After all the controversy over this game on these boards with a few of the Wii gamers here and the somewhat mixed reviews on the gaming sites (mainly IGN and the one that gave it a 6), I decided to spend a couple of hours and play the game myself and give it a fair review based on MY tastes.
Story (6) -- the story is pretty cheesy like most games we've come across on any platform. It's all about being #1 and getting the hot chick. I don't mind this since I wasn't really looking for anything epic along the lines of some of the more involved RPGs out there.
Controls (9) -- the controls on this game are excellent in the main scheme of gameplay - that is, when it matters most. I don't like the controls of the bike when you are flying around town looking for jobs and I don't really see the need to do a wheely since there doesn't seem to be anything worth jumping over but oh well. The fighting controls are the best I've seen in a sword-fighting game period. I want to dispell the myth that you can swing the wiimote in any direction to make the killing attack. This is NOT true, however, what people are experiencing is the fact that if the game wants you to swing it left and you swing it right, because of the recoil back to the original position (which would in turn, be left again), it will register a left move. If you, however, try to move up or down when the game wants you to move left, it WON'T register and you'll lose the attack. All the mini-games are pretty fun with the Wiimote controls as well.
Sound (10) -- the voice and sound of this game are excellent. Period. You long to hear the characters speak and the cell phone interaction is pretty kick-ass. Music is great, and you will be engrossed in the boss interactions. The woman's voice is HAWT!
Graphics (8) -- I want to dispell again, a lot of the complaints about this game's graphics. It's basically the average graphics on the Wii. Almost every game I've played on the Wii would get an 8. None of them include anything worth drooling over. I like the toon shaded look in this game, and the artistic style of the game is pretty cool and very similar to a unique look like Zelda. As far as glitches go, there are some framerate stutters when driving around town. Nowhere near as bad as people think which is probably why most gaming sites have ignored it. There is NO draw-in of the entire scene!! Meaning you won't see the scene being drawn as you ride your bike as if there were some fog you are flying through. But there IS draw-in of the elements in a scene. JUST LIKE ASSASSIN'S CREED. Basically they did this to cut down on rendering the entire scene. This is noticed in all the games I've come across on the Wii. Zelda does it by making the characters stand still until you get close enough, then it runs the animations. Red Steel does the same (look through the sniper rifle to see what I mean). This isn't something I would harp over as I had to REALLY look for it in order to notice it.
Gameplay (9) -- the meat of this game is in the combat and the complexity of how you can pull off some really cool and awesome moves. As I stated earlier, this is the main draw of the game. It was done flawlessly and the company definitely has built a control scheme for sword fighting that will take a bit to be matched. I seriously doubt that any game will come close unless there are 1-to-1 controls. In all honesty, I don't like the GTA-style gameplay. Going around and doing side missions to earn money is a waste to me and they could've either went into more depth with it, or they could've done away with it altogether. Luckily it doesn't take long to get the money and go to the next boss! The game does seem pretty easy as well, but the boss battles are pretty epic.
Lasting Appeal (5) -- You'll finish this game and be done with it. Very rarely will anyone want to replay most games, so this category is about average for most games. To compare, even Zelda would get a 5 in this category as there isn't much incentive to play. A game like Ace Combat 6, however, would get an 8 because it's that type of game that could make you come back to it.
Overall - 8.5/10 (not an Average)
This game does some really good things well, and stays average in almost everything else. I would've loved to see an engrossing storyline to go along with the excellent voice-acting and more challenging gameplay to go along with the kick-ass controls of the game. Perhaps if we get NMH2, we'll see just that..