Sin & Punishment: Star Successor Wii

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor Wii
There's been so much talk lately about "feature creep" — the addition of unnecessary features because gamers demand them, not because the games do — that it's thrilling to play a purist "bullet-hell" title like Star Successor, the follow-up the Nintendo N64 game Sin & Punishment. This sequel to the Japan-only cult classic (revived on Wii's Virtual Console in 2007) adheres to the pure fundamentals of gaming: dodge, shoot, kill. Created by the same dev team, the hardcore-hewing title doesn't have many more bells and whistles than its decade-old inspiration — aside from the new, and most welcome, Wii-mote aiming — but that's because it doesn't need them. An arcade-like "on-rails shooter," Star Successor restricts your movements to two dimensions — you move up, down and side-to-side while firing into a 3D environment — while the game itself moves to and fro, unleashing chaotic but beautiful screens of endlessly inventive enemies and bosses with endlessly endless ammunition. Treasure's approach might seem simplistically old-school, but is actually incredibly complex as you try to discern enemy patterns and avoid enemy fire while racking up multiplier chained-kill points to beat the game and ascend the online leaderboards. It's a forceful reminder of just how freaking hard past-gen games used to be. (Treasure/Nintendo)