Sin & Punishment Star Successor is a fun game in the purest sense.

User Rating: 7.5 | Tsumi to Batsu: Uchuu no Koukeisha WII
Pros: Tight, difficult action; Surprising variety from simple mechanics

Cons: Ugly people; Difficulty can be a bit too much at times; Some hard-to-read visuals; Lame co-op support

Treasure (the game company) may only do one thing well, but man do they do it well. You won't go into a Treasure game expecting great story, artistic merits, or really innovative mechanics-you'll find none of that. Instead you go in expecting absolutely ridiculous, off-the-wall action with no filler or room to breathe. Treasure has demonstrated expertise at crafting high-octane action in several 2D games over the years, and Sin & Punishment Star Successor shows that they can do 3D just as well.

It's a remarkably simple game: move around in the foreground, and point and shoot at enemies while dodging their projectiles. You also have a charge attack, a dodge maneuver, and a melee attack that can deflect projectiles, but the core is always that simple. You are always dodging and shooting, and not really much else.

Don't take that to mean that the game is boring or repetitive, however-far from it. One scenario may be a simple flood of enemies, but another will have you shooting through tall grass that obscures your vision, creating a path through a series of blocks, or raising a platform above lava. Usually you do all this while contending with an absurd amount of bullets on-screen at any given time.

There are no punches pulled in this game. After the first couple levels, you can expect to die. A lot. You will fight each of the game's numerous imaginative bosses over and over until you learn their moves and have rehearsed your dodge timing to the millisecond. And then you might redo the entire level later, so that you can get a high score (which frustratingly resets every time you die). If this doesn't sound like fun, you should probably steer clear of Sin & Punishment Star Successor, but those who want chaos and challenge, you'll get it.

The action is very polished and the difficulty curve is smooth, but the game isn't without faults. Notably the visuals can be very hard to read, as they are dependent your ability to distinguish which bullets are actually in the foreground, versus two feet away (I can't help but wonder how this would've handled on the 3DS actually). Furthermore, the game loves to match the bullet colors with the background sky colors later in the game for some reason, making things even harder to read.

Other issues are almost universally on the presentation front. The story is so terrible and filled with un-ironically terribly lines that it transcends being irritatingly bad to being hilariously bad. And the graphics, while not entirely horrible, have some of the creepiest human models I've seen in a long time. The fact that many of them share the same expressionless face makes the creep-out factor even worse.

But Treasure still does the one thing you'd expect them to do right: the action. This is not an ambitious game, or a particularly well-presented one, but it overcomes that with a highly polished core. Sin & Punishment Star Successor doesn't try to do much, but what it does, it does well.