For now I'm putting the review you chose on hold, since Sin and Punishment 2 is here! And since S&P1 was amazing, I felt like reviewing the long awaited sequel. First off, awesome box art. Even I can acknowledge that it's beautiful. Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Sin and Punishment was a N64 rail shooter developed by Treasure that never saw the light of day in the US... Until a few years ago. It received a translation and was added to the VC service, giving us Americans a way to play this long lost title. Following its semi-release worldwide, Treasure went into overdrive and made the sequel, a long awaited one. And what is my general view on it? It's a sequel that fits. It's excellent. The story. Umm... I don't know. I don't speak or read Japanese. And even if I did, I'd be lost. The first one had a seemingly random storyline that made my child sized brain hurt. So, I'll give some background. In the future (far enough so that they have lasers and hovercars and stuff like that), Japan runs into a food shortage. Scientists, in order to solve the issue, try to develop a new species to be bred and used as food. However, this species mutates into these big monster thingies and start ravaging Japan. In a desperate plea, Japan calls in an international organization called the Armed Volunteers, who takes over Japan in order to deal with the crisis and essentially becomes a tyranical government. A group called the Savior Group, which includes the parents of the protagonists in this game (Saki and Airan), who attempt to fight the ruffians (which are the mutant dudes) and the Armed Volunteers. Well, that was the plot of the first one at least, according to Wikipedia. The second one follows the kids of Saki and Airan and takes place a few years in the future. I can't really grade the game on the story because I don't speak Japanese, but I'll say that the game is incredibly well put together. Menus are all in English (yay!), so don't fear a language barrier here, and it's fitting to the name "Sin and Punishment". The gameplay is all on-rails. Like most Treasure games, it's fast paced and gets the term "bullet hell" in later levels. You'll go through levels, shooting baddies, segmented by mini-bosses and ended with a final boss. You'll also get a sword, which allows you to melee enemies who get close, nulify projectiles, or smack back rockets at other baddies. In regards to its prequel, this game's obvious difference is Wiimote controls. This is completely optional, though. Treasure went all out with 4 different control schemes: Wiimote/Nunchuck, Gamecube Controller, Classic Controller, and Classic Controller PRO. It's a great feature to those not adept with the Wii pointer or who enjoy staying rooted with the classic Sin and Punishment scheme. Still, the Wii pointer is great. It's easy to use and offers an easier way to go from enemy to enemy, without any gimmicky motion controls to throw off your aim. The only problem I have with it is rare difficulty you'll have from unlocking targets. I find it gets stuck a few times but at most it just takes an extra second to change from target to target. You also get a jetpack/hoverboard (depending on the character), allowing you to move around the entire screen and also allowing for more dynamic flying levels (similar to the oceans over Japan level in S&P1). It does have some downsides, though. You'll move slower than if you were walking, which makes dodging bullets harder. These flying levels make the game a lot more intense and offer some incredibly dynamic level designs. The final addition to the game is a rocket launcher, which replenishes over time. It's a powerful weapon that can lock on to multiple targets or just blow the living shit out of one target. It's an excellent addition to take out tough enemies that you just want to kill in a fast moving environment. However, these "fast moving environments" can, at times, be a little too long. With most of them containing 3 mini bosses plus a big boss and a lot of shooting in between, it's not your short-but-awesome levels of the original game. There are lots of checkpoints though and the levels are addictive enough to have you constantly playing. Overall, the gameplay is faster, more intense, more diverse, and more dynamic than its predecessor, a feat that's hard to beat. Graphically, the game is beautiful and shows what third parties can do on the Wii. The cutscenes are some of the best, the environments are incredibly detailed, and the character and enemy models are astoundingly good. This game could easily be Xbox 360 quality. The audio is very similar to its father, being wailing Japanese guitar. Explosions are good, gunfire sounds nice, and voice acting (although I can't really determine the quality of their inflection and such due to the language barrier) sounds good. The only problems are the slowdown and explosions. Occasionally the game will get a severe framerate drop, if only for a few seconds. It's annoying, but not frequent enough or long enough to really hurt the gameplay. As for my other issue, the explosions, they're well detailed but still the "ball of fire" trick from S&P1. Maybe that's for nostalgia's sake or maybe it's for a "trademark" of the game, but more realistic explosions would be welcome. I usually don't comment on lasting appeal as a whole section (although it's one of the 2 most important aspects of a game, in my opinion), but with S&P1 being criticized for its incredibly short length, I feel I need to comment on this. The original game took maybe 3 hours to beat. It was short, but it was a very arcade-ish game. The game wasn't designed to be an epic, 20-hour adventure, it was meant to be a short romp and to be based on scores. Anyone can beat the game, true gamers can master it. This game, however, is significantly longer than the original. Is it the epic, 20-hour adventure I mentioned before? No. Is it still very score based? Yes. The game will still take a few hours to beat, but is still relatively short. However, as I said before, the game is all about scores. With Wi-Fi leaderboards now, there's even a bigger push to beat your (and other people's) scores. If you were never a fan of trying to beat your scores, then this game may not seem long to you. If you're a very score based person, you'll be playing the levels over and over again. There's also 2 playable characters, but I have no idea if they differ in storyline or play style or if it's just different skins. Overall, fans of the first game will find its sequel to be just as fulfilling, even better. It's longer, faster, more intense, and takes all the pros of the original game and improves on them, as well as ironing out some of the cons. It has a few issues, such as slowdowns and such, but it's still a great addition to the Wii and an amazing game in total. Presentation: Since I don't know Japanese, I can't comment on this game's story, although the background for it is very interesting. Menus are sleek and in English, and it's overall a fitting successor to a classic and long lost game. 9/10 Graphics: Superb. All the models are fantastic, levels are incredibly detailed and with a dynamic camera, and all the bullets and lighting are amazing. The explosions could be better and there is some rare slowdown, but the game will still have you double guessing if the Wii truly does have "bad graphics". 9.5/10 Audio: A wailing Japanese guitar soundtrack, like the first game. Grunts, shouts, and primal roars are all nicely done, voice acting in cutscenes is nice (although I can't judge if it's good or bad due to the language barrier), and the explosions and gunfire are fitting. Nothing exceptional, but sitll quite nice. 8.5/10 Gameplay: Quite simply one of the best rail shooters out there. Some levels are easy, some levels are tough as nails with shields. The shooting is endlessly fun, the bosses are great, and the constantly changing design of levels keeps it fresh. It's more than fitting for the sequel of Sin and Punishment. 9.5 Lasting Appeal: While still a lot longer than it's predecessor, it's still not a super long game and is very score based. Score fanatics will find this game lasting them for a long time while more "play it to beat it" gamers will find it short. Online leaderboards help push you to get more scores. 8/10 Overall: 9.4/10 I rarely give such good scores, being the cynic I am, but this game is phenominal. Burn it now and buy it when it comes to the States/Europe.