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Video Game / Red Steel 2

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Red Steel 2 is a sequel In Name Only to Ubisoft's first-person shooter/swordfighting launch game for the Nintendo Wii. It follows a nameless almost silent hero, who returns to his home town after having been banished by his clan only to find it completely overrun by a violent bike gang called The Jackals who attack him and take his sora katana. The hero has to work together with the only locals still fighting back, uncover the reason for the invasion and avenge his clan.

This game has completely abandoned the modern yakuza setting of the first game and moved to a Cattle Punk setting, with a new hero, a new art style, and improved controls.


This work contains examples of:

  • A.K.A.-47: All guns, including listing various fictional ammo types as upgrades when you upgrade their damage. Amusingly enough, they call the Tommy gun a "Johnnygun".
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Weirdly Zig Zagged after the battle with Payne. First he begs the hero not to hurt him and claims that he's working for someone else, then he attacks the hero. After this fails and he ends up dangling from a ledge, he goes back to begging for his life and claiming he didn't do anything to the Hero. Finally, when the hero demands to know where his clansmen are, he goes back to screaming insults and threats, even as he falls to his death.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The pause menu lets you restart a chapter (which can help you get past any game-breaking bugs as long as they don't block you from pausing the game) and adjust the game difficulty at any time.
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  • A Winner Is You: After you beat Shinjiro in the final battle, The Hero kills him and it ends with a "The End" screen followed by the credits.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Tamiko.
  • Berserk Button: Okaji goes from being a cold, merciless, but hyper composed villain to a roaring raging psychopath when he is forced out of his armor.
  • BFS: Both Payne and Okaji wield these.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The Hero whenever you get a decent look at his face.
  • Black Knight: Okaji.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The firearm ninjas defend themselves with blades attached to their forearms, which they also use to strike you up close.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Well, sorta: while it's not red, every slash, stab and gunshot is accompanied with a large burst of sand-yellow liquid, allowing the game to barely get away with a T rating. Arguably, if they had gone for red blood instead, they would've probably had to tone the actions themselves down a good deal.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Makes more sense in this game, where upgrading parts of your Badass Longcoat gives you layers of armor on top of your life bar that can take up to 4 hits before you start to take damage to your lifebar. The actual lifebar is upgraded via the parts of the clan emblem at the back of the said Badass Longcoat.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The Special ability "The Shot" does this if used as a finishing move with the revolver: other guns go for a pointblank stomach shot, a Pistol Whip followed by a quick vertical burst, or an upwards point-blank chest shot. Getting a head shot normally results in an instant kill and being awarded $200.
    • Strangely, Headshots only insta-kill if you're far away. Presumably, this is so you can Finish Him! off.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Tiger, a move that allows you to block an opponent's attack and stun them, is by far the least flashy of the Kusagari Powers. However, it leaves your enemies wide open for a while, and always works, even against Giant Mooks or bosses, making this one of the more useful moves.
    • Kneecapping and then finishing gun mooks or lowly sword mooks. It's not exciting, but it's the best way to take them out fast.
    • Aerate the opponent's skull with the revolver, then use the Rush on him. Gets old fast, but you get a good amount of money.
    • The double-barrel is incredibly effective against ninjas.
    • Perhaps the easiest way to deal with the penultimate boss is to break his armor, then let'er rip with the machinegun. If it's upgraded enough, one long string of bullets is all it takes.
  • Continuity Reboot: There is absolutely no connection at all to the previous game. It has a different setting, characters, location, backstory, gameplay, premise, and graphical style.
  • Cattle Punk: The game is set in dystopian Nevada.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: That fancy roll the protagonist does over the first boss's back? Would be nice if you could do that in-game.
  • Cutting the Knot: In Rattlesnake Canyon, rather than find a way to unlock the front gate of the Kusagari temple there that Shinjiro has taken over, the Hero's allies have him go to Rattlesnake Quarry to build a bomb and bring it to the front gates to blow it open.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: You may well kill more boxes than baddies in this game.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Payne and his Jackals are the main antagonists in Upper Caldera. Before you kill him he admits he was working for Shinjiro. When you travel down to Lower Caldera you find that indeed Shinjiro and the Katakara were in charge.
  • Door to Before: Throughout your journey, you'll come across locked doors that you'll only unlock once you open them from the other side.
  • Exploding Barrels: There's plenty of them, they're marked appropriately with warning symbols and colors and you just need one single attack, whether from you or an enemy, to make them go off. The explosions can hurt anyone, including you.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flunky Boss: Payne will summon two mooks every time he slams you to the ground.
  • Flash Step: Shinjiro uses this in the final boss battle.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: As pointed out in this review, some copies of the game have bugs that can wipe out save data and require you to reset the chapter, wiping out an hour or more of progress.
    • While most fatal bugs can be overcome by resetting your Wii or restarting the chapter, there's one fatal bug that will force you to restart the entire story from scratch. The only certain way to trigger it is to load your game, do nothing and immediately quit to the main menu. The next time you try to load the game, it will always silently freeze on the load screen, forcing you to unplug your Wii. Every. Single. Time. So, whatever you do, don't do that.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Payne, Shinjiro, and Okaji all have evil scars of some sort. Okaji himself has the worst of it, and is so horrifically scarred he resides himself to almost living in his armor.
  • Giant Mook: Of the sledgehammer, minigun and naginata-wielding variety. The former two can only be hit reliably and finished off from behind.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Less than the first game. In this game most of the Japanese tends to be either "katana" or specific clan names.
  • In Name Only: This game has literally nothing to do with the first game aside from the same basic idea of a FPS that combines motion control based shooting and swordplay.
  • Ineffectual Death Threats: Payne screams one of his usual over-the-top threats while falling to his death.
  • Large Ham: Payne, who is deliciously over the top. Interestingly enough he is voiced by the game's director Jason Vandenberghe.
  • Loading Screen: The loading screens are blatantly hidden behind opening doors.
  • Locked Door: This game features several variety of locked doors which can require either using a special switch you have to find, blasting the locks with your gun, whacking them with your sword, or just waiting until you have a mission that requires you to go through said door.
  • MacGuffin: The Hero's sora katana.
  • Made of Iron: The Hero, especially in the game's cutscenes.
  • Meteor Move: Players can use this on enemies after knocking them into the air with one of the Powers.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tamiko, with that cropped black leather halter top with a pretty long v-neck. Yep.
  • Notice This: If a wall is climbable, whatever it's studded with will shine bronze or copper.
  • Obviously Evil: Oh come on! Just look at Songan's 'stache! Theres no way someone with a stache like that can be completely trustworthy! Subverted in that he only betrays you reluctantly and gives you a chance to get back.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Several points in the game you go through points of no return. Once you go past Rattlesnake Canyon, the last two levels have no safehouses for upgrades, so you can not get any that you missed.
  • Point of No Return: Explicitly mentioned at the end of each level of the game, giving you a prompt on whether you want to advance in case you still haven't done everything. Annoyingly enough, the game still keeps giving you money after you've gone past the point where there's no way to spend it on upgrades, meaning you need to abuse the method described below to get enough of it before that if you want to upgrade everything before the end of the game. The Challenge Mode that allows you to replay stages doesn't help any either because you can't access any of the upgrade locations during it and any money you collect in the stages only counts towards your final score that determines how much of a money bonus you get in your main file, again meaning that by the time you can actually access the last 2 stages in Challenge mode, you have nothing to spend the bonus on either.
  • Power Trio: Shinjiro: Ego, Okaji: Super Ego, Payne: Id.
  • Press X to Not Die: There is one cutscene quick time event of the instant death variety. And it's the only instance of this in the whole game. The standard finishing moves could also count, although they are entirely optional and the one you can perform at any given time depends on what kind of stun the enemy is currently in, which is again dependent on what kind of move you hit them with to begin with. Amusingly, there's one QTE as well where - with the hero hanging from the side of a truck, the driver holding a gun at him, and no easy way to dodge if the driver shoots - even the on-screen prompt doesn't know what button you should press, displaying just an icon of the Wiimote and three question marks. The driver pulls the trigger and hits an empty chamber.
  • The Quiet One: The Hero is just two lines of dialog short (Or too many) of being a Heroic Mime.
  • Reward from Nowhere: While it does make sense that killing enemies carries a reward of some sort and finishing them off in a stylish way increases the amount, the fact that you can trap a single enemy against a wall and then fling Sword Beams at them until your hand gives out and get 500 dollars for each one pretty much rules out other possibilities.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Oh so much. Every object that's not explicitly blocking your way in one way or another is practically made out of money, considering how much of it falls out when you destroy them.
  • Rule of Cool: Red Steel 2 loves this trope. Half the special attacks are probably impossible to do in Real Life. The Kusagari powers are definitely impossible.
  • Offhand Backhand: The Storm, when used against enemies close enough to you that are behind you. It counts as an One-Hit Kill on any Mook and works on giant ones as well, who normally need to be finished off from behind. That said, they have to be telegraphing an attack for you to be able to use the instant kill.
  • Safe Cracking: Hidden throughout the levels are safes that require the player to listen to the click of the tumblers on the wiimote.
  • Samurai Cowboy: This game's box-art even provides the page image for that trope. The Kusagari are a whole clan of duster-wearin', pistol-packin' samurai.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The Bear.
  • Shout-Out: One of the missions is called You Have to Cut the Rope.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Gian is a Cynical Mentor with a dry wit, and one of the few times the hero speaks is to snark back at him.
    Gian: So you have come to save us all?
    Hero: It's nice to see you to
    Gian: You still have poor timing, and I see you have lost your sword, that's just great.
  • Spin Attack: The Storm.
  • Standard FPS Guns: This game has four guns that include the handgun, shotgun, rifle, and tommygun, all of which can be upgraded in various stats including damage, reload speed and accuracy. Once you upgrade the main stats for each gun to max, you gain access to a final upgrade that adds an additional property to each gun's shots: revolver's bullets bounce off walls, shotgun breaks armor, tommygun pierces through enemies and rifle gains exploding rounds.
  • Sword and Gun: The reason this game was made.
  • Sword Beam, Razor Wind: The Dragon. Not immediately obvious which it's closer to, since its main purpose is to push enemies away and stun them if they hit a wall and if not charged up fully, it does no damage whatsoever on its own.
  • The Stoic: The Hero and Okaji.
  • The Unreveal: The Hero's name is not revealed.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Crush, when used as a finisher.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • If you haven't mastered the combat system yet, Payne will definitely make you... well, feel the Payne.
    • Don't duel Shinjiro without getting all the health and armor upgrades first at the very least!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: You never hear of what happens to your allies and Songan after the end of the 5th level.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Payne takes the cake for this one: Not only does he forego the chance to simply kill the protagonist in the beginning, effectively dooming his gang and himself in the process, he also neglects to take away the hero's gun.
    • He even pulls this in the boss fight where he has a move where he grabs you and slams you to the ground. Then, as you lay there stunned, rather than finishing you off with his sword or gun he summons two gun-toting Mooks, giving you just enough time to get back on your feet so you can dispatch them in short order and return to whaling on him.
    • The Hero then does this in turn to Payne. After finally getting the Sora Katana back, he skips an opportunity to stab Payne in the back, causing the Boss fight to resume.
    • Played with in the boss fight with Shinjiro who is just standing in a large open space waiting for the player to walk down to fight him. If you just shoot him he blocks the attack and the fight starts straight away.