North American cover art
Wild Guns (ワイルドガンズ Wairudo Ganzu?) is a western shooting gallery video game developed by Natsume for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Originally published by Natsume in 1994 in Japan, it was not released in North America until 1995. The PAL version was released in 1996 and published by Titus Software. The game places the player in control of either Clint or Annie as they shoot down enemy robots in a Wild West setting with steampunk influences. The third-person shooter gameplay has been compared to Cabal and similar games. Wild Guns has received largely positive reviews, and has developed a cult following. Critics have praised the gameplay of what has become a niche genre, as well as the co-operative mode and graphical attention to detail. It has been re-released on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console.
Wild Guns is a shooting gallery game which combines elements from third-person shooters and light gun games. Gameplay is comparable to Cabal, Blood Bros., and Sin & Punishment. There are six levels, each with two stages, followed by a mini-boss, and then a third stage with a final boss. In addition to single player, co-operative gameplay is available.
The player controls either Clint or Annie in the foreground and must shoot at enemies in the background while also dodging enemy fire. Using the D-Pad will move the character, but holding down the fire button makes the gun reticle move instead. Shooting and moving at the same time is not possible. While the gun is holstered, the player can jump, dive, roll to evade gunfire. A "Look Out!" text bubble will appear when one can dodge bullets. Additionally to shooting at enemies, enemy bullets can be shot down as well, providing weapon upgrades and extra points. Weapon upgrades that can be retrieved include the shotgun, machine gun, and grenade launcher. Other than shooting guns, dynamite sticks can be thrown and smart bombs can be used to clear the screen of enemies. Being hit by a bullet will result in losing a life.
The game takes place in a Wild West setting with steampunk aesthetics, from which it has drawn comparisons to the 1999 film Wild Wild West. The objective is to seek revenge against a murderous gang that killed the family member of one of the playable characters. The female character, Annie, has searched down a bounty hunter by the name of Clint to help her get revenge and to rescue the few family members she has left.
The North American version of Wild Guns was set to be released in the third quarter of 1994, and North American magazines even reviewed the game at that time, but the release was unexpectedly delayed until the third quarter of 1995. The five reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a unanimous score of 8 out of 10, citing the cooperative multiplayer mode and challenging levels as the game's strongest points. GamePro praised the game for its intense action, fun cooperative multiplayer mode, colorful graphics, and ability to shoot almost any on-screen object. They remarked that the game is difficult even on easy mode, but that players are rewarded for perseverance. The game received a score of 70% in Video Games & Computer Entertainment.
Reviewing the Virtual Console version, IGN's Lucas M. Thomas stated "the depth to explore within the game's shooting mechanics is satisfyingly paired with a great visual presentation that packs in a lot of detail". He acknowledged the game's difficulty, even on easy mode, but praised the game as one of the best examples of the niche shooting gallery genre. Mat Allen of Nintendo Life found the game to be a "potent example of what the Virtual Console should be doing...a chance to experience a quality game that was somewhat overlooked at the time."
- "Wild Guns Review – IGN". ign.com. 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
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- 'Might have been' - Wild Guns Gamesetwatch.com.
- "Wild Guns (SNES) Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Wild Guns for Super Nintendo - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Review Crew: Wild Guns". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (63): 34. October 1994.
- "At the Deadline". GamePro (IDG) (84): 140. September 1995.
- "ProReview: Wild Guns". GamePro (IDG) (74): 129. November 1994.
- Wild Guns - MobyGames