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Hands-on: Sin and Punishment 2


Nintendo's E3 booth is full of "Everybody's Games," games designed to be accessible to anyone and enjoyable without being frustrating. Well, it's full of "Everybody's Games" ... and a Treasure shooter. Sin and Punishment 2 doesn't seem to make any concessions to the Wii audience, with the usual frantic pace fans of Bangai-O, Ikaruga, and, well, Sin and Punishment expect, as well as some patently bizarre imagery and language at work. Refer to the giant chicken monster in the trailer above, called the, uh, Cock Keeper. Treasure's English has always been a bit awkward.

The game is at heart a rail shooter, similar to Rez or Panzer Dragoon. You control the movement of your character with the analog stick, jump with the C button, and launch a jetpack-style flying mode with a double tap of C. Most important, you aim with the pointer and shoot with B. Each character has a special attack that is triggered by A. My character could target multiple enemies with her ability. A quick tap of B triggers a melee attack, not that you ever want anything to get that close to you.

And the enemies. For one thing, they're everywhere. The screen is swirling with flying creatures all the time, many of which aren't really a threat to you since they're far away, but exist to allow you to rack up points. And, as you may have guessed from the first boss, they're quite bizarre. At first, you're shooting these red dragon creatures in a futuristic cityscape, but then thousands of little white flying things show up, covering the screen. As you take out these creatures, the camera moves around dynamically, changing the angle of the action as enemies come at you from different sides of the screen.

After about five minutes of staving off flying monsters, the Cock Keeper comes barreling down an oncoming street, a twenty-foot-tall chicken with a hideously grimacing chicken face, throwing what appeared to be smaller, rolling chickens toward the screen. The best strategy for dealing with the minor enemies seemed to be remaining airborne, pouring shots into the Cock Keeper throughout.

We didn't quite make it to the end of the demo -- though it was clear that the boss fight was a natural stopping point, and the Nintendo rep nearby told us that there was only a minute or so of gameplay after that fight. We died, is what happened -- at which point a message came up that read "Thanks for your playing!" Thanks for your reading.

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