Reader Review: Red Steel 2

Reader Review: Red Steel 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Alastair does, as he orders the spaghetti western.

Yes, that’s right, we’re publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Alastair Christie. If you’ve played Red Steel 2, or just want to ask Al more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Red Steel 2 (Wii)

Red Steel 2 is Ubisoft’s second attempt at utilising Wii’s two control strengths: infra-red and motion. The first Red Steel was hampered by inaccuracy and inexperience, but the release of Wii MotionPlus built up hope for a much improved sequel.


Mash-ups: I can’t resist two strange ideas being crammed together. East/West. Gun/sword. Cowboy/Samurai. The world is filled with vending machines, shrine gates, saloons, kana graffiti, six-shooters and katanas. It shouldn’t work, but Ubisoft created a very convincing and gorgeously rendered world that remains fun to explore. Similarly, gun and sword play transitions are seamless and both modes are available as often as feasible.

Sword: The sword is deservedly the selling point. Horizontal blocking was counter-intuitive for a lefty like me, but otherwise the motion detection was almost flawless. It seems that the slight lag is a trade-off for accurate speed detection. No more waggle means you must give a full arm swing. Slight tiredness is possible, but worth it for the immersion and even desperation you may feel in a tough battle.

Fatalities: I never got bored of dashing and giving my dying opponent a round under the chin. Or the instant over-the-shoulder kill stab. Or many other finishers. The first-person perspective just makes the act feel much more brutal.


FPS: It contains some of the crappiest first-person shooter sections around to the point that it shouldn’t be marketed as such. The gun controls are superb, yes. But enemies feel like the proverbial fish in the barrel. Stick to using guns in special moves and boss battles.

Doors: They either act as interminably long loading screens, or they’re locked until you trigger the next cutscene that opens up the next set of missions. Subsequently, your PDA can open them. A connected, but very much closed world.

Empty: The man with no name was brilliant. Unfortunately, this man with no name is also the man with no voice or character. More unfortunate is that, relative to the story, the mute, nameless, lead character is more memorable.

The closest Wii title to Red Steel 2 is actually Madworld. Both are linear action romps through gorgeously rendered worlds punctuated with melee fighting, boss battles, reliable motion control and brutal finishers. And part of them grated as you patiently worked toward the better parts. Red Steel 2’s sword fighting is enough fun to play through multiple times, especially given the lamentably weak Wii MotionPlus selection you’ll find elsewhere.

Reviewed by: Al Christie

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • It is definitely the best Wii sword/FPS game I’ve played. I often felt that ‘desperation’ you mentioned in sword combat. You really get into it and all the finishing moves are a joy. They done well by this one.

  • Interesting read! I’d totally forgotten this used motion plus! I might just have to get myself a copy now. I had the first, and as you said.. it’s pretty terrible, but sounds like it’ll be heaps better with full motion instead of waggle!

    • Yep! Its great being actual motion!

      Also you can find the Wii motion plus bundle for $50 brand new if you look around, I forget what store has it for that price EB? JB? GAME? Game Traders, I think most of them though since its getting older and didn’t sell amazingly well.

      • Thanks for the tip, but I already have 2 motion plus adaptors 😉 Hoping I can pick up the game on it’s own for a bargain though! Would be nice anyway!

  • JB for $49 with motion plus I know for sure.
    Relative to Wii sports resort, sword fighting is slightly less responsive but has speed detection and isn’t calibrated so explicitly (possibly in the door loading)

    I’d call it an first person action game with light FPS elements. I was harsh on the guns, but aiming while you block with the sword only to whip out your gun for a quick shot does feel pretty cool.

  • GAME has/had it for $50 as well. That’s where I got my copy.

    I’m not a huge fan of the game however as the storyline is incredibly mundane and the combat just feels inevitable repetitive after awhile. The protagonist also looks ridiculous wearing a full black trenchcoat up to his mouth in the middle of a desert town setting?

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!