( / Super Nintendo)

Wild Guns ( / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Wild Guns Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Mat Allen

Wild West or limp at best?

Whether the game had any influence over the film Wild Wild West is debatable, but what can't be denied is that the two have a similar, inextricable link between cowboys and steampunk. While the traditional steampunk time period might still be Victorian England in the late 19th Century, the setting for both is somewhat different, and talking is done with bullets rather than words. And in order to take back the city in Wild Guns, you're going to be doing a lot of talking... to both human and robotic opponents.

Natsume's Wild Guns takes its lead from TAD Corporation's seminal shooters Cabal and, more specifically, its sequel Blood Brothers. Playing as either Clint or Annie (or both in two player co-op mode), your pistolero can move left or right at the bottom of the screen and shoot into the distance via the movable crosshair. The D-Pad controls your character by default, but holding down fire makes the crosshair move instead; an important dynamic that requires mastering early on for survival.

Clint and Annie have a wide range of jumps and the ability to dive and roll, highly useful in the middle of an exchange of bullets when you need to avoid incoming fire, Of minor use depending on the circumstances are the able to lasso opponents by rapidly tapping fire, and hitting close up enemies, such as the knife man, with the butt of your gun in similar fashion.

It soon becomes apparent that your starting guns aren't nearly powerful enough to take down everyone before you. Shooting certain parts of each stage or enemies reveals a weapon power-up that gives extra firepower for a limited number of shots, including machine guns, grenade launchers and shotguns. The meter at the bottom of the screen slowly increases with time and when it fills up, you can whip out an extremely powerful vulcan cannon that carves through anything pretty quickly. And in case of emergencies, or the dire need to clear a whole screen of enemies, there are limited smart bombs to activate.

Each level has two stages, each with a mini-boss to face at the end, before a third stage with the main boss. None of these will go down easy, and completion of each stage is only achieved once the timer hits zero. Thankfully the more opponents you shoot, the quicker the timer decreases. Herein lies the balance between longevity and frustration; there are only six levels in total and none of them take that long to complete, assuming you stay alive that is.

Which is really the crux of the matter at hand. Is part of the reason the game is hard because there are only six levels, or should you be glad there are only six levels because the game is hard? Some of this debate becomes inconsequential because the action is usually relentless: your fingers are constantly moving, and the game as a whole is just so enjoyable. Single play is great, but roping in a friend to blast alongside you is even better. It doesn't quite touch Bubble Bobble standards, but it isn't far off that pinnacle.

Backing up the gameplay are some excellent visuals and sonics. Each stage is rendered with copious detail and lavished with attention that it almost seems a shame to blow it all to pieces. Thankfully the enemy sprites and designs match this care and equally seem too good to destroy; the most obvious first example is the mech boss at the end of the first level.

Conclusion

Wild Guns is a potent example of what the Virtual Console should be doing. Aside from the fact that this is a vastly cheaper way to legally play compared to buying an actual cartridge (go check eBay folks!), it's a chance to experience a quality game that was somewhat overlooked at the time. Especially when it comes even more into its own in two player co-op. More of this sort of thing please Nintendo!

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User Comments (26)

Link79

#2

Link79 said:

I think I'll get this. I've never been a huge fan of westerns but Robots mixed with westerns is a pretty cool combination. I can't believe I never heard of this game until now. I wonder if it was compatible with the Super scope? Not that hardly anyone owned one though.

WaveBoy

#4

WaveBoy said:

Another gem I missed out on back in the day. Thank goodness I watched HVGN's review on it. Looks great!

YoshiSage

#5

YoshiSage said:

An amazing game, as expected. Definitely overlooked at the time of its release.

Buy it if you haven't already.

edofthe209

#6

edofthe209 said:

I've been itching for Sunset Riders to come to the VC but this might make up for that quite nicely.

Shiryu

#8

Shiryu said:

What a stunning game. I do hope to see more Natsume games on Wii VC. "Ninja Warriors Again", anyone?

CanisWolfred

#9

CanisWolfred said:

I wholly agree that we need to see more overlooked classics like this on VC. This is definitely going to be my next VC purchase.

Bassman_Q

#11

Bassman_Q said:

Well I love the Steampunk premise, it seems too much like an arcade game for my tastes. And I only like to play arcade games if they're cheap (i.e. $2 like on DSiWare). I think I'll pass.

MasterGraveheart

#12

MasterGraveheart said:

I had 2600 Wii Points yesterday. I picked up A Boy and His Blob, Excitebike, Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, and Earthworm Jim 2... hmm... might need to go out for more points Monday... unless Shantae FINALLY arrives, in which case I'm gonna be engrossed in that for the month.

Gameday

#15

Gameday said:

i love this game , its a must get and im glad it got that rating it deserves to be up there great game you have to own this my friends... its funny this came out close or after red redemption & zombie wonderland

RadioShadow

#16

RadioShadow said:

This is one of those games I like playing with the analogue stick. It finally has its use. :)

WanderFan91

#20

WanderFan91 said:

Great review, Mayhem. :) I hope I get a chance to play the game this Summer (hopefully by the end of Summer I'll have the internet connection on my Wii working again). I'm very interested. :)
But, you never mentioned how the music was.

Rarewarefan7495

#22

Rarewarefan7495 said:

Awesome game by Natsume. Glad that this and Shadow of the Ninja got VC releases. Now just need to wait for Ninja Warriors, Pocky and Rocky, and the Lufia series cuz finding the actual carts for all of these games is too much of a hassle.

Bass_X0

#25

Bass_X0 said:

I wasn't a fan and the simple reason was that I didn't have the three hands necessary to play this game. Only having two hands, I wasn't able to aim, shoot, jump and move simultaneously like the game wanted me to.

Sherman

#26

Sherman said:

I'm just gonna leave this here before you change that picture up there...
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