Sin and Punishment Review – Definitive 50 N64 Game #15

The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games

Coming in 2000, so close to the end of the N64’s life, Sin and Punishment wasn’t even originally released in North America or Europe.

This was even despite the game featuring English voice acting in its Japanese release. Western audiences finally got their hands on the title in 2007 though, when the game was released on the Wii’s Virtual Console. Little had to be done besides menu translation.

Okay, so it’s the distant year of 2007, and overpopulation has led to food shortages. In response, scientists have bio-engineered a new species for consumption – the insect-like Ruffians. Of course, the creature mutate and go on the rampage in Japan. That’s where the Armed Volunteers come in, supposedly to fight the creature, but they’re corrupt and terrible as well. So Japan needs a third team, some rebels, that’s the Savior Group.

You play as two of these rebels, Saki and Airan, as they fight to… I have no idea. Rest assured though, there are plenty of Ruffians and Armed Volunteers to shoot, and the fate of the world is at stake.

Frankly, much of Sin and Punishment’s charm is in its baffling story, told through mumbled, wooden voice acting. It really contributes to the overarching weirdness of it all.

Sin and Punishment is a third-person rail-shooter developed by Treasure somewhat reminiscent of StarFox 64 in its basic gameplay: you shoot at all manner of militants and mutants while travelling along a pre-determined path. Sometimes being stopped to take down large groups of enemies or confront a boss, other times being pushed forward as you’re forced to dodge obstacles.

Unlike in StarFox, you’re limited to the piece of ground you’re standing on. You can move back and forth a little by strafing, as well as jump, but no flying. You can also swipe at enemies and deflect projectiles with your sword when they get close enough.

Sin and Punishment is made up of 9 levels plus an intro level, and can be beaten in just a couple hours. The game’s depth is only revealed upon multiple playthroughs – going back and replaying on higher difficulties and in challenging yourself to overcome your own high scores. Mastering the controls, honing your reflexes, and memorizing the levels is what it’s all about.

Sin and Punishment’s success on the Virtual Console prompted Nintendo and Treasure to bring the series back for a Wii sequel – the fantastic Sin & Punishment: Star Successor.

Let me know what you think of Sin and Punishment and the Definitive 50 in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe. Check back next week for entry #14 on the Definitive 50 N64 Games!