A.V. Club writes: "When we train in an artistic discipline, we learn the forms before we attempt personalized expression. Beginning dancers learn to tango. Before tackling freeform poetry, you learn sonnets and sestinas. Aspiring guitarists learn to read music through 12-bar blues. Formalism doesn’t constrain the artist: It’s a tool, a subtle language that expresses more meaning than the notes, words, or steps that make up the art’s chief mode of expression. As videogames’ premier formalists, the developers in the Japanese company Treasure have managed to simultaneously thrill their devoted fans and confound the average player with their precise action games. Their latest, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, is a marriage of the shmup and beat-’em-up forms they’ve worked in for nearly 20 years. While it isn’t their magnum opus, it’s a sterling example of how to find inspiration in classic molds."