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Wii Impressions: Red Steel [update 1]

Ross Miller

Red Steel disappointed me. The biggest problem with the game (and most worrisome to Nintendo) is its control scheme. What we found playing Red Steel, along with many other third-party Wii titles, is that the controls felt too sensitive. There is an issue with moving your remote slightly out of the range of the TV-mounted system, resulting in the cross hairs going stir-crazy off to the side of the screen. If Ubisoft can fix the sensitivity, then the rest of the control scheme is intuitively laid out and works well. Also, the sword fighting is pretty lacking, with only a variety of slashes available. The sword does not follow every move, and each slash requires a dramatic sweep of the remote -- the simplicity gave the sword-fighting moments the impression of a minigame.

Graphically, the game looks below even that of new GameCube titles, with blocky faces and low polygon counts abound. The lighting, however, did stand out as impressive; in one scripted scene, bullet holes pierce through a door and cylindrical beams of light enters the room. Load times, fortunately, were almost nonexistent.

Red Steel has a lot of potential. It fully utilizes Wii's remote (except for the recently-announced speaker) and the submission feature is a nice touch. What we dislike about the game could be fixed before launch -- and, for the most part, we hope it is. The gun battle scenes, if the controls are tightened, could stand alongside some of the best first person shooters, and we would forgive the graphics if the sensitivity was handled. That the game has so much potential is, ultimately, why we walked away as disappointed as we were. The lack of blood will help Nintendo sell this title -- available at launch -- to gamers of all ages. However, this game is not going to attract anyone to the Wii.

[update 1: fixed a few typos, cleaned up the language]

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