Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Review of sins and punishments (N64)

This review was originally published in 2007, but has been updated and republished to show the introduction of the N64 game on Nintendo Switch Online.

Small Japanese developer Treasure has a back catalog full of classic titles, but the most prominent is Sin & Punishment. Released during the twilight era of the N64 console, this unique on-rail blaster brings hardware with incredibly detailed levels, intricate character and enemy models, and most importantly, extremely fast and ferocious action. I pushed it to the limit. I try to catch up with everything.

It wasn’t until the release of the virtual console in 2007 that this hectic shoot was available to everyone in the West on the Wii. It was never released outside Japan on Nintendo’s 64-bit machines. This is a crime against video games. This was the perfect swan song for the console, so I had one.

If you’re looking for a reference point to better understand what sin and punishment are, think of Star Fox as intersecting with Space Harrier. Sin and punishment are so original and innovative that even comparing them to other games is a bit reducing and unfair, but you understand the point. This title may rely on a trial-and-error shooter, but the game is very good because it’s all fused together.

Sin and punishment are the future story of Saki, a man who goes out to protect Japan from double threats. Due to food shortages, the Japanese government is developing new species of animals for the general public to eat. Unfortunately, as creatures mutate and begin to attack everyday people throughout the land of the rising sun, everything falls into hell with a hand basket. Join the armored volunteers, a “peacekeeping” unit that wants to kill mutant animals but is carrying out their own evil plots.

The story is a nice sci-fi thriller with a little twist, but it can be a bit confusing. Those who just want to riddle their enemies with a laser without fillers will be pleased to know that they can skip all cutscenes at the push of a button. That may be pretty interesting, but you may want to refrain from skipping anything from the beginning.

The game is full of outstanding video game moments, such as chasing a boss with a claustrophobic tunnel system or gliding through a piece of shattered masonry and attacking an entire enemy fleet. Sin and punishment are also decent and full of subtle touches. At some point, the perspective switches to a side view similar to Gunstar Heroes or Contra.

Sharp shooters will want to take advantage of two options in the game when it comes to gun slings. The player rattles after the blue ring is anchored to the target and repeated weak hits. This is the best option for players if they are new to the title or are struggling to control the title. Switching to the red ring gives the player full control over the aiming cursor, but will do more damage when the target is found. Being able to switch between the two shooting techniques is a great addition to a title that is often a bit overwhelming.

An insane amount of action throughout the story mode is the best aspect of sin and punishment. It’s a non-stop barrage of bullets, lasers, missiles, and deadly perpetrators. And how do you deal with such obstacles? Of course, by blasting them! As Saki, you’ll run through different environments, shoot guns, earn points to destroy enemies, and do it with speed and accuracy. In this game, you need to use various tactics to defeat advancing enemies faster and more powerfully.

The visuals of sin and punishment are some of the best of the Nintendo 64 era. The character is a bit blocky, but looks crisp and smooth in gameplay and various cutscenes. The enemies and environment are very detailed and the game does a decent job of keeping the frame rate at a pace through the ever-changing landscape of war.May not be Wow You who have a certain prominent visual — certainly not my modern standard — but the game has some sophistication that many games in the early 2000s lack.

Like the Goldeneye and Mario64, the Sin & Punishment is built around the N64 pad for pinpoint accuracy and full control. We encourage you to use that controller to get the most out of your experience.


Simply put, sin and punishment are true classics. It’s a virtually perfect shooter with the best output of the N64. There is also the translation work featured in the menus and cutscenes for the virtual console and Nintendo Switch Online versions of the game. Undoubtedly, it’s worth checking if (of course) you’re back that day. It’s really one of the best games from one of the best developers.