Chalk up Red Steel 2 as my current surprise of the show. I tried playing the first Red Steel shortly after the Wii's launch, and I just couldn't force myself through it. Motion control was still in its infancy, the setting didn't really appeal to me and it just didn't look very good.
What a long way we've come since then.
I picked up the Wii remote and Nunchuck, and after a few minutes of introductory disorientation, something clicked in my muscle memory. Specifically, it was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption -- Red Steel 2 has a very similar feel of fluid movement and character agility (pressing "A" will make you quickly sidestep or leap forward/backward).
This is one of the show's MotionPlus showcases -- particularly from the third-parties -- and it's a good one. Aiming with the stock handgun was very accurate and responsive, making headshots and limbshots a viable strategy. The sword was equally nimble, with the MotionPlus registering different locations and severity of slashes.
In the demo, the typical fight broke down like this: standard enemies went down easily against both gun and sword, while armored enemies required strong strikes with the blade to knock some of that protection away. Stronger enemies with pike-style weapons would charge up for power moves -- while they're in that process, a quick dash to their flanks avoids the attack and exposes their back. If you've fought against Space Pirates in Metroid Prime, you'll get the hang of it, no problem.
I walked away from the demo with a bit of a sweat and newly-found confidence in the developer. Changing up the art style was a great decision, and it goes to show what a team can really do when given enough time.