If you were to take the iconic old west and the iconic east and marry them, you would have Red Steel 2. As a complete divergence from the previous game, RS2 easily holds it’s own. Wii games, especially sequels, can fall short of the expectation (We’re looking at you Game Party 2 and 3… not that the original was very good) but not this time. With excellent sword controls, well-made music and an engaging storyline that begins with you being dragged behind a motorcycle and keeps up the pace, it’s hard not to love this game
Get ready for a workout. The Wii motion plus does not disappoint as you take up your sword and guns to battle through about a dozen hours of interactive play. Basic training is easy, but it does take a bit of practice to wield your katana well. There are plenty of unlockable skills as you level up, though it can feel a bit unbalanced in your favor toward the end. The real fun of this game is in the plot.
Plot (*Lite Spoilers)
The unnamed protagonist is the last of his clan. As though this isn’t bad enough, he loses his sword to the Jackals (a huge gang). Predictably this game is a story of redeeming your honor and revenging your lost loved ones.
While running from the Jackals in the first part of the game, you are fortunate enough to rescue your old swordmaster Jian, who loans you a sword while you hunt for your own. He is the first of several NPCs who will show up to help with training and give you missions but for the most part, you will have to walk your road alone.
Sheriff Judd of Caldera and his daughter Tamiko (a hacker who worked for your clan) also help you along as allies. They guide you through sabotaging the Jackals and eventually help you reach Payne, the thug who has your sword, at the gang’s hideout.
As you defeat your enemy, you learn that the man who had your clan destroyed is known as Shinjiro. Your path then takes you to the Lower city to fight a rival clan known as the Katakara. Though you’ll find your foe in the Kusagari temple, and battle him, it, unfortunately, will not be as easy to destroy this enemy. A mysterious ninja snatches him from your grasp.
A tip from your old swordmaster leads you to an exciting train battle. With the enemy attempting to escape, you will fight your way through a whole train full of ninja only to face a battle on the roof of the final car to defeat your enemy… or not. It is actually a trap.
After detaching the train car and throwing a grenade at you, you’ll find yourself wandering the desert for days before you finally reach a deserted town where you run into an old acquaintance from earlier in the game, fight off the Jackals and an attack by the Katakara.
Once free of these battles you can finally reach out to your friends again. Tamiko Judd and Jian will direct you to Shinjiro’s hideout in Rattlesnake Canyon. Through a series of plot twists and battles you will finally confront your true enemy and (hopefully) destroy him. Of course, many of the juicy details have been left out here to avoid completely spoiling the fun.
Who Doesn’t Love Cowboys and Ninjas
The mashup of eastern and western culture is really well done in this game. The music meshes well and the old western backdrop somehow looks just right full of ninjas and swords. The play is mostly smooth and the battle style is incredibly engaging with the Wii. As an FPS with guns and swords, this game is all around good fun.
From empty towns to overpowered endgame, there are some flaws here. Loading screens between areas take forever and the animation is especially frustrating since the gameplay is so smooth in other areas. Overall the complaints are far fewer than the reasons to love RS2.
This game is a good time and a decent workout. The animation and ability to blend very different cultural elements both go down smooth and make for an enjoyable overall experience. With just a few flaws worth noting RS2 isn’t quite a perfect game, but it is certainly worth adding to any Wii collection.