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Nintendo stumbles out of the gate with Ubisoft’s first attempt at a first-person shooter for the Wii console, Red Steel. A game designed exclusively as part of Nintendo’s opening salvo in the next round of the console war between the Xbox, PS3 and Wii. Red Steel features a mature story line combined with control mechanisms that fail to provide the interactive experience and control we have been dreaming of.
Fun and entertaining for gamers who love the thoughtlessness of games like TimeSplitters, Red Steel draws you into a world of danger in the ancient land of Japan. There you will fight to the death to rescue your kidnapped fiancé from the insidious hands of her fathers Yakuza enemies and serve up a large helping of cold vengeance on those who have dishonored you, your fiancé, and her father.
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You play Scott, an American bodyguard who in the opening scene is preparing for his first meeting with his fiancé's father. The meeting is rudely interrupted by enemies of his fiancé's father, the Yakuza, who kidnap his fiancé and shoot up the meeting place.
Determined to rescue his love, Scott travels from Los Angeles to Japan, with gun and sword in hand, to find the kidnappers and deal out a hand of eights and tens to his enemies.
Scott must fight his way to his fiancé to beat the game, using various guns, a sword and his skill to vanquish foes.
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Gamers who love the first person perspective, running and gunning, and the entertainment of leveling a character to obtain additional skills, weapons and ability as they play the game. Will love Red Steel's simple design that gives the gamer unprecedented ability to interact with the game in ways the other consoles don't provide. The game has a lot of game for the money, providing gamers with a minimum of 10 hours of solid, gun-play, depending on your skill level, of course.
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The new interactive control mechanisms for the Wii console, the Wii remote, and all the other utilities, including the Nunchuck's analog stick, which is used to move Scott backward, forwards and side to side as you play the game. Don't provide the responsive controls needed for the interactive Wii experience to be everything it could be. We can only hope the lessons learned by game developers with these first efforts to make the Wii experience everything we think it should be, will result in games that will bring us to interactive gaming nirvana.
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The Visuals of the Game
The game engine used provides distinct, clean worlds to view, with explosions that are a bit over the top, but give the game some spectacular eye-candy to keep the gamer entertained. Red Steel can run in progressive scan and wide-screen modes, so grab your component cables and hook them up, the difference in visuals will be notable. Ubisoft opted to tell the story through a series of creative cut-outs that have basic animation. They stand out beside the beautifully rendered graphics of the game engine, with fuzzy stills that look like they have been compressed, which is disappointing beside the rest of the graphics in Red Steel.
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Sounds of the Game
The sounds of the game in Red Steel are easily one of the best parts of this effort by Ubisoft, with gun and sword sounds that are at least synchronized and coherent to the ear. The music track is enjoyable, well composed and was a good choice for this style of game, with theatrical elements that at times mesh well with the action.
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Despite a few problems with the response time of the control mechanisms, Red Steel is a solid first effort for one of the inaugural first-person titles to attempt to use the Wii experience to reach gamers. Enjoyable for sure, and entertaining for gamers who love a first-person shooter, Red Steel still fails to bring the gamer to a more interactive experience. Playing it wasn't much different than every other first-person shooter I've played, although with a push-button controller, but then, it's always a pleasure to vanquish all before you.
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Play Again and Again
The game is a surprisingly long; 10 hours of one against many, but that's about it. First-person shooters can always be played again and again, especially if you just want the satisfaction of mowing everything down in front of you. If you're looking for something that can be played over and over to achieve different time lines, than this isn't the game for you.
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In conclusion, Red Steel has the feel of a title that had real potential, only it appears to have been rushed to completion in order to be ready for the pre-launch of the Wii. Despite the faults with the control mechanisms, which do not meet the expectations of gamers, Red Steel still has enjoyment value for gamers who love a good shoot-up. You do use the Wii controls to fire, move and fight hand to hand, but the responsiveness of the controls isn't quite ready for prime time.
If you're going to give Red Steel a try because you want the Wii experience you have been waiting for, then you better wait for the next first-person shooter that comes out for the Wii.