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Red Steel 2: East meets West, samurai-style

This sequel bears little resemblance to the 2006 original, which was set in urban landscapes from Los Angeles to Tokyo and suffered from a frustrating control scheme.

Game-maker Ubisoft clearly spent a lot of time refining the controls of Red Steel 2, benefiting greatly from the more accurate MotionPlus scheme - which turns a Wii MotionPlus enhanced remote into a katana samurai sword - to get players off the couch for some outlaw slashing fun.

You take on the persona of the story's protagonist, a Kusagari clan member who returns to the Nevada desert town of Caldera to find it has been overrun by jackals and Katakara thugs. Though you begin your quest as a gunslinger, you soon meet up with the Kusagari swordmaster Jian and regain your long-lost weapon of choice.

Completing missions and killing enemies earn you cash, which can be spent to learn more damaging combos, finishing moves and extra powers that become a necessity as you encounter stronger foes who are heavily armored. The town shops also let you upgrade your katana sword or buy firearms and armor.

Optional side quests provide extra opportunities to gather money, but the real fun - and a good bit of exercise - comes when you're battling sword in hand.


Red Steel 2


RATING T for Teen


PLOT East-meets-West, futuristic first-person slicer


DETAILS Wii, $60 with MotionPlus add-on


BOTTOM LINE Rights the wrongs of the original by getting the controls right

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