Retro : VC Weekly #140

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Anyone who's familiar with Natsume should be more than pleased at the latest addition to the Virtual Console, it might not be a certain farming sim but this title will certainly provide more bang for your buck. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Wild Guns

Points: 800
Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Natsume
Released: 1996
System: SNES

When you consider the Wild West theme the first things you'll probably be thinking of are large hats, saloons and of course shootouts but what if you took certain elements from this and combined them with certain Steampunk elements? Namely giant mechanised robots that want to destroy you and whatnot. The setting may be somewhat different but somehow it all comes together in one excellent experience known only as Wild Guns; so pick up your trusty six-shooter and get blasting!

Choosing from one of two different characters you take on the role of either Clint or Annie as you attempt to take back the city that's being controlled by bands of bandits and a load of robots gone rogue. You control your character by moving either left or right with the D-pad, while holding down the fire button and pressing a direction will allow you to move the crosshair while your character remains stationary. It's a somewhat strange setup that works surprisingly well after a few plays. You also have a jump/dive button and a 'panic' button that sets off a limited supply of screen-clearing explosives.

Once you've mastered the controls you set about blasting baddies against beautiful backdrops that are as wonderfully detailed as the characters are astonishingly well animated and fairly well padded out with some nicely placed destructible objects; the saloon stage in particular springs to mind here as you can destroy every single bottle that you can see, making the experience that much more absorbing. There are power-ups to be had that will bestow upon you better weapons than your standard shooter; ranging from grenade launchers to machine guns and even shotguns, not to mention a rather powerful hand-cannon that you can produce upon a time dependant meter reaching full capacity, which is especially useful in tight-spots which you'll find yourself in often.

Indeed the game is very challenging even on the easiest setting, which should go some way to telling you how long this game could potentially last you. Each stage has two different sections to it and features mini-bosses along the way and then a colossal boss encounter afterwards that you need to clear with only three lives, which can be challenging at the best of times. You may even want to invite a friend along for the ride to make things a bit more bearable – and fun of course – as this game features a two-player co-op mode which is quite something considering how much content the game has already.

Everything is all nicely backed up by a sterling soundtrack and meaty sound effects which finish off the game rather well leaving you with a satisfying feeling of having played something truly worthwhile rather than just 'another' shooting game. There is no question that this is without a doubt one of those rare games that just oozes class and quality. Additionally, the best bit about it being on the VC is that you don't have to pay the - rather hefty - price-tag which the original cartridge still commands due to its rarity. If you haven't played this excellent title before now then you really owe it to yourself to give it a go.

Verdict : This is the Wild West at its very best.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

Looking for reviews on other Virtual Console games? Or a full list of games available on the system? Then Check out our Virtual Console Index Page.

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