Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Game of the Day

Sin and Punishment (2000)
Developer: Treasure
Platform: Nintendo 64/Nintendo Wii
Induction Dates: 01/26/2001 (N64), 10/12/2007 (Wii)

This Saki is not as intoxicating as you would like him to be.

Sometimes, sins and punishments do go hand in hand and in this case, it's Treasure's sin and our punishment. Though not one of Treasure's greatest creations, it is filled with a lot of potentials and promises. Sin and Punishment is a rail shooter that automatically guides your character forward through the stages while you aim and shoot as well as move your character left and right to dodge enemy attacks or environmental hazards. The game's controls will take some practice before you can get used to it as it uses both the analogue stick and the face buttons to control the direction of your shots and your character movements. The gameplay itself is simple: just shoot everything on the screen and when your targets are close to you, you can perform a sword attack. You can also counter some shots back to your enemies. This is a Treasure game though so things are not as what they seem. Each of your kills are tallied into hit combo counts and they are carried over the stages until you die: The challenge here if you haven't guessed it yet is to play the game without continuing from the beginning until the end to rack up your hit points. I mentioned Treasure's "sin" earlier: though the game is a lot of fun, it is also a bit convoluted presentation-wise. There are a lot of exciting set-pieces in the game and also a ton of bosses to destroy but the pacing is a bit off with some stages being too long and some being specific boss encounters. The game has a lot of cut-scenes but they are pretty short. Most importantly, for the second time in the history of me playing a Treasure game (the first time being Mischief Makers), I feel that S&P has a false sense of epic and the story just doesn't resonate with me. You play as a couple, Saki and Airan, who find themselves in the middle of a war between mutated food-stocks, an oppressing military organization, and the liberators themselves. Though some of the set pieces are incredible in scope - the most notable being a must-play flying stage where you take on a whole army fleet - the rest feel devoid of any real excitement or emotion. Hopefully, the sequel slated to arrive in North American sometime this year will be a much better game. Note: The Wii Shop Channel release of this game is superior to the original N64 cartridge because of its sharper graphics. Be warned though - the game is meant to be played with the N64 controller which means that your hand will get sore after a good session playing it on the Wii.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

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