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Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 12:49 AM)
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Since this game is about to hit PAL shores for the first time via the Wii VC, I figure we could use a thread to help out those among us who want to know why it's such a big deal to the Internet hype machine. I picked it up a couple years ago on eBay and quite enjoyed it. Below is a hopefully even-handed semi-review for your reading pleasure.

Before jumping into this game, I'd like to share a little bit about its director. Hideyuki Suganami (aka Nami, Choko Monkey, Merry... probably Fukuryu and Garyo, too) was one of the original staff members of Treasure when they first set-up shop in 1992. Here's most of the stuff credited to one of his many aliases:

Bucky O'Hare - Special Thanks
Contra III: The Alien Wars - Side-View Programmer
Gunstar Heroes - Enemy & Boss Programmer
Alien Soldier - Director, Main Programmer
Guardian Heroes - Assistant Programmer
Mischief Makers - Director, Story, Game Design, Enemy & Boss Programmer
Silhouette Mirage - Boss Programmer
Radiant Silvergun - Assistant Director, Enemy & Boss Programmer
Rakugaki Showtime - "Props & Cameraman", Test Player
Bangai-O - Game & Figure Programmer
Sin & Punishment - Director, Enemy Programmer, Model Motion Design, Camera Work
Gunbeat (cancelled) - possible director or programmer; the game was cancelled around the time Nami left the company
Gunstar Super Heroes - Enemy & Boss Programmer, Graphic Design

Stuff in italics are things that I think can be attributed to Nami, but I'm not 100% certain. It's hard sometimes to keep everybody's nicknames straight. Anyway, you should be able to see a common thread in this list. Almost every game in which Nami had a prominent role is a boss-heavy action game of one kind or another, the only real exception being Mischief Makers. He's pretty much the entire reason Treasure built a reputation for fucking awesome bosses early on. Seven Force? Nami. All those dice palace bosses? Nami. That crazy awesome running man in the last stage of Radiant Silvergun? Nami.

Originally Posted by Nami, on boss design in Radiant Silvergun

We wanted to pursue that feeling of "fighting." I think the essence of shooters is when the player can easily feel "I really am fighting!"... It's not my end-all goal, but I want to add that [reading game] you find in 2-player fighting games as an element when playing against the CPU [in a shooter].

Sin & Punishment is very much a Nami-style boss-heavy action game from start to finish.

A neat little calling card of Nami's is his fixation on dates. If you stall against Timeron on the shmup stage of Gunstar Heroes for a full 100 minutes without dying, you receive a point bonus of exactly 930410 (1993 April 10, the date of the game's release). In Radiant Silvergun, on Saturn mode, you get a bonus of 1998530 (1998 May 30) for destroying the last boss.

But enough trivia.



Sin & Punishment's development studio wasn't revealed for some time during its creation, and the game turned a few heads when it was first announced, as neither the premise nor visual style looked remotely similar to Nintendo's typical offerings. The art direction was also a pretty big departure for Treasure for that matter. Rather than tapping HAN for his vibrant and colorful anime stylings seen in most of their previous games, the visuals in Sin & Punishment were handled mostly by relative newcomer Yasushi Suzuki, who also did much of the design work for both Ikaruga and Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song. It's a lot darker and grittier than much of their previous fare. I dig the style, and some of the concept art and manual illustrations are pretty cool, but really, the actual in-game execution leaves a little bit to be desired. To borrow a line from SF Kosmo, "almost every creature and human all look like triangles meshed together that got run over with a blur tool about six-hundred times." Seriously, can you even tell what is going on here? Some of the smaller creatures have a cool, organic-like look to them, but most of the game's aesthetic makes me glad we were well underway for a next generation of consoles when this game was released. On the plus side, at least the framerate never falters, even in turbo mode. So, at the very least, you could say that the graphics are perfectly functional. Let's hope this remains true for the VC release.

Sin & Punishment's audio doesn't fare any better than its visuals. There is pretty much only one track in the game that doesn't make me want to mute the TV, and while all of the game's dialogue is spoken in English, the delivery is laughable and the script is pretty much trash. We're not too many steps removed from original Resident Evil or House of the Dead 2 territory, here. At least all cutscenes can be skipped at the press of a button.

But what does any of that junk matter in an arcadey shooter, right? Fortunately for Sin & Punishment, the core gameplay is solid. Most reviews describe it as a "rail shooter" in the vein of Panzer Dragoon or Starfox, but I don't think that's the best way to put it. I find it to be very reminiscent of Sega's Space Harrier (behind the player viewpoint, horizontal and vertical movement, automatically scrolling levels, and so forth) but with a wider arsenal of moves for the player, more varied terrain, and enemies that are a lot more fun to fight. Your character walks forward automatically, stopping whenever a boss or group of enemies block your path. You use the C-left and C-right buttons to walk to the side, the analog stick to aim, the Z-button to shoot, and the R-button to jump and double-jump. Double-tapping C-left or C-right allows the player to quickly duck and roll to the side to escape enemy fire, and you're invincible while doing this (similar to Alien Soldier's zero teleport). You can also use a sword to deflect several different kinds of projectiles and fire them back at the enemy with a quick tap of the Z-button (similar to Alien Soldier's counter force and Gunstar Super Heroes' close-range sword). The only gun at your disposal is pretty basic, but it has two firing modes. In manual mode (red crosshair), you must perform all of the aiming manually, but shots are twice as powerful as they are in automatic mode. In auto mode (blue crosshair), shots are only half as strong, but the crosshair automatically locks onto enemies until they die (yellow crosshair when locked on), allowing you to more easily concentrate on dodging enemy fire. Press the A button at any time to switch between the two firing modes. There's a completely optional training level that runs you through all of these techniques, and even in the original Japanese version it's pretty easy to understand and complete.

I'd rather not go into too much detail on level layout or specific boss fights. There's plenty in the game to enjoy, but I'm not too great at explaining the experience second-hand. Generally, the variety in bosses and environments are what keeps the game fresh and interesting from start to finish. The "aircraft carrier level" is probably the most famous, and for good reason. I've uploaded a video of the level that immediately precedes it if you want a general idea of what to expect when playing.

Being an arcade style game at heart, Sin & Punishment is meant to be able to be beaten in a single sitting, so it only lasts about an hour from start to finish, and replay value is earned through 1-credit attempts, score attack, and time attack. Difficulty progression is handled very well. At higher difficulties, enemies have more health and different attacks, and life items and other crutches aren't as frequent. You start with Easy and Normal difficulties at your disposal. Hard mode becomes available after clearing Normal mode, and Turbo mode (where the entire game is increased to 200% its original speed) becomes available after clearing Hard mode. You have a limited number of continues and can earn additional continues every time you destroy 100 enemies (so racking up easy kills in the first couple of levels is extremely important). I would recommend that first time players start out on Easy mode to familiarize themselves with the bosses and general progression of the game, gradually working their way up to Hard mode. Easy mode is easy enough for just about anybody to clear without being bored, while I still don't think I've gotten around to a 1-credit clear for hard mode.

Sin & Punishment is a well-crafted arcade shooting game slightly marred by lackluster visuals, bad music and sound, and hideous voice acting. If you're a fan of classic Contra-esque run-and-gunners, and as long as the VC port doesn't fuck anything up, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a reason not to recommend this game.

Questions? Disagreements? Did I miss anything? All the VC hype makes me want to pick the game back up again, but I'm currently N64-less. :(
Last edited by Sixfortyfive; 05-21-2008 at 10:59 AM.
Mejilan
Running off of Custom Firmware
(09-28-2007, 12:52 AM)
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About a week ago a buddy came over and convinced me to extricate my N64 from its 5-year quarantine. Naturally, we plugged in Sin & Punishment. I was a bit busy and feeling somewhat sick, so I didn't play, but he seemed to enjoy himself.

The other night, I caught myself staring at the still-hooked-up N64 and shrugged, deciding to give it a whirl. Three realizations:

1) N64's jump from composite to s-video is remarkable. At least for this game.
2) A 5-year long break from the game (and the N64 controller) is more than enough to make you suck.
3) The game is TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME.

I remembered why I stopped playing. About 5 years ago I let another buddy borrow the game, and despite imploring him to hit up Gamefaqs or IGN for their respective menu-screen translations, he managed to erase all of my data. Haha. Thanks junkwaffle! ;p

The Classic Controller could potentially make this game even better! Man, I seriously hopes it hits the US VC, this time with a localized menu, HUD, subtitles, and ending, and the ability to disable the voice acting! Haha.

Edit - And yeah, the Earth Mimicry battle theme is literally the only good song in the game. And it's not that the rest are just background noise, they're downright awful. Graphics were a lot worse than I remembered, though switching from my composites to s-video (which I couldn't find at first) made a pretty significant difference. And though the graphics themselves were a disappointment after so many years, the special effects STILL impressed.
ksamedi
Member
(09-28-2007, 12:52 AM)
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Never mind.
Last edited by ksamedi; 09-28-2007 at 12:57 AM.
Capndrake
Member
(09-28-2007, 12:54 AM)
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Well done sir.

Now let us count down the final minutes.
PolyGone
Banned
(09-28-2007, 12:54 AM)
there can never be enough Sin & Punishment threads as far as I'm concerned, especially while we wait for it to arrive on the US VC. Its been more than a year since I wrote the previous thread, but at least it finally made it to the UK VC. All you wankers better buy it to support the cause!
ThePeter
Member
(09-28-2007, 12:55 AM)
US release plz
Snaku
Sperm Receptacle
(09-28-2007, 12:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by ThePeter

US release plz

NOW!
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:00 AM)
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The other thread praises the graphics from top to bottom but I thought they were blah. Does using composite on the N64 instead of S-video make that big of a difference? Are those from an emulator? Those shots in the OP look better than what I remember playing, myself. It's weird because normally I remember games looking better than what they were like in reality.
:Motorbass
Member
(09-28-2007, 01:01 AM)
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it's there!
1200 pts tho :0
Mistouze
user-friendly man-cashews
(09-28-2007, 01:04 AM)
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Originally Posted by ThePeter

US release plz

Only when Super Metroid is released here!
Visualante
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(09-28-2007, 01:05 AM)
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No sale.
CoolS
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(09-28-2007, 01:05 AM)
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Originally Posted by :Motorbass

it's there!
1200 pts tho :0

Damn you Nintendo.

Downloading!

Ah, it says it's an updated version with english menues, english training texts and english subtitles in the end sequence
Mejilan
Running off of Custom Firmware
(09-28-2007, 01:06 AM)
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Then it's definitely coming to the US. Fantastic!
Dark Ninja
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(09-28-2007, 01:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by ThePeter

US release plz

2ndded
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:08 AM)
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Originally Posted by CoolS

Ah, it says it's an updated version with english menues, english training texts and english subtitles in the end sequence

Splendid.

If there's anyone out there who owns the JP version and VC version, I'd appreciate a list of any changes. Not just localization, but glitches or anything else. I've heard that the N64 emulation isn't always spot-on.
djtiesto
is beloved, despite what anyone might say
(09-28-2007, 01:15 AM)
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In the onslaught of Halo threads and the utter fanboyism going forth lately, today we have seen 2 amazing threads... this one and the one on Parasite Eve. Great job on the thread, although I rather liked S&P's music. It was pretty innovative as far as game music for the era went, it's not bombastic buttrock or edm, it sounds vaguely like 80's anime music crossed with 80's porn music. Pretty catchy, too. It's also the best (and only) game that has a stage that takes place where I live.
Mejilan
Running off of Custom Firmware
(09-28-2007, 01:18 AM)
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Even after all these years, that aircraft carrier battle stage STILL MOTHERFUCKIN' BLOWS ME AWAY, BITCHES.
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by djtiesto

utter fanboyism

Well, let's be fair. Sin & Punishment isn't exactly free from the Treasure hype train.

Fortunately, it's definitely one of their works that belongs in the "win" column.
Nuclear Muffin
Banned
(09-28-2007, 01:22 AM)
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Originally Posted by CoolS

Damn you Nintendo.

Downloading!

Ah, it says it's an updated version with english menues, english training texts and english subtitles in the end sequence

FUCKING AWESOME! This must be the unreleased US localised version! I doubt that NOE retranslated it themselves (Unless there are options for other languages of course!)

Dammit, hurry up NOA! I NEED THIS GAME!
Mejilan
Running off of Custom Firmware
(09-28-2007, 01:24 AM)
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There's absolutely nothing fanboyish about loving Sin and Punishment. It's balls-on-balls one of the greatest games in that genre you can get. Hell, I even consider it to be a spiritual sequel to Star Fox 64, certainly moreso than any of its direct descendants!
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:25 AM)
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Oh shit, I forgot the most obvious question.

How does the VC version control? What's mapped to what?
Amir0x
demodded, not denutted
(09-28-2007, 01:25 AM)
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Man, releasing Sin & Punishment for US audiences is a pretty great thing indeed. That's the kind of thing virtual console really should be about. Purchased when available.
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mejilan

There's absolutely nothing fanboyish about loving Sin and Punishment. It's balls-on-balls one of the greatest games in that genre you can get. Hell, I even consider it to be a spiritual sequel to Star Fox 64, certainly moreso than any of its direct descendants!

Well, no, I don't disagree. Maybe it's just a personal thing for me. Sometimes I feel like a poser because I don't own many straight-up action games or shmups that aren't made by Treasure. It's like being an RPG fan who never plays anything besides Final Fantasy. I know I'm missing out but never really feel compelled to change my ways.
djtiesto
is beloved, despite what anyone might say
(09-28-2007, 01:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Sixfortyfive

Well, let's be fair. Sin & Punishment isn't exactly free from the Treasure hype train.

Fortunately, it's definitely one of their works that belongs in the "win" column.

I think people have come to the realization (after Stretch Panic) that Treasure isn't invincible and is more than capable of their fair share of stinkers, but S&P deserves all the hype it gets.
PolyGone
Banned
(09-28-2007, 01:30 AM)

Originally Posted by Sixfortyfive

The other thread praises the graphics from top to bottom but I thought they were blah. Does using composite on the N64 instead of S-video make that big of a difference? Are those from an emulator? Those shots in the OP look better than what I remember playing, myself. It's weird because normally I remember games looking better than what they were like in reality.

The praise is well deserved considering its up there with the best that Nintendo and Rare had to offer on the system.
djtiesto
is beloved, despite what anyone might say
(09-28-2007, 01:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Sixfortyfive

Well, no, I don't disagree. Maybe it's just a personal thing for me. Sometimes I feel like a poser because I don't own many straight-up action games or shmups that aren't made by Treasure. It's like being an RPG fan who never plays anything besides Final Fantasy. I know I'm missing out but never really feel compelled to change my ways.

If you want some good shmups, try looking up the developer "Cave". :D
grandjedi6
Master of the Google Search
(09-28-2007, 01:31 AM)
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Com'n NOA, I want to give you money
ksamedi
Member
(09-28-2007, 01:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by Amir0x

Man, releasing Sin & Punishment for US audiences is a pretty great thing indeed. That's the kind of thing virtual console really should be about. Purchased when available.

I wonder if they will ever make a sequal or something, the Wiimote is perfect for that kind of stuff.
Hcoregamer00
The 'H' stands for hentai.
(09-28-2007, 01:35 AM)
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This could become one of VC's highest selling games, Do it Nintendo.

You want the bags of cash, I know you do.
CoolS
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(09-28-2007, 01:39 AM)
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Just did the training mode, and damn that's hard for me to get used to. I mean the left/right movement being independent from where your aiming. I guess I suck.

Ah and there's three control methods, so I have to figure out now which one I have to use so I don't suck THAT much.
Sixfortyfive
He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
(09-28-2007, 01:41 AM)
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Originally Posted by CoolS

Just did the training mode, and damn that's hard for me to get used to. I mean the left/right movement being independent from where your aiming. I guess I suck.

You get used to it. For the most part, that is. There's a pretty obvious part of that video in the OP where I'm focusing too much on what I'm shooting at and not paying attention to what's shooting at me.
john2kx
Member
(09-28-2007, 01:45 AM)
S&P - (N64's abortion of a controller) = must-play
CoolS
Member
(09-28-2007, 01:52 AM)
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I just thought Type 2 controls were perfect for me when I realises that the N64's cup button isn't mapped to any button on the classic controller.

At least this really looks nice in my opinion, especially for a N64 game.
Stormbringer
Member
(09-28-2007, 01:57 AM)
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Alright, I'm downloading it... I guess I'll get to see what's up with this game.
Polari
(09-28-2007, 01:59 AM)
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Making it 1200 points was a bit shitty of them. I guess I'll have to pick up that Kirby golf game too.
AniHawk
Cranky. Very cranky.
Rather sarcastic to boot.
(09-28-2007, 01:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by Amir0x

Man, releasing Sin & Punishment for US audiences is a pretty great thing indeed. That's the kind of thing virtual console really should be about. Purchased when available.

I've been waiting for this game since 2001. The only longer wait I think was for Sonic the Fighters to make its way to consoles (9 years for that).
Iam Canadian
and have the worst user name EVER
(09-28-2007, 02:03 AM)
What are the controls like for both Classic Controller and Wavebird? From what I can tell, Sin and Punishment was perfectly suited for the N64's controller (I guess SOMETHING had to be), so I was wondering how it worked with the controller options we have on the Wii.
Saoh
Member
(09-28-2007, 02:04 AM)
i'll surely get this. i only got to play very little of it but was instantly hooked.

it better be 1000 points damn it... regardless, i'll get it.
Hcoregamer00
The 'H' stands for hentai.
(09-28-2007, 02:05 AM)
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Originally Posted by Polari

Making it 1200 points was a bit shitty of them. I guess I'll have to pick up that Kirby golf game too.

They have some leeway because this was never release in the western world and thus is technically a "new" release.
:Motorbass
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(09-28-2007, 02:07 AM)
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Originally Posted by Iam Canadian

What are the controls like for both Classic Controller and Wavebird? From what I can tell, Sin and Punishment was perfectly suited for the N64's controller (I guess SOMETHING had to be), so I was wondering how it worked with the controller options we have on the Wii.

I only played Type 1 on the classic controller, but it's pretty good.

L - shoot
R - jump
<,> or y,x is strafing
both anlalogues are for the crosshair
a is crosshair switch

So I used the digipad and the right stick and inverted aiming. Haven't tried the other options yet
Polari
(09-28-2007, 02:08 AM)
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Originally Posted by Hcoregamer00

They have some leeway because this was never release in the western world and thus is technically a "new" release.

They would if they sold points in denominations of 1200. Instead I have to buy 2000, twice the price.
Tristam
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(09-28-2007, 02:10 AM)
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This thread has convinced me.
jaundicejuice
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(09-28-2007, 02:11 AM)
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1200 points? Fuck off, it better not be that sum for its North American release. I've got 1100 points sitting in my account, 1000 of which I've ear marked for this VC release and I don't want to buy more funny money just to get 100 points.
Hcoregamer00
The 'H' stands for hentai.
(09-28-2007, 02:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Polari

They would if they sold points in denominations of 1200. Instead I have to buy 2000, twice the price.

Buy an SNES game, aren't they 800 points?
CoolS
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(09-28-2007, 02:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Iam Canadian

What are the controls like for both Classic Controller and Wavebird? From what I can tell, Sin and Punishment was perfectly suited for the N64's controller (I guess SOMETHING had to be), so I was wondering how it worked with the controller options we have on the Wii.

Ok, I'm starting to get the hang of it a bit more.

I used Type 3 on the cc which is something like this:

R/L -- used for left/right movement
stick used for aiming
b used for shooting
a jumping
something else for switching modes.

Works pretty good for me. I'll have to try with me Wavebird tomorrow.
Just tried the real game and died on the second mini boss, this strange beast like thing. Couldn't figure out how to beat it ^^.
Really a nice game so far, I like the music.
Hcoregamer00
The 'H' stands for hentai.
(09-28-2007, 02:13 AM)
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I could imagine that the impressions will get better and better as people get more acclimated to the controls.
Eteric Rice
Junior Member
(09-28-2007, 02:16 AM)
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Those graphics are sickeningly good for a N64 game.

I'll say it again, this game needs a sequel.
CoolS
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(09-28-2007, 02:19 AM)
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Yep graphically it really is nice especially with the higher resolution on Wii. Some textures are pretty low res but that doesn't hurt TOO much imo.

Though that one character with the black hair freaks me out. He just looks... wrong.

Edit- It's the girl in the green dress. Gonna have nightmares tonight ^^
bigmakstudios
Banned
(09-28-2007, 02:25 AM)
It looks like the main character only has half a torso.
Mejilan
Running off of Custom Firmware
(09-28-2007, 02:25 AM)
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Controls sound tight, but it definitely took some getting used to on the N64. Hmmm, 3 control types? I thought the original only offered 2...

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