While much of Space World's focus has been on Nintendo's new hardware, there's still plenty of life left in the company's existing platforms. The Treasure-developed N64 shooter, Sin and Punishment, definitely proves that point, as it stands out as the coolest game on the show floor.
Sin and Punishment is a third-person shooter on rails, similar to Panzer Dragoon, for example. Your character is armed with an automatic laser pistol, with which you can alternate between aimed fire and lock-on mode, automatically shifting your aiming cursor from enemy to enemy with a tap of the analog controller. The lock-on mode is most useful on bosses.
You view the game from a behind-the-back perspective and can run left and right to dodge enemy fire and collect power-ups. A quick double tap of the D-pad causes your character to roll to the side. You can also jump, which is useful for hopping over obstacles. If one of the enemies gets close enough, pressing the attack button unleashes a quick slice with your sword.
Graphically, Sin and Punishment has a nice look about it. Many of the enemies are extremely lowpoly (similar in design to the original Star Fox), but this allows the game to feature tons of enemies onscreen, definitely enhancing the gameplay.
The level design seems fairly varied. In one level style, your character is on top of a gravity-defying platform that flies around above water doing barrel rolls and dive-bombing ships in the sea below. The stationary platform gives the game a look and feel similar to that of the Neo Geo classic Nam 1975. The other level style has your character running through city streets, occasionally pausing to waste enemy ships.
The game displays a countdown timer that replenishes once you defeat a boss. The game also has a two-player mode, but this is limited to one person doing the shooting and the other handling the movement of the character.
Sin and Punishment looks pretty complete and ready for its Japanese release this October.