There just ain’t enough sci-fi westerns in the world of entertainment. It’s such a cool mashup, I’m surprised it’s such a niche genre. The famous ones that stick out in my mind are Galaxy Express 999, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly and the ill-received Cowboys and Aliens. Well, if you’re like me, and you love the idea of robots roaming the wild west, then Wild Guns Reloaded will put a grin on your face, partner (or partner-ette)!
Not only is the theme of the game unusual, the gameplay itself is harder to pin down than a headstrong calf in its first rodeo. It’s a shooter, but not the flying variety. It’s kind of like a run and gun too, but you can’t actually run farther than the sides of the screen. You control both your character and your crosshairs at the same time. Your crosshairs can move anywhere on the screen, but while you’re shooting, you’re being shot at too, so you have to keep watch of your character. It’s a lot to take in and, at first, you’ll be more confused than a rattlesnake wearing pants.
But the more you play, the more you get used to it and while I can’t say it ever felt quite natural, I grew accustomed to it. Of course, it doesn’t help that your character moves slower than an old tortoise walking through a cactus patch. Luckily, you can jump! And you’ll need to as there are no shortages of bullets with your name on them in this game. You can also shoot the bad guy’s bullets as they come at you if you’re a sharp-eyed sniper.
Bullets alone won’t cut it in this game, you also have an electric lasso! It will freeze opponents temporarily, letting you stop an enemy and focus your firepower wherever you want. And this comes in real handy when the bad guys start stacking up and you’re hopping around like a nervous jackrabbit under a hungry hawk’s nest. You also have a limited amount of big explosives and temporary gun upgrades that you can get by shooting power-ups on screen.
The new additions to this remake are the ability to play two new characters, Doris, a big lady who packs a wallop with grenades instead of guns, and Bullet, a dachshund on a hovercraft. Both are welcome additions to the game and play totally different compared to Clint and Annie, who play the same. There are also a couple of new levels, including a horror-themed one that’s scarier than dropping your wallet in front of a stampede of Texas Longhorns.
This here game’s hard, though. Real hard. You’ll die and die and die again, but like anything in life, you just gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the saddle. If you keep at it long enough, you’ll be surprised at how much farther you can ride each time. And like real cowboying, you'll do much better with a partner at your side, so co-op is the way to go!
by Urian Brown
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