While we've already played the Japanese import version of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor quite a bit, it was nice to finally get our hands on the North American version of the game. Like the original, Star Successor is an on-rails, Star Fox-like shooter where your character is free to move around a designated space as the game forces you forward through the level. We played two of these levels--one in an industrial setting that takes place at the beginning of the game (and serves as a tutorial of sorts) and the other in a strange factory-in-the-sky setting that proved to be pretty difficult.
You can select one of two characters in the game--Isa and Kachi. Both characters are able to walk on the ground, fly in the environment, and evade enemies and bullets via a dodge move, but their special attacks (which can be performed by holding down A and B on the Wii Remote) are different. Isa's special attack functions more like a bomb that causes massive amounts of damage to anything in its path or anything within its blast radius, whereas Kachi's special attack lets you lock on to several enemies before unleashing a series of homing missiles (not unlike the dragon's attacks from the Panzer Dragoon series). Additionally, both characters can perform melee attacks, which not only are invaluable when enemies get a little too close for comfort, but can also be used to bat projectiles back at enemies. In some cases, the only way you can cause any significant damage to an enemy is to do exactly that.
In both levels we played, we saw a healthy mixture of enemies, ranging from regular foot soldiers and little robots capable of firing projectiles in the first level, to nimble, long-legged ninja-like foes and massive gear-spitting walls. In both levels, we had to make extensive use of Isa and Kachi's evasive moves, but we really put their special attacks to use in the second level we played, because the screen often became swarmed with enemies, as tends to happen in games developed by Treasure.
And speaking of Treasure--another characteristic of its games is the great boss battles, and Star Successor seemingly follows that trend. Our first boss battle was with a massive, multilegged, tanklike machine that stomps its legs and fires a variety of projectiles in your direction, making it difficult to keep the focus on shooting the body. Our second boss battle was reminiscent of those in the 8- and 16-bit shooters of yore, where a weak point appears from behind a shield at various points while the screen continually fills with enemy lasers beams. Both of these bosses can offer a challenge even on the easiest setting, so we can only imagine just how much more difficult they will be on the hardest setting.
As with the Japanese version, the North American version of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor will feature support for two-player action as well as online leaderboards, which can be sorted by level and difficulty setting. We'll have more on the sequel to Sin and Punishment before its June 7 release.