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Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies (Wii) Review

Review for Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Despite the fact that Nintendo was not able to help Treasure’s Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth on the Nintendo 64 to become the system-selling release it deserved to be, as a re-release on the Virtual Console it has seen interest sky-rocket, especially upon its debut in Western territories, thus spurring both companies on to create a sequel. Europe has been lucky enough to play Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies on Wii since May, whilst US gamers finally received it at the end of June. Cubed3 takes a closer look at why many are saying that Treasure has produced a sequel that makes the already superb predecessor pale in comparison.

Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies is not your everyday shooter, and even the developer itself refuses to label it as a mere ‘shmup’. Treasure’s masterpiece is more of an on-rails shooter if anything, with elements of the much-loved bullet-hell style of games thrown in to keep gamers’ palms constantly sweating and their bums firmly on the edge of their seats. In fact, Treasure has attempted to fit as many different styles of gameplay into the hectic-paced adventure in order to keep people riveted right through to the very final set of credits rolling on the screen…and it has truly succeeded in every single department.

Visually and aurally stunning, Successor of the Skies delivers gorgeous, highly detailed graphics, with hordes of enemies flitting around the screen constantly, all at an amazingly high pace that leaves you wondering how the action never actually slows down, whilst overlaying everything on top of an Industrial-themed futuristic soundtrack that adds perfectly to the atmosphere, coming complete with a slew of intense sound effects that definitely get the adrenaline pumping more than ever. On top of this, there is the choice to listen to the original Japanese voice talent during cut-scenes, merely relying on subtitles if you so desire, but the standard of English voice acting is impressive enough to not bother with that extra option.

Screenshot for Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

For those that thought the first Sin and Punishment had a rather unusual storyline, it soon becomes apparent that this was no mere one-off and that Treasure has again crafted a seriously odd tale to serve as a strong backbone to the main adventure. Successor of the Skies’ introduction explains that there is in fact not merely one universe out in the great beyond, but two; the Inner- and Outer-Space, the former consisting of multiple Earths that are protected by ‘The Creators’, who guide and/or destroy mankind as they see fit over time. The latter of the two is where Kachi comes from, a young girl who has been sent to infiltrate Earth-4, part of the Inner-Space, but has lost her memory and become very attached to the human race. Isa Jo, the young male lead and son of Saki and Airan from the first title, has been given the job of exterminating her, yet upon realising her newfound innocence due to memory loss, Isa turns against The Creators and chooses to protect her. This leads to The Creators sending out a army of warriors going by the name of the Nebulox in order to destroy both Kachi, the invader, and Isa, who is now classed as a betrayer.

Screenshot for Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

On the cover of the game’s outer casing, you can clearly see that Isa has something attached to his back that looks somewhat like a football, except a little more angular. This special backpack actually allows him to hover around, giving him the chance to freely use his hand-operated weapon to destroy the wealth of incoming enemies that bombard the player on a constant basis as you progress through the on-rails stages. Attacks do not always have to be from a great distance using Isa and Kachi’s gunfire, though, as there are melee attacks where obstacles or enemies within close proximity of the player can be swatted down. These can be used to build up more points in the combination chain multiplier system incorporated in order to achieve an even greater final score at the end of play, thus placing you higher up the online leader-board that has been gratefully included.

There are also times when this close combat approach becomes a real necessity. Whilst the main method of shooting in the game comes in the form of using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk duo (or the Classic Controller for old school fans), with the former used for pinpoint bullet accuracy and the latter for movement and dodging, there are circumstances when bullets will not suffice, so going in to close quarters to deal fatal blows is a must. This totally changes the dynamic of the game, as with the alternate perspectives on offer, again keeping the player tremendously engaged at every turn. Generally, though, the focus is on blasting away whilst floating around on the hover-board or using the jet pack, independently moving the characters with the Nunchuk and directing the fire power with the Wii Remote (with a second person able to take control of another on-screen cursor for a two-player co-operative mode), trying to build up the power gauge so a destructive shot can be released, which can only be done by carefully manoeuvring through the cavalcade of bullets, shrapnel and laser shots heading your way.

Screenshot for Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

It should be remembered that Treasure is one of the oldest independent studios in Japan and has a wealth of classic shooting games under its belt already, with the likes of Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga and Gunstar Heroes being at the forefront of people’s minds when hearing the company’s name, but also great titles such as Astro Boy: Omega Factor on the GBA and Gradius V for the PS2, as well as the unforgettable Bangai-O and its DS successor. The fact that Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies excels in almost every field should come as no surprise then, yet how it manages to surpass the majority of the company’s previous games with the greatest of ease is truly staggering. Perhaps the only way this stunning sequel could be beaten is if an updated edition made it across to the 3DS at some point, putting the 3D effect to good use.

Treasure also has quite the reputation with regards to epic boss battles, and Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies certainly does not fail to live up to expectations on this front. Numerous high octane encounters are included, featuring gigantic monsters, intricately crafted creatures and devastating machines built up into a multitude of layers that need to be meticulously broken down before the core can be destroyed. They are not all within the 3D realm either, since the developer constantly mashes various viewpoints together, giving players the chance to flying through traditional side-scrolling stages, before plunging them into a twisting, turning ‘into the screen’ rollercoaster ride section, having Isa and Kachi sat in the foreground, dodging incoming fire and swipes from enemy tendrils deeper in the background, or even dancing around in a rotational fashion, hopping over incoming laser beams and attempting to get behind to reach weak points of your adversaries.

Screenshot for Sin and Punishment 2: Successor of the Skies on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Non-stop action, amazingly varied levels, so many different twists on the shooting theme and some truly wondrous boss battles, complete with an addictive high score mechanic and essential online leader-board feature, all make Sin and Punishment 2 as perfect as possible.

Graphics

Varied, detailed visuals, stunning locations, stacks of action constantly happening on-screen, and all delivered at a super-smooth 60 frames per second without any slowdown.

Sound

Solid voice acting, choosing from the original Japanese or newly recorded English track, as well as plenty of hardcore, intense sound effects to draw you into the proceedings, mixed together with a futuristic Industrial-sounding musical score that creates the perfect atmosphere.

Value

Whilst the original only lasted for a couple of hours, some of the stages in Successor of the Skies can alone last for over forty minutes, with heaps of replay value to collect more items, play through with a second character, boost your score on the different difficulty levels and pit yourself against the score totals of others around the world.

Cubed3 Rating

10/10
Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

About this score
Rated 10 out of 10

Treasure has created a shooter beyond all shooters, mixing together so many different styles, throwing in a plethora of engaging stages and gameplay techniques that set the imagination on fire. Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies successfully pushes past previous Treasure greats on Nintendo formats, such as Ikaruga, and even the stunning Nanostray 2 from Shin’en Multimedia. Anyone that enjoyed the N64 original should brace themselves for what is not only a superior sequel, but one of the best games in the genre entirely.

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03.08.2010

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Also known as

Sin and Punishment: Star Successor

Developer

Treasure

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (12 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Staff Member

Bought this a few days ago, I haven't played it much, but I am absolutely loving it. Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Good to hear you're enjoying it. I was so pleased to see it enter the UK chart very high up at No.11 on the Wii Top 40. Okay, so it didn't break into the main chart, but it could easily have been one of those titles that didn't even make a blip on the Wii chart radar (like Dragon Quest Swords, for instance).

Anyone else picked this up? I believe it hasn't yet arrived in Australia...is that right?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Staff Member

jesusraz said:
Good to hear you're enjoying it. I was so pleased to see it enter the UK chart very high up at No.11 on the Wii Top 40.

Yeah, it's a nice, solid game. I checked out the first one before I went along and purchased this. It was also great, but I must admit that the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls are a hell of a lot better. In my opinion, of course.

Agree entirely. Thanks Adam.

Box Art - 10


3DS Code 2578-3122-0744
Lucy (guest) 04.08.2010 15:45#5

Wow that boxart looks great is it the Japan one?

Punisher (guest) 04.08.2010 19:24#6

That's the reversible cover that Europeans received, I believe.

This is such an amazing game. Let's hope they do another one for 3DS!!

Benj (guest) 04.08.2010 20:18#7

The artwork's stunning. Treasure does 't really like doing sequels, so I wouldn't hold my breath about a 3rd game just yet...

James (guest) 05.08.2010 16:58#8

Did you guys know the main woman from Style Boutique was involved in development?? She tried to make the game easier for newbs to pick up!!

I wonder how well this has done in the US? Seems to be popular here in Europe, at least.

Faust D. Strooijer (guest) 06.08.2010 04:19#9

I just bought it today and I have to say I quite like it so far. Can't exactly say it's all that difficult on normal yet, though?

Definitely another Wii-nner. =3

Isa Jo (guest) 06.08.2010 15:17#10

You want to try it on the harder level later on! Treasure really knows how to up the ante for more hard ore gamers!! It by no means the toughest shooter out there, but it does serve up a healthy dose of challenge!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Thanks for the great feedback so far, folks. Glad there's not been any negativity about my final score!

By the way, how are you all doing in thrbonline ranking stakes? I was pretty high up the UK list a month ago, but haven't has time to try and improve my ranking, so have probably dropped considerably!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Minnie M (guest) 08.08.2010 16:13#12

I'm struggling to make that much of an impact on the scoreboards, actually Smilie Everyone seems to be a master at the game!! Smilie

Minnie M (guest) said:
I'm struggling to make that much of an impact on the scoreboards, actually Smilie Everyone seems to be a master at the game!! Smilie

We can't all be lifeless gits, can we? ;p

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~
Minnie M (guest) 19.08.2010 17:58#14

Haha, very true! It's amazing to see se of the scores. There really are so many diehard players out there with a seemingly endless supply of free time Smilie

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