• Welcome to DestroyRepeat - The #1 place to talk about Video Games. Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

[Nintendo Wii] Sin & Punishment: Star Successor

Welcome to Destroy Repeat

We are the gaming and tech community for you


Well-Known Member

Not so much a review as a personal retrospective.

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, the sequel to the cult N64 title, which was released exclusively in Japan during the very end of the console’s lifespan. This footage is being played and recorded from a Nintendo Wii U.

Star Successor was co-developed by Treasure Co, THE indie game company. Indie companies are a dime a dozen nowadays, but when these guys first started out, over 20 years ago, setting up a small Japanese game studio was not the norm.

I’m quite the fan of Treasure Co. Illegibly originally consisting of programmers who, fed up of making tired sequels within the juggernaut company that was Konami, left to set up their own studio with aspirations of developing original titles where gameplay and creativity ruled over all else.

Over the years, their output has been inconsistent at best. They’ve made some of the greatest cult classics of all time (Ikaruga, Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Gunstar Heroes), but they’ve also made some absolutely terrible games (Silpheed: The Lost Planet, Freakout aka Stretch Panic, Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream). Thankfully, S&P: Star Successor lies safely in the former category, if not one of the greatest games the company has ever produced.

Star Successor is a 3rd person rail shooter – one of my favourite genres – and is set several years after the events of the first title, where the main characters of that story saved the dying planet of earth from, well, dying.

The main character is actually the son of the first game’s two protagonists, and he’s ultimately a human with some rather interesting abilities, achieved by the mutations his father before him attained. But you don’t really need to know the plot to the first game… don’t even know why I bothered to explain it… anyways…

The story starts off feeling like a cut-scene is missing somewhere. In fact, when I first bought this title, I was convinced that I had missed an opening scene somewhere, as the game never really makes it quite clear why everything is happening.

Apparently, a young man named Isa, from one dimension, is sent by “the creators” to kill Kachi, an entity from another dimension, taking the form of a human, who’s out to destroy his dimension.

Isa ends up falling in love with her, and helps her escape purging of the creators. As a consequence, the creators send the Nebulox – a group of 5 assassin’s with special powers, to eliminate both of them.

None of this is explained anywhere in the game; instead the game opening with the crashing of Isa’ ship whilst being in hot pursuit by the Nebulox, The game does consist of cut-scenes that explain some of the world and Isa’ back-story, but by the end, some holes are left unfilled. The story is actually pretty intriguing, with some great presentation, so these missing sections in the plot really work at the game’s disadvantage.

Never-the-less, there’s still a lot to like about this title.

Firstly, the level of detail in the graphics is nothing less than stunning. Whether it be in the cutscenes or in the gameplay, both the models of the characters and enemies, or the locations, are heavily detailed and show off just what the Wii was capable of when the effort was put into it.

The art direction itself is just lovely. It has that post apocalyptic setting that the original had, but perhaps brighter with a little less saturated this time round. The final result is a game that has me wishing I could see and learn more about it. It’s tragic that so many mediocre action adventure and RPG titles out there have such uninspired and unimaginative worlds, and yet Star Successor has a world just begging to be explored further.

The gameplay is a return to the ye old gameplay of the 80s and 90s arcades. You control the character with the nunchuck analogue stick, aim with the wiimote, and the remaining buttons have you shooting, locking on, dodging, and jumping.

There are two gameplay styles, depending on the character you pick. Both have their pros and cons. Isa has you needing to manually lock onto enemies with a more powerful gauged attack, whilst Kachi lets you lock onto enemies, and her more powerful attack allows you to target multiple enemies.

Whilst the gameplay sounds simple and easy enough, considering you have make a number of these actions all at the exact same time, frequently, and considering how relentless this game gets pretty early on, this game will take quite a lot of practice to master, especially on harder difficulties.

Levels are just brimming with ideas. Every level introduces new concepts, increased difficulty, new enemies of all shapes and varieties, and lord knows how many bosses to which no two are the same (besides the very end of the game, which is ultimately a boss rush, but more on that later). Every level is exciting to see for the first time, and I’m sure anyone interested in this game will have personal favourites that they’d like to return to for multiple playthroughs.


Well-Known Member

And that’s good, as this is a game that was meant to be played through multiple times. That being said, there isn’t much of an incentive to go through the whole game a second time round unless you’re a highest score fanatic or you really enjoyed the game the first time round (which I did, despite the multiple annoyances).

In fact, I’ve completed this game on all three-difficulty settings (which was no easy task I’ll tell you). Hard difficult is an understatement. Memorisation of enemy attacks is key here, and bosses will quickly wipe the floor with you if you’ve not put the practice in.

It’s a good thing there’s a wrist strap on the wiimote, because it prevented me from throwing the damn thing out of the goddamn window sometimes. The game is ridiculously overwhelming at times, and there are a few specific bosses, where you’re required to fight ala 1 vs 1 in a 2D perspective which are all really quite badly executed, if not to the point where much of the success might come down to luck more than anything.

If you are a high score fanatic – then you’ll have a field day with this title. There’s a fairly complex multiplier system, and with there being thousands of enemies to kill throughout this sprawling game, it’s impossible to perfect every level, meaning you have to choose carefully as to which enemies take priority at any given moment. You can spend literally hours learning the best tactics on just one of these levels.
If you’re still not convinced as to how deep the points system is in this game, head over mrmonkeyman.com’s treasure fanpage website forums, and look up some of the old threads about this game. The thought Treasure put into how and what gives you more or less points than other things is really quite detailed.

Again, all of this will mean multiple playthroughs, which leads me to this game’s main criticism: the length.

Traditionally, rail shooters or arcade games in general are built to be played and completed within one sitting. This means that the better ones are perfectly balanced and paced as to not outstay their welcome. Not the case with Star Successor.

This title sits awkwardly in the 4 hour mark to complete, assuming you don’t die and have to restart any sections again, or watch through the cutscenes. This means that the game is a tad too long for most of us to play through in a single sitting, but much too short to be considered a campaign. This has resulted in me seeing gamers complain that this game isn’t long enough, as they beat in a day or two, and whilst most of them fail to acknowledge this title’s arcade routes, you can hardly blame them or this critique.

The awkward length is at least partially due to levels often being much longer than they need to be. Despite the countless creative ideas to keep the experience fresh throughout, there are a number of moments where Treasure felt the need to elongate sections of the game where you fight a specific kind of enemy once, and then fight identical ones another 3-5 times. Or go through a corridor full of a certain attack pattern once before then going through through the motions in several more slightly altered corridors and enemy patterns.

And then, as I said earlier, right at the end of the game, you have to play through all of the final level bosses AGAIN, but this time perhaps a little more difficult before, and without the wow factor you had when you played them the first time round. This game should have been at least one hour shorter, and this could’ve been achievable. Perhaps a few unique ideas would have been sacrificed as a consequence, but I think this would have been a price worth paying.

Another minor quip is the near useless 2-player mode. Here, the second player may only aim and shoot at the screen. You’re not capable of having both characters controlled on screen at the exact same time. It’s likely that doing so would have caused slowdown during the more frantic moments, but it’s still a surprising omission considering the story revolving around Isa and Kachi fighting to beat the overwhelming odds stacked against them – together.

What more can I say? Well, the music has the odd catchy track, but most of it is forgettable. It’s not a scratch on the first game’s awesome OST, in my opinion.

Also, I do feel that dodging in this game to be a little bit too difficult. Certain bosses just don’t give you enough notice, or move much too quickly for you to see when to evade. Or maybe I just suck. The gameplay footage you see before you is the first time I’ve played this title in a long time, but as stated before, I’ve even gone through this game on the gruelling hard difficulty, and I still felt like the game’s evading was too unfair during many bosses. But feel free to tell me I’m wrong if so.

Overall, this is still one of the best titles for the Nintendo Wii, and a title I still recommend everyone play through at least once. I really hope we see a third instalment at some point too, because Sin & Punishment’s world and story really lends themselves to be explored further. And, to be honest, whom wouldn’t rather Treasure be working on a new Sin & Punishment rather than another anime cash-in (as good as some of them have been)?[/quote]

Like DestroyRepeat!