Mad Dog McCree
|Mad Dog McCree|
|Developer(s)||American Laser Games (Arcade, Sega CD, 3DO & DVD)
Digital Leisure (Windows, Wii & iOS)
Engine Software (3DS)
|Publisher(s)||American Laser Games (Arcade, Sega CD & 3DO)
Philips Media (CD-i)
Digital Leisure (DVD, Windows, iOS & 3DS)
Majesco Games (Wii)
|Genre(s)||Interactive movie, Light gun shooter|
The player assumes the first-person role of "the stranger", a nameless individual who rides into a small, peaceful, unnamed town and finds that the mayor's daughter has been kidnapped by a gang of outlaws working for a villain named Mad Dog McCree. He is given a short introduction to the aforementioned girl by an old prospector, and the possibility to go through target practice involving bottles on a fence, and some being tossed in the air and shot by the player; after this, the Prospector fills him in on the situation. The stranger is told that "Mad Dog McCree and his gang have taken over the town" and that both the mayor and his daughter are imprisoned in the gunfighter's hideout, while the sheriff has been locked up in his own jail by the gang. It is at this point that the first enemy appears and attempts to shoot the prospector; like all others, the gang member must be shot to avoid losing a life, one of three.
Mad Dog McCree set the trend for most future American Laser Games releases, driving the action forward by having the player shoot villains, with few other decision-making situations. The action takes the stranger through several locations, including a saloon, where a man named One-Eyed Jack holds the keys to the prison cell holding the sheriff, a bank in the middle of a robbery, a corral and a jail. One must also find a map, hidden inside a mine, to Mad Dog's hideout, reach the hideout by correctly following road signs, free the mayor and his daughter, and confront Mad Dog in a final showdown, all the time while eliminating members of the man's posse.
The game is the first of several to use the same simple engine, in which almost all possible actions are performed using the player's six-shooter, controlled by a mouse or light gun in the Windows version. The gun is useful for eliminating villains, choosing paths, selecting locations, reloading and shooting cow skulls and spittoons, which temporarily gives the player additional ammunition. Three difficulty levels are available from the beginning.
The main portion of the game is interspersed with several different types of showdowns with random villains, in which the stranger begins with no ammunition and must quickly reload and shoot at the right time, in order to shoot the enemy first. In parts of the game which are not showdowns, reloading can be done an unlimited amount of times and at any time during gameplay. Shooting a bystander or getting hit by a gunfighter results in the loss of one life out of three and is followed by a clip showing an old undertaker commenting on the player's actions.
The arcade edition of the game has been released with four different hardware setups, using a laserdisc player. Home versions were released for the Sega CD, CD-i, 3DO and Microsoft Windows. Mad Dog McCree was the first in a series of American Laser Games releases to be reissued by Digital Leisure with updated video and sound quality in 2001 for DVD, playable with a standard DVD remote.
In 2009 the game was released for the Nintendo Wii as part of the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack. Included in this collection are its sequel Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and The Last Bounty Hunter. In 2011, it was released for iOS. On June 14, 2012, it was released on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS. Sony revealed on January 21, 2013 that the game would be released for PlayStation 3 the following day. The PlayStation 3 version features remastered video presented in 720p and a new interface.
American Laser Games filmed all the footage for the game in its home state, New Mexico, and used local actors to fill all the roles. Ben Zeller, who plays the prospector, went on to have major roles in two further American Laser Games productions, Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and Space Pirates.
In the 3DO edition of the game, when an enemy shoots the player character, the player can pause the game, select "Continue", and the game will jump back to before the enemy arrived. This allows the player a second chance, with the advantage of knowing where the enemy will appear.
In some builds of the arcade game, the laserdisc player was replaced with a customised 3DO, which allowed for more video. However, these new units proved unreliable, as the seek motors in the CD-ROM drive burned out rapidly.
Also, the arcade version has an exploit. If the player holds the light gun upside down, the ammunition will automatically refill every time a round is fired. (The intended way of reloading is to tilt the gun down to the ground.)
A sequel was released entitled Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the 3DO version a 5.5 out of 10, commenting that the video quality is poor by 3DO standards and that the controls are so bad with the 3DO gamepad that the game is almost unplayable. They noted that the game might be better with the upcoming 3DO Gamegun, but that no 3DO light gun or mouse was yet available. GamePro praised the video footage of the arcade game for its amusing cowboy stereotypes, but similarly rated the 3DO version as an unacceptably bad port, citing load times that break the player's immersion and the abysmal control when not using the yet-to-be-released 3DO light gun. Reviewing the Sega CD version, they noted that the video is so grainy that the manual diagrams one of the levels because the important items in it are indiscernible. They nonetheless accessed it as the best home version of the game to date, due to the ability to play it with a light gun. They were much more approving of the later CD-i version due to the high quality live action video and the bundled Peacekeeper Revolver, commenting that "This slick-looking revolver handles well and sports a hair trigger that'll make a Dirty Harry out of anyone."
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