(WiiWare)

Big Town Shoot Out (WiiWare)

Game Review

Big Town Shoot Out Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jacob Crites

John Marston died in vain

You're stuck in traffic on a rainy day. Positioning yourself between the cars ahead and behind you, avoiding collision with the merging vehicles, occasionally reading street signs; these things don't require skill so much as a sort of passive awareness. It's not your first time in traffic. You know the drill. It's a test of patience – not because it's difficult, but because it's boring, and with all the rain, it's kind of hard to see. Nothing good on the radio. Nothing fun to look at. It's a long drive home.

Playing Big Town Shoot Out feels kind of like that. It functions, it involves a certain amount of skill and it isn't the worst thing you could do with your money and free time, but there are so many better options out there.

The shooting gallery genre, to which Big Town Shoot Out definitely belongs, is one that works especially well on the Wii thanks to its slick pointer controls, but the developers seemed to have forgotten to add any of the fun or excitement that makes its carnival game counterparts so successful. Part of the problem is that Big Town looks and feels like a small game that's been stretched to fit the screen; its ugly, compressed menus and muffled soundtrack set the tone for the gameplay, which is equally emotionless and perfunctory in its execution. If you're going to make a game entirely based around shooting targets, the targets had better prove satisfying to shoot and the environments encasing them had better be memorable. None of these things hold true, however, its joyless presentation and minimal level of challenge that lasts too long doing nothing to soften the blow.

The presentation, by the way, isn't just bad – it actually hinders your ability to play successfully. The generic little 2D cowboys that you're tasked with shooting are highly pixelated and blurry, making it genuinely difficult to determine their features from a distance lest you hit a generic little 2D innocent bystander by accident. The visual murkiness is even more of a problem in levels where you're tasked with shooting matching playing-cards, as the suits and numbers are difficult to make out.

Conclusion

Big Town Shoot Out was published by Performance Designed Products, and it's done just that: released a product that performs. It functions. It exists. It just doesn't do much more than that. It expects us to be thrilled with the idea of a shooting gallery game rather than giving us a worthwhile entry in the subgenre with any legitimately thrilling gameplay. You could conceivably play the game with up to three other friends but, honestly, your friends deserve better.

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User Comments (16)

James

#4

James said:

"John Marston (baptised 7 October 1576 – London, 25 June 1634) was an English poet, playwright and satirist during the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Although his career as a writer lasted only a decade, his work is remembered for its energetic and often obscure style, its contributions to the development of a distinctively Jacobean style in poetry, and its idiosyncratic vocabulary."

His influence on WiiWare shooting games will be missed.

Zach

#8

Zach said:

Don't you die in video games anyway? I thought that was what Jacob was referring to.

cyrus_zuo

#9

cyrus_zuo said:

Reminds me of Wild West guns (except I kinda liked Wild West Guns and this one didn't look very likeable from its trailer).

RaylaxStaff

#11

Raylax said:

Performance Designed Products. They sound like an exciting bunch.

James

#14

James said:

That's the last time I use my knowledge of Jacobean satirists to cover up a spoiler based on a Rockstar game!

Rawk_Hawk

#15

Rawk_Hawk said:

Carnival King on Wii Ware is good fun if you are looking for a shooting gallery game.

Kid_A

#16

Kid_A said:

James...I am so sorry...of your knowledge of Jacobean satirists... :p
(also, that I'm so dense that I couldn't see you were trying to back me up haha)

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