Saturday, 9 August 2008

Sin & Punishment - N64

Alas there are not many games even tinged with cult appeal on the N64. There are countless games full of bouncy happy shiny bloblike characters which puff, jump and wheeze their way around candy coated levels; there are some great racing games where weasels and badgers power round cartoonish courses and there are certainly some multiplayer masterpieces: but rather few endowed with that extra depth, imaginative gameplay or unusual environment which makes a game unique.

Sin & Punishment: Successor of the Earth (Tsumi to Batsu: Hoshi no Keishōsha) is a sensational rail shooter for the N64 designed by Treasure. Standing out are the ludicrous plot, obscure dialogue ("ruffians have never appeared in America"), cast of androgynous characters, doom laden ambient techno soundtrack, eclectic control system and awesome enemy and level design. I should also note that there are more bosses in this game than in almost any other, in fact there are probably more bosses than normal soldiers! However I believe Treasure are addicted to labelling any enemy that requires more than one shot to kill 'a boss' so maybe take the last sentence with a pinch of salt.

Walthrough at GameFAQs

Great Article at Hardcore Gaming 101
Download From Pants Emulation

The game was originally released in Japan; however all the spoken dialogue is in English and the recent Wii Virtual Console release went to the trouble of translating the menus (this is about the best thing they have done with the mostly unimpressive VC). Probably the best rail shoot'em'up of all time.

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