The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game where the action is quite as non-stop as Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. From riding a strange dinosaur creature along a dangerous stretch of desert highway to blowing up legions of giant fish and submarines under the sea to an epic space battle finale, there’s barely a moment to catch your breath as you fly from one absurdly oversized boss battle to the next. Anyone looking for an intense shot of adrenaline on the Wii need look no further.
The core gameplay of Sin & Punishment is similar to an on-rails shooter, which accounts for some of the speed -- the game keeps moving along even if you’re still gawking at the pretty scenery. A ludicrous story lightly strings together the events, but the plot isn’t really the point. During each set piece, you’ll have to shoot down a bevy of enemies and environmental objects by aiming with the Wii remote or dragging the reticle around with the classic controller analog sticks. You’ve also got a melee attack that can be used to devastate any enemy who gets too close or to knock back projectiles toward opponents.
You’ll need to master melee and ranged attacks as well as swift dodging in order to stay alive. Gigantic, multi-form bosses require reflecting missiles and varying attacks to be taken down. In fact, these encounters are the spots where you’re most likely to die, requiring a bit of trial and error before you memorize how to best some of the more complicated bosses. Luckily, checkpoints are very forgiving, often placing you just a minute or two back in the level.
The easy respawns also add to the game’s biggest issue: It’s incredibly short. Minus deaths and replaying levels for higher scores/difficulties, there’s a grand total of around four to five hours of content in Star Successor. Add in a co-op buddy (not shown onscreen but providing double the firepower), and the experience will be over even faster. Then again, I’m not sure Treasure could have crammed much more insanity into this game without needing to put in a break from the exhilaration that makes it so awesome. Maybe sometimes it’s better to be left wanting.