worlds in Red Steel 2 which might seem OK but when some power-ups you want are at one hub world and you’re at the other hub, it can be a nuisance. It is an “open-world” game which means you can possibly go back to the other place but it’s so frustrating to navigate the area that you’re mostly never going to not go where the way-point tells you. I said it was an open-world game, I use that term very lightly. Even if you did find out the proper ways to navigate the map, you sadly find out that the only reason it takes so long to get over to the opposite side of the map is because of the frustrating loading.
If you haven’t picked up the hints I have dropped, I did not finish Red Steel 2. And here’s why: I was cruising along in the game, having some fun, and I hit a point where it told me to go back to one of my hub worlds, I went back, no missions were available. I thought “Maybe if I do some side missions, it’ll let me advance.” So I navigated my way through the awfully frustrating and confusing map, finished the side quests and it still didn’t let me do anything. I was then convinced the game bugged on me. Since I had been enjoying the game, I decided to take yet another trip around the map, checking every corner (I actually fount a girl crying in some water-well. And I couldn’t save her. That was a bit odd… and cool), visiting every spot I could, still no mission. So, I turned the game off. Knowing I would never be able to play what, at that point, seemed like quite a fun and promising game. Very sad our time had to end that way, Red Steel 2. We could have been great together.