When the Wii was released it helped usher in a new era of motion control for video games. As a launch game for the system, Red Steel was released in 2006 developed by Ubisoft Paris and published by Ubisoft, Red Steel was a combination of first-person shooter and first-person fighter. The combo, much like the motion controls were a mixed bag of laughs, frustration, and fun. Grab your katana and glock, we’re heading into this Red Steel review.
Red Steel Plot:
What’s the most disastrous first meeting you can think of when a boyfriend gets introduced to the parents? Whatever you can think of, Scott Monroe has you beat. He’s the protagonist in Red Steel, and it begins as he is getting introduced to his fiancé’s father at a hotel in Los Angeles.
Scott’s fiancé, Miyu Sato is the daughter of Isao Sato. Just as the three are about to meet, gang members bust in on the hotel room and fire upon everyone as Scott is knocked out. Waking up, he sees Miyu and Isao being abducted by the Yakuza. He grabs a pistol and rescues Isao on the roof but it’s too late for Miyu as she is rushed away. Isao and Scott team up and get Miyu back as the pair head to the parking garage while Scott stays behind to fight off gang members. Unfortunately, Isao’s bodyguard Ryuichi betrays him and kidnaps them both leaving Scott behind.
Wanting his fiance back, Scott works with Isao who introduces him to a man named Tony Tanaka in Los Angeles. Scott crashes a spa that Ryuichi’s mistress owns and gets info on him. Meeting at an airport, Ryuichi spares Scott in a sword fight after kicking his butt as he escapes to Japan with Miyu.
The Yakuza want back an ancient sword called the Katana Giri that was used to execute many of their members long ago. Mortally injured, Isao gives Scott the sword and tells him to travel to Japan and meet a man named Otori. Scott travels to Tokyo and is trained by Otori who is a former samurai. A nightclub owner named Harry helps Scott out in tracking down Ryuichi at a garbage facility where he is handing off Miyu to a man named Tokai. Scott defeats Ryuichi in a sword duel but before Ryuichi talks he is murdered by a sniper.
Back at Harry’s, Scott is informed that Tokai has taken over many factions of the Yakuza including some big businesses. These owners have come to Harry’s and request Scott’s help in getting rid of the Yakuza. Eventually, Scott meets up with Tokai but Harry betrays Scott and knocks him out as the sword is taken. Scott wakes up and battles Harry in a sword fight while getting more info.
Scott duels Tokai as it is revealed that Tokai wanted the sword for himself to take revenge on a rival gang member who killed his father. Tokai loses the duel and flees. Otori and Scott find Tokai together and Scott finds Tokai again and duels him. Otori wants to kill him but it’s up to the player on the decision. Miyu is rescued regardless.
Red Steel Gameplay:
My Red Steel review nearly didn’t happen. After 15 minutes of playing the game, it was near impossible to get the motion controls down. How you value Red Steel depends on how well the motion controls work. If they work well, Red Steel is a great game filled with arcade action and adventure. If the motion controls are compromised, you probably won’t get past the first level. Any other game, I would have given up but I saw the potential that Red Steel had to offer.
I worked very hard at getting the motion controls to work enough for me for a playthrough and in the end, I got them to work enough where I could experience most of Red Steel along with some hilarious sequences. The controls didn’t kill me but they made it so my character would spin aimlessly during sections and shootouts. The good news is that Red Steel isn’t difficult. In most shootouts, you can survive getting hit a few times while you collect yourself with the motion controls. This was a launch game for the Wii and I try and remember that during my Red Steel review.
If, and it’s a big “If” you can master the motion controls, Red Steel has a lot to offer. Making your way through levels you’ll fight off plenty of Yakuza with various guns and swords. Gun fights are awesome, it’s pure chaos and fun. Sword fights are fairly pointless as the controls don’t mimic what you do so you’re just flailing your arms about attacking your opponent.
Cover is your best friend during these shootouts and you can regain health fairly quickly by ducking or covering. There are enough guns to please you and you’ll rotate through most of them. Sword fights are meant to be “boss” fights but they are typically uneventful. Red Steel offers enough unique environments that I enjoyed playing each level.
The presentation for Red Steel works very well. Each cut scene is presented in a drawing with a voice-over. The voice acting in Red Steel is absolutely hilarious. It’s bad but I love it. I wish they still made games like this as they tried their best to get Asian accents in English-speaking scenes. During my Red Steel review, I was surprised at how mature the theme was on a Nintendo console. There was plenty of murder, gang action, slutty girls, and swearing. It was great and a refreshing experience.
Red Steel was always one of those games at retro video game stores that I saw whenever I went out shopping. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was mass-produced or if the game sucked. Either way, the cover intrigued me and I knew I wanted to try it out regardless. Playing through my Red Steel review I had to focus much more than other games because of the motion controls. It was fun when it worked but that was far and few in-between.
Red Steel Review Score:
Red Steel’s review score will vary depending on each user’s experience with the motion controls. If the motion controls work well, this is a fun arcade action shooter filled with hilariously bad voice acting. If you can’t get the motion controls to work you’ll likely quit within 10 minutes and throw it on the shelf never to be touched again.
Red Steel scores a 6.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your Red Steel review? What was your first game on the Wii? Did you have issues with motion controls? Did you like the shootouts or the sword fights more? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Red Steel, I’d love to read them.