If you've been a gamer for a long time then the name Treasure should mean something to you. One of the most highly respected development studios in Japan, Treasure is the daddy of extremely difficult shoot 'em ups. Whether it's GameCube and Dreamcast classic Ikaruga, the Mega Drive run-and-gun gem Gunstar Heroes or the recently remade for DS Bangai-O, a Treasure-developed title will test your control pad dexterity like no other developer's game can.
A great example of this was the original Sin & Punishment, a Nintendo 64 on-rails shooter that, while a fantastic game and one of the best examples of the shoot 'em up genre on the N64, was unfortunately never released outside of Japan.
Nintendo gamers in the West were cruelly denied the right to play this fantastic game until it was finally released on the Wii's Virtual Console a couple of years ago. Now its long awaited sequel is here and, in true Treasure fashion, it's more difficult than a culinary conversation between a vegetarian and a butcher.
Isa and Kachi, the young male and female characters you get to choose from, have crash-landed in a secret government building and are trying to leg it out of there before they're killed.
Both characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, though the difference isn't quite as stark as you might expect. The pair have a similar feel when you're controlling them since they each have the ability to both run along the ground and fly around at will (Isa has a jetpack while Kachi has a hoverboard), so it all really comes down to their alternative fire methods. Isa's charged shot is a single huge explosion which does great damage to anything in its vicinity, while Kachi fires a series of homing missiles at multiple enemies, allowing for a less powerful but more accurate and widespread assault.
Although you can use the Classic and GameCube controllers, using the Remote and Nunchuk control method is by far the best way to play this game as you use the control stick to move your character and point at the screen to shoot.
You can also use the A button to lock on to enemies or bosses' weak spots, but your shots are less powerful. If you quickly tap the B button instead of holding it, your character will quickly swipe their cleverly-concealed sword, which is handy for deflecting bullets and taking out nearby enemies.
Pointing the Remote is infinitely easier to do than using the analogue stick to move your crosshair, as was the case in the N64 original.
A decent player will finish Sin & Punishment 2 on its Normal difficulty setting in around seven hours but getting through the story is only the beginning - it's the high score system that separates the men from the boys.
Getting a high score in Sin & Punishment 2 is all about building a combo. Each time you kill an enemy your combo number will rise slightly. This combo number acts as a score multiplier so as it continues to grow you'll start to get more and more points for each enemy you defeat. Every time you take a hit, however, you lose a hefty chunk of your combo.
This makes for an intriguing risk/reward system. If you play it safe and avoid getting mixed up with too many enemies, you'll miss out on a lot of kills but get stuck in and try to kill as many enemies as possible and you're more likely to take damage. Once you've finished a level, you'll be given the option to submit your score to the game's online leaderboards.