It took alot of failure to make Red Steel bad, but they did it.
I got Red Steel a few days after we got a Wii, so sometime after Christmas. My brother and I were excited to see a shooting game on the Wii, and also wanted to engage each other in sword-fighting duels. In fact, everyone was interested, and had hopes in the clouds for this game. Unfortunately, the game seemed to have only the bare minimum. All things aside, this game is one or two bugs from being broken.
You play as a Japanese American named Scott, who is called "Scott-san" to my great annoyance, who is currently dating the daughter of a Yakuza mob boss. It starts the game at a restaurant/hotel complex where you are meeting your will-be-father-in-law for the first time. Just at that moment, expectedly, a rival Yakuza gang breaks up the gathering. The game then leads you from California all the way to the land of Ninja and Samurai in a quest to save your would-be wife, helping piece together the broken parts of your father-in-law's empire and restore the honor held by your family....err....family-in-law.
First off, let's address the story. It follows an unoriginal template set down by countless Steven Segal flicks, making everything incredibly predictable. It doesn't help that the cutscenes are awful, and the dialogue as well as the voice acting are bottom of the barrel in every regard. Next, the gameplay. While the controls of the shooting aspects of the game work somewhat well (even if the avatar's wrist is constantly moving around in an annoying fashion), the sword-fighting is one of the stupidest attempts of its kind. While the controls don't read nearly as well as they should, the sheer concept of these skilled swordsman bashing swords around like cavemen makes the game unappealing. The shooting also suffers from having minimal customization as far as the controls are concerned, since the bounding box and sensitivity cannot be adjusted, and the bounding box as it stands is far too wide.
Also, the multiplayer is a course for concern. There are four maps available and only three game modes, which leave little variety to be had. The maps are unimpressive and the gameplay is full of bugs, such as how your wrist looks broken all the time, grenades getting stuck in air, and your starting weapon being more powerful than a shotgun. Also, there are no bot opponents. This isn't necessarily a huge deal, since games like Halo don't have them, but it's always a nice addition. Also, there was no sword-fighting multiplayer in the game, but after seeing how it played, that might be a very good thing.
When I think about it, it's really amazing that Red Steel was as much of a failure as it was. The first two things that gamers thought of when they saw the Wii mote was shooting games and sword-fighting, particularly Jedi sword-fighting. Ubisoft literally jumped on the chance and combined the two, yet made both completely lackluster. Top that off with numerous technical issues and graphical glitches, and you got a big winner.
All in all, the game was thoroughly disappointing due to its derivative story, uninteresting multiplayer and overall lack of effort. This game should be a poster child for games that try to rush to meet a launch. If it isn't as good as it should be, don't send it out. Games could benefit massively from that simple statement, as could gamers. Red Steel is one of the biggest letdowns in years.