Tiger’s Nest

Places
Tiger’s Nest Summit
Red Steel 2

The summit of the Tiger’s Nest is one of the most memorable locations in Red Steel 2 simply because it is so unlike any location the game has shown you beforehand. Whereas previously you had come across sun-baked Wild West outposts mishmashed with high-tech bases, neon signs and Japanese architecture, the summit presents you with a dreamlike, ethereal atmosphere. The buildings of the previous chapter lie far below the mountain, feeling a world away from your current location in both distance and ambience. The night sky is a progression of colour; sheets of darkness studded with twinkling stars, giving way to translucent clouds of green and beige. Sitting in the middle of this sweeping cosmic bloom is a blood red moon. The symbolism is unmistakeable in a game based on a crossover between East and West: the creamy clouds provide the background of the Japanese flag, the moon being the crimson centrepiece.

The player fights their way through ancient burial grounds and cliffside balconies before reaching the absolute peak of the Tiger’s Nest – a Japanese garden that serves as the arena for the final battle of the game. Upon coming towards it, your nemesis can be seen standing in the centre of the stonework circle.

The pink petals of a nearby cherry blossom swoop across the battleground, quickly followed by a bouncing ball of tumbleweed straight out of a spaghetti western. The celestial tapestry of the sky above is visible from every angle at this point on the mountain, perfectly framing the most climactic and striking moment of the game.

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5 thoughts on “Tiger’s Nest

    • It’s decent fun, although it can become somewhat repetitive. Levels are semi-open in that you kind of do a certain number of tasks in a general area, fight the boss and then move on. I kind of felt that a more linear structure might have better fit the game. At $25 I’d recommend it.

    • I’m not sure how many of these will be to your taste, but I’ll give you a few recommendations:

      No More Heroes 1/2: Surreal hack ’em slash games with a bizarre Japanese direction. Can get a little repetitive in parts (OR IS THAT THE POINT?! POST MODERN COMMENTARY OHOHOHOHOHO etc.)

      The Wii is a bit starved for FPSs, although I hear The Conduit and its sequel are okish, as well as the Call of Duty ports. Metroid Prime 3 is really good, not sure if I’d call it a pure FPS though. Goldeneye 007 is quite decent too.

      You could try House of the Dead: Overkill for arcade shoot-em-up action.

      Madworld is an another hack n’ slash with a very bold and striking art direction – all black and white, spattered with lots of very red blood.

      Okami has been ported to the Wii, and plays quite similarly to a typical Zelda game, except with an incredible appearance. Well worth checking out if you haven’t already.

      You might enjoy Rune Factory: Frontier – plays like Harvest Moon but with some combat elements in the mix.

      And that’s all of the recommendations I can think of that loosely fit within your criteria. Sorry if they’re all very trite and obvious – the Wii spent more time gathering dust on my shelf than being played a lot of the time, and it doesn’t really have a huge and expansive library of games. Still, it has its fair share of gems.

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