Oh, look at those fish! Are they not pre-?
Red Steel is not about fish, sorry.
You, Scott Monroe, begin the game viewing some fish with your fianceé, Miyu Sato, right before a nice dinner the day you are to meet her father, Isao Sato. Unfortunately, rival yakuza aiming to take over the Organization (that Isao turns out to lead), kill Isao Sato, and get the Katana Giri, Sato's sword and symbol of his leadership. This ends in Miyu being kidnapped, and Isao being betrayed and dying, but not before entrusting the sword to you. You shoot and slice through Los Angeles to LAX where you get knocked out right after seeing the plane with your fiancee take off.
You then follow your fianceé to Tokyo, where you get acknowledged as Sato's successor by the Sanro Kai, a Yakuza board of directors (after shooting or slicing their subordinates), which then asks for your help in defeating Tokai, the Big Bad and the one holding your fiancee captive. You proceed to slice, shoot, and/or spare his subordinates.
Red Steel is a First-Person Shooter game released by Ubisoft, and the first game ever designed specifically for the Wii. This game has become infamous for its gameplay mechanics since before it came out due to its rushed release (the bane of every launch game), late design changes, and unfamiliarity with the new motion control scheme (especially expectations of 1:1 motion).
This work contains examples of:
- Advertised Extra: The Dragon Lady underboss Mama San Sasori shows up a lot in loading screens and promotional artwork, but is only an Arc Villain for the geisha house mission.
- Big Bad: Tokai is a rookie mob boss who successfully kills Sato, kidnaps Miyu, and goes after the rest of his inner circle to avenge his father.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: Picking up body armor will give the player a second life bar. This life bar does not regenerate.
- Bodyguard Crush: What got Miyu and Scott together.
- Breakable Weapons: All katanas may be broken. With the exception of a couple enemies who use the Katana Giri against you when it gets stolen.
- Crate Expectations: Use them for cover, while they still hold.
- Engrish: A lot of the Japanese characters speak with incredibly stereotypical accents.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: At maximum, two shots anywhere, and they explode and kill anyone nearby.
- Exploding Barrels: Going along well with the above, since they're everywhere too. Worse, the enemy is capable of setting them off on accident, often taking themselves out while trying to shoot you.
- Featureless Protagonist: Scott Monroe is this. You can see that he's white from his hands, but that's all the player learns about him. He never speaks, and we never see his face because the game never leaves his POV and there are no mirrors to see his model in.
- Final Boss: The last enemy of the game is Otori, who plans to kill Tokai to avenge the poisoning of his daughter even though only Tokai has the antidote. The endings change based on whether you step in to stop Otori or let him kill Tokai.
- Fission Mailed: At the beginning, versus Ryuichi the first time, in the fridge, and so on...
- Gratuitous Japanese: All the menu options are in English, but transliterated into katakana. Fortunately, pointing at them provides a translation.
- Heroic Mime: As expected, Scott, complete with cutscenes where people react as if he tells them things despite never saying a word.
- Hostage for MacGuffin: Miyu for the Katana Giri, now! Starts fifteen minutes into the game and drives the whole plot.
- Informed Flaw: A weird meta example. As noted in the intro, the controls were blasted as being awful, and that may well be the only thing that most people know about the game. However, being the first shooter and a launch title, it is likely that most of this sentiment was due to incorrect expectations and unfamiliarity with the motion controls; later games such as the Resident Evil 4 port had similar schemes and responsiveness but suffered from no such criticism.
- Loading Screen: With tips you probably already memorized because of how much they get repeated.
- Locked Door: Awful, considering you shoot many locks open, and these just won't budge.
- Los Angeles: Setting of the first third of the game.
- Mafia Princess: Miyu, of the Yakuza variety, but a good girl.
- Mercy Rewarded: Katana duels and swarms of shooters alike (disarm them instead of killing them); sparing lives gives you Honor.
- Mighty Whitey: Scott Monroe plays this trope almost painfully straight, being a white American who becomes the successor to the head of a Japanese Yakuza family. His Japanese allies throughout the game are constantly showering him with praise, whether it's complimenting his sword/gun skills or his character.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Even after Scott learns that Sato is a Yakuza boss, he stil follows his client's instructions and wishes. It helps that Sato was trying to go legitimate and that his daughter was kidnapped.
- Poisoned Weapons: Both Otori and Mariko are hit with these. Your choice of ending depends on whether you save Tokai from Otori's wrath, since he has an antidote.
- Regenerating Health: An interesting variant. Regenerating Shield, Static Health is inverted in normal gameplay, with health regenerating while armor protects from all damage but needs a new vest to replenish it. During sword duels, however, your health doesn't regenerate until they're over, due to their generally slower pace meaning that you'd otherwise be able to endure anything that anybody could hit you with during them.
- Scripted Event: Everything! The only thing you can change is the ending, letting Tokai die or protecting him.
- Standard FPS Guns: As standard as you get. Two pistol variants, a much stronger revolver, two nearly-identical submachine guns, your choice of a pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun, full-auto or burst-firing assault rifles, and a sniper rifle. The only real standout is that your Quick Melee option takes the form of a broken katana you normally use as a tanto during sword duels, rather than a bog-standard knife.
- Too Dumb to Live: Those guys with the shining white masks at the entirely dark corridor deserve a special mention, even when all shooter enemies are this at some level.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The Big Bad Tokai is only mentioned in passing for most of the game, but finally appears as a fairly average-looking young man (incidentally, the same one who shows up sometimes on loading screens).
- Video Game Caring Potential: You gain bonus honor points for sparing enemies—Blasting It Out of Their Hands with your guns, or sheathing your weapons after emerging victorious in a sword fight.
- Yakuza: You can count the number of people you meet who aren't affiliated with the Yakuza in some way on both hands with fingers left over.