Sin and Punishment
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|Sin and Punishment|
Japanese box art
Sin and Punishment[a] is a shooter game developed by Treasure and Nintendo Research & Development 1, published by Nintendo. The game was released for the Nintendo 64 in Japan in 2000, and on the iQue Player in China in 2004, before being re-released internationally for Nintendo's Virtual Console service in 2007. The game's success on Virtual Console prompted Nintendo to announce a sequel for the Wii titled Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, which was released in 2009.
The game is a 3D Cabal-styled shooter with scrolling. Progress through the levels is automatic; the player's job is to aim and fire at enemies, sidestep, roll, jump, or double-jump to avoid attacks and obstacles.
The player can switch between manual (red targeting reticle) and lock-on (purple targeting reticle) firing modes at any time. Lock-on mode "sticks" the reticle to enemies, but is less damaging than manually aimed fire. The player can also attack using a powerful energy sword by tapping the fire button when enemies, or certain types of projectiles, are within close range. Projectiles struck in this manner are bounced back and can potentially inflict great damage on opponents. While the player attacks, a timer at the top of the screen counts down. When the timer hits 0, the player gradually loses more and more life until he or she either refills the timer or dies.
Multiplayer involves two players controlling one character cooperatively. The second player controls the targeting sight and shoots while the first player controls the character's movement.
Mankind's prosperity has led to a vast population increase and serious food shortages. In an attempt to solve the food shortage problem, scientists create a new species to use for food, and place the herd in northern Japan. In time, the creatures mutate and attack the people of Japan. An international peacekeeping organization called the Armed Volunteers tries to stop the creatures, now referred to as "ruffians", but they also oppress the Japanese. Another group, referring to itself as the Savior Group and led by a mysterious woman named Achi, rises up to defend Japan against the Ruffians and Armed Volunteers.
The game begins in Tokyo with Achi, Airan and Saki embarking on a mission to steal an Armed Volunteer transport. After fighting through waves of Volunteer troops, they gain a transport on top of a building, but as they do, they are attacked by ruffians. After fending them off, Saki is attacked by a telekinetic woman named Kachua. Saki knocks her off the building. As she falls, the city is flooded with blood, and Saki falls as well. He and Kachua are transformed into giant ruffians as they fall. Saki kills Kachua, then turns on Airan and Achi. Achi teleports herself and Airan to safety.
They find themselves on a Volunteer ship, commanded by Brad, leader of the Armed Volunteers. Brad commands the fleet to attack Saki, referring to him as The Beast. Airan and Achi fight their way through the ship until they encounter Brad and Leda, a smaller cat-like Ruffian. After a brief fight, Leda is killed, but Brad jumps on a fighter jet and escapes, then Achi uses her telekinesis to help Airan pursue him. In the end, they kill Brad and wipe out the Volunteer fleet, allowing them to focus on Saki.
Achi believes that she can return Saki to his human form, but she requires that Airan shoot him in the head to incapacitate him. After she angrily refuses, Achi creates an illusion of Airan on a ruffian-infested train, tricking Airan into shooting Saki. They are able to communicate with Saki, but then Achi reveals that the war with the ruffians and the Armed Volunteers is merely training for Saki to prepare for her coming global war. As Achi becomes more and more menacing, Saki regains consciousness and teleports himself and Airan away.
Airan wakes up on a ruffian-infested beach accompanied by Saki, who is now half ruffian, but otherwise back to normal. They fight their way to the safety of a small building; once there, Achi appears, takes Airan, and flees. When Saki catches up to Achi, she reveals that the reason for giving Brad and Saki some of her blood was because she needed one powerful warrior to help her rule over the new Earth she was about to create. Her intention is to reset the Earth by destroying the old one and creating a new one. Saki refuses and reverts to his full-Ruffian form. Achi creates the new Earth and begins her attack, but Saki, along with Airan, destroy the new Earth, and Achi is sent drifting into space.
In the final scenes, Saki and Airan continue to travel around Earth to eliminate the Ruffians. Achi is seen drifting in space contemplating on the events that have passed. She then begins to show that she is impressed by Saki's powers, but wonders whether he can stand up to the true enemy – God.
- Saki Amamiya (サキ・アマミヤ Amamiya Saki?) - Half-human, half-Ruffian, and the male protagonist of the game. Saki hid his part-Ruffian DNA upon joining the Savior Group. He eventually turns against Achi after learning her plan. Voiced by Michael Lerner.
- Airan Jo (アイラン・ジョ Eiran Jo?) - A full human and female protagonist. Airan bonded with Saki throughout the game, and it is this bond that allows her to save him and stop Achi. Voiced by Andromeda Dunker.
Sin and Punishment was co-developed by Nintendo's Research & Development Department 1 and Treasure. During development, it was tentatively titled Glass Soldier. The title was directed by Hideyuki Suganami, who also served as one of the programmers. Atsutomo Nakagawa, who had previously had a small part in developing Radiant Silvergun stepped up as program lead, and Yasushi Suzuki, another minor player from the Radiant Silvergun team took over as the lead character artist. This was the last game Suganami worked on before departing the company. He remained on friendly terms with Treasure, returning on a freelance/contractual basis to work on Gunstar Super Heroes as well as on the game's sequel Sin & Punishment: Star Successor for Nintendo Wii as a planner.
The title was not released until 2000, at which point the market for Nintendo 64 games has weakened. Treasure quietly removed Sin and Punishment from its roster of upcoming North American and PAL releases, although there were always plans to bring the game outside Japan. The title was finally released to the world outside Japan via the Wii's Virtual Console download system for the price of 1200 Wii Points. This version retains the Japanese subtitles with its English dialogue, but has translated menus and a few tutorials. The Virtual Console US/PAL version was translated by NST.
Release and Virtual Console
Sin and Punishment was originally released for the Nintendo 64 in Japan in 2000, and on the iQue Player in China in 2004. Despite being a former Asia-exclusive release, it features extensive voice acting in English with subtitles in Japanese. As a result, it became one of the most requested Virtual Console titles in North America, with gaming site IGN declaring that there would be a "Very High" probability of its release after the initial announcement of the service. Sin and Punishment was released on the Virtual Console in Japan on September 20, 2007, in PAL regions on September 28, 2007 and in North America on October 1, 2007. The PAL and North American releases feature further translation, with English menus in addition to the English voice acting and the Japanese subtitles, offset by a higher Wii Points price, 200 more points than normal. The game was later re-released again over eight years later on the Wii U Virtual Console in North America with the same price of $11.99, or $2.00 if the user had previously bought the game off the Wii Shop Channel for 1,200 Wii points ($12.00).
Sin and Punishment received generally positive reception from Western critics upon its release. IGN's Fran Mirabella III gave the title 9.0 out of 10, while GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann ranked the original Nintendo 64 version a 7.1 out of 10, citing a lack of difficulty modes (a factual error on their part) as a key complaint. A more recent GameSpot review of the Virtual Console version raised the rating to 8.0 out of 10. Retro Gamer magazine also listed it as top in its list of top 25 "run 'n gun" games, and included it among the top 10 games for the Nintendo 64. In Japan, Famitsu magazine scored the game a 35 out of 40.
The protagonist Saki Amamiya later appeared in the Wii video game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of several Assist Trophies, which are items that summon characters from throughout Nintendo's history for a brief period of time. When summoned, Saki will jump around while slashing and blasting opponents with his Cannon Sword. Saki returned again as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U.
On October 2, 2008, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor was announced at a Nintendo press conference. It was developed for the Wii and was released in Japan on October 27, 2009, in Europe on May 7, 2010, and in North America on June 27, 2010. This game features Saki and Arian's son, Isa Jo, a character who appeared in the original Sin and Punishment, albeit a grown up version of him.
- The full title in Japanese is Tsumi to Batsu: Hoshi no Keishousha (罪と罰 ～地球の継承者～?) which literally means "Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth"
- Nintendo Research & Development Department 1 (21 November 2000). Tsumi to Batsu: Hoshi no Keish. Nintendo. Scene: staff credits.
- "The Phantom Title: Dark Wasteland". Iwata Asks: Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. Nintendo of America, Inc. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- Bozon, Mark (2006-02-17). "Retro Remix: Round 3". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- "Wii-kly Update: Two New Classic Games Added To Wii Shop Channel" (Press release). Nintendo. 2007-10-01. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Mirabella III, Fran (2000-11-27). "Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Earth (Import)". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (2000-12-07). "Sin and Punishment review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Provo, Frank (2007-10-04). "Sin and Punishment review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- ニンテンドウ64 - 罪と罰 ~地球の継承者~. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.31. 30 June 2006.
- "Smash Bros. DOJO!!". Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-11-22.