Sin & Punishment’s single best setpiece captures the essence and versatility of its design. With your character Airan on a platform zipping around a naval carrier fleet, you evade the barrage of artillery fire from massive aircraft carriers, dogfight squadrons of enemy aircraft, and bat missiles back at their launchers, while unleashing a constant stream of shots to send them to the bottom of the ocean, all as the world soars and reorients in full cinematic splendor. It’s one of the most exhilarating action spectacles of the generation and combines the best elements of the classic shooter and brawler genres into one unique game. The scene ends with the freedom fighter chasing down a comet-sized missile shot from low-orbit as it hurtles at your ally-turned-monster Saki.
An hour after he was locked in Clock Town, Link’s been turned into a Deku Scrub staring down a massive, fiery-eyed moon so close that he could pick its gritted teeth with his sword. Looming over him is Skull Kid, supercharged by the Majora’s Mask. Playing the Song of Time Zelda had entrusted him with to save Hyrule, Link returns to the exact moment he’d entered Clock Town, the moon again 72 in-game hours from destroying everything, the citizens back on their schedule as if the first round had been a bad dream.
Graffiti is art. However, graffiti as an act of vandalism is a crime.
Jet Set Radio is very nearly a complete metaphor for freedom. Smilebit accomplished the task by making its game small in scope and using every element of its design to construct a theme: it has a large, overbearing enemy in its fascist Tokyo-to and a graffiti mechanic that is an action-oriented, easily understood core concept that is itself a means to fight against the oppression. It gives characters the tools to move deftly through and around the world to leave their mark. With the guidance of free-wheelin’ DJ Professor K and his pirate broadcast, the youth are rebelling in the heart of Tokyo-to and the pressure is boiling up from the underground.