Sunset Riders


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 5.5

Overall: 5.5

Why does Konami have to screw with all of their arcade to Genesis conversions? They translate them to the SNES flawlessly, but the Genesis versions are butchered. The Ninja Turtles are one example, and here we have Sunset Riders, yet another.

Basically, Sunset Riders takes Konami's Contra series into the wild west. Players pick from one of 2 characters (4 in the arcade and SNES versions) to tackle the measly number of stages. Each of them is split into 2 areas, the "rescue the girl" segment and the boss battle. This only seems to be a desperate attempt to lengthen the game. Only 3 bosses are included in the game, while the arcade cabinet featured 6+.

The core gameplay is still playable and highly enjoyable for those who have never played any other version. Power-ups are plentiful and keep the game at a tolerable difficulty level. Only the most skilled gamers will be able to see the best ending which is only available by playing the hardest difficulty level. Only one of the 2 characters is truly worthwhile. Cormano's shotgun provides a much wider range of fire and picking up a gun icon doubles that. While the 2-player option is nice, figuring out a way to see who gets Cormano could be a challenge.

All the stages are a mish-mash of segments from the other versions. The graphical detail has been retained with only a slight loss of color. The massive explosion from dynamite sticks is quite impressive, but can cause some nasty flicker. Nearly all the voices have been removed for the Genesis incarnation, replaced by comic book-like balloons. Much of the cartoon style spaghetti western story has been eliminated because of this, making it nothing more than a basic shooter with a loose story. Musically, the background is filled with standard tunes that would be commonplace in 60's TV western.

An underrated classic in the arcades and the SNES version, this translation just doesn't work. The short length, missing characters, lack of voices, and lackluster story drop this one down to mediocre status. Why would any game company screw around with their success is beyond this reviewers train of rational thought. Why? Why?? Why???


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:33 PM