Review by Tony Bueno



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Let me start off by start off by saying that although vertical air/space shooters rarely hold my interest for very long, ground based games in this genre almost never fail to please. Maybe that doesn’t make too much sense. But consider that games like Ikari Warriors, Heavy Barrel, Commando, and Gun.Smoke all seemingly have physical obstructions that make them more challenging to me than games like Dragon Spirit, 1942, or most others in this category, and I guess that’s a halfway decent way I can justify my opinion.

Anyway, you assume the role of Billy Bob, a bounty hunter out to bring back a group of the currently most wanted criminals in the proverbial wild, wild west. Armed with nothing more than two Colt Single Action Army revolvers, it’s up to this lonesome cowboy to not only take them out, but anyone stupid enough to stand in his way!

Fortunately, however, Capcom saw fit to give Billy Bob a much better chance than you might think. First, his guns not only carry unlimited ammo, but fire as fast as you can press the buttons and never overheat. Also, there are power ups including boots (speed), rifle (longer range shots), and bullets (faster shots). Interestingly, you may pick up more than one of any enhancement, but it won’t make a difference on your current life. Instead, they’ll be saved until after you die, and you won’t have to find whichever power ups you already had in reserve.

Audiovisually the game is above average but not outstanding. Being the old timer that I am, I can tell that some tunes are almost eerily reminiscent of Capcom’s earlier Trojan (a fun game, and another bona fide classic, I don’t care what the rest of the staff might think, damn it!). In terms of gameplay, it’s good compromise between Commando’s “shoot only in the direction you’re facing” and Ikari Warriors’ twistable joystick. Different buttons allow you to shoot in different directions and you may simultaneously move in any direction. It also comes in handy when you need to quickly change direction of your line of fire in an emergency. Even though you are given unlimited continues, this game will still challenge even the toughest, most experienced players.

It should also be noted that some may criticize Gun.Smoke for racist or at least politically incorrect overtones, but personally I don’t agree. Billy Bob probably kills many, many more whites than Native Americans, Mexicans, or Asians. But even then, I don’t think it matters to him. But all of this is entirely academic, and should in no way hinder your enjoyment of Gun.Smoke on MAME, PSX, or even 8-bit Nintendo. It’s wonderful to relive the good old days when you had to work your ass off to beat a game.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:25 PM