A man(the clichéd quiet bad-ass) goes on a quest... that of dying from friggin' heat exhaustion. Oh, and he's apparently avenging someone, as well, but from his outfit, he's clearly putting the emphasis on the former(dude, you're in the Nevada desert!). With no name(seriously, when others refer to you, they call you Hero), the only surviving member(who had been banished) of the Kusagari clan must... you get the idea. It's pure cookie-cutter, and nothing is done to change that. The characters are what you'd expect(and you get no background, so we don't connect with anyone). A damsel to rescue, two old guys to tell you how things have been and train you(on the plus side, he does a standout job of that, you use the stuff comfortably soon after), and a playboy. Your nemesis is average. This has a fine length. The ending leaves you cold, as does most of this. It's pretty uninspired. And let's talk about the mix of cultures here. There's a joke in Murder by Death about how an Orthodox Jew and a Roman Catholic married, and then separated two hours later. Some things just don't go together, and the old West(that this hardly ever evoke the atmosphere of, by the way, in spite of the efforts of the moody electric guitar riffs or the distant wind), the old East and futuristic technology may be among those things. Maybe you're now wondering why my vote and my Summary are so complimentary. Simple: The game-play. You use the Wii-Mote(that this makes plenty of use of, also letting you safe-crack) as a sword(all the time! And it feels like you really are "doing" it), and it pretty properly mimics your movements this time(unlike the first(that this is a sequel to in name and core concept only, other than those, no connection), and every other of these I've tried), and you strike(horizontally, vertically or... well, a stab, and you can also do stronger ones... it's all quite intuitive), dodge, defend and counter your way through fights. You can use powers, like launching your enemies into the air or knocking them down from afar. This feels like you are engaged in combat, and it's intense, awesome and just plain *fun*. It is where this excels and beats the crap out of all of its competition in that field. The Motion Plus works well, allowing an incredible sensitivity and greater range of movements; granted, sometimes you don't manage to do the one you're trying to, and the calibration can get wonky at times. However, it at no point cost me a victory, and it auto-saves fairly often. Yes, it does change the balance, and can feel a little clunky. You get used to it. This is physically demanding, yes. You can also shoot any time(as it should be) you want(note that anyone with a blade can block bullets in this), using the revolver(... an eight-shooter? Er... OK), the Tommygun, the Double-Barrel or the Rifle(you have to purchase the last three). No, it's limited to those four, and each of them have their uses. The ability to "tag" others and pull the trigger swiftly is there again, if awkward and not as "free". You can upgrade them(at the Dojo, Saloon and Workshop that you're constantly returning to inbetween missions... you know, I think this guy might have abandonment issues), as well as your Katana, and you can also buy armor(that, along with your health bar that you can extend, by the by, regenerate after every battle(when you enter that, you are limited to the immediate area until it's over)), extra lives, additional attacks and "trophies". That last one makes it easier to do the so-called Finishers. These instantly kill the foe, so you can't do them unless you've stunned(by busting a cap in their knee, knocking them down, etc.) or nearly terminated them. There's a trick to the majority of situations. You can switch targets using Z, though it won't always work. Early on, this has an utterly wicked "do what you're prompted to" sequence that I'm not sure why they felt they should only do one of. The intro is nifty, as well. This is highly immersive and cinematic. Cut-scenes tend to be either pre-rendered(and in 1st person, like when you play) or effective, full-blown, beautiful CGI with style and cool use of slow-mo. Some of the bouts can be pretty epic and exciting. The bosses vary. While I appreciate that they wanted this to feel like a real world(even if this is essentially entirely linear), it is annoying how you, at times, are pressing door buttons every two seconds(it conceals the loading of the next area). That may also be why this needs cold reboots way more often than anything else I've tried on the Wii... or any other machine, for that matter. The graphics are nice, the cel-shading makes it distinguished and the lighting is good(except for when it isn't), for the console. Oh, fire looks *bad*. There are a handful of locations in this, not that they are necessarily memorable(it's all the desert and the towns there), and somehow, your allies always have a base of operations wherever you go. The game itself jokes about how repetitive it is, and that is really the only humor to be found in it. You find your way on account of little green arrows in the mini-radar pointing to your objectives(go there, flip a switch, clean out a place or face someone), and that's fortunate, as otherwise, you'd have no idea and be wandering around in circles. The map is decent. You don't control the jumps, climbing or the like, merely press A and it does it, and this means that you can't miss a leap, taking away the potential tension. It's a tad too streamlined. It was one thing when Ubisoft(don't worry, you remain my favorite developer) did this with Avatar(a rushed license). I recommend this to anyone who wants an FPS with fencing... this is the one to get. 8/10
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