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Volume 9, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

'Red Steel’ doesn’t cut it for Wii users


Limited weapons, lack of realistic gore detract from game


by CHRIS ELLIOT
Breaking News

    Taking a sidestep out of the ever popular World War II niche, the people at Ubisoft decided to use the Nintendo Wii’s motion sensing capabilities to give gamers a chance to combine sword fights with gun play with Red Steel. The game had the ingredients to provide Wii owners the first-person shooter experience, but a little something is missing.

    Red Steel turned out to be an average first-person shooter with an added element that provides gamers with a unique but somehow forgettable experience.

    Gamers are given the opportunity to utilize the Wii-mote and nun chuck to engage Japanese mobsters in sword fights. When engaged, the Wii-mote acts as the long blade giving players the chance to simulate different slicing attacks by moving the Wii-mote either up, down, left or right. The nun chuck is used to parry oncoming attacks as the short blade, or the katana.

    The sword fights become increasingly more difficult as the computer’s speed and artificial intelligence increases. Learning to parry and dodge become integral to survival; most opponents in the game must be defeated with a defensive mindset. One must wait for the opponent to set himself up by making a move, and then go in for the kill.

    Kill doesn’t seem to be the appropriate word, though. For that matter, neither do the words blade or katana. People bleed when accidentally cut with kitchen knives, but in the world of Red Steel, there is no such thing as blood. After all the work you put into finally landing an attack with the sharp end of a sword, you are rewarded with a cheesy little orange slice mark across the screen that indicates you hit the target. It seems as though players are fighting with wooden or plastic swords.

    Using the Wii-mote to serve as the gun and katana, players are given the opportunity to stalk alleys, warehouses, illegal import tuning shops and geisha houses of Japan, where they can spray, buckshot or slice their way through the ranks of the Yakuza. This is all done to save some girl – Scott’s, the main character’s, girlfriend.

    Her father, Sato Satsuma, is the Japanese mafia kingpin. A new-school Yakuza mobster wants to kidnap her and overthrow her father. Sato entrusts Scott with the Katana Giri, a legendary blade that determines who holds the power among the Yakuza.

    Scott helps the old-school Yakuza bosses in Japan get rid of the new guys pushing in on their territory.

    The game is decent, but had the potential to be far more realistic and entertaining.

  Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu.

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