Wild Guns Reloaded Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Natsume

Publisher: Natsume

Release Date: Out now

Price as of Article: $29,99 USD, £27,99 or £31 in a physical format

Game code provided by Natsume for review

Introduction

Wild Guns Reloaded is a shooting gallery set in the Wild West, only here there are weapons galore for you to take down the enemy. The original Wild West was released on SNES in 1994 and is for all intense and purposes an Arcade game. There is no great story here that will tug on your heart strings, just you the player as the good guy taking out all the bad guys that come at you in the form of cowboys and machines. You have 4 characters to choose from this time instead of the original two in Annie and Clint, but is this series worth playing over 20 years later? And is it worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out.

Audio

The audio here has the typical arcade sound and fits perfectly for this game. It’s certainly an enjoyable hark back to the 1990’s. Sound effects are great in this with guns sounding nice and beefy. I enjoyed those little power-up sound effects when acquiring them. The music and effects certainly bring a lot of life to this game.

Visuals and Performance

If you want a faithful recreation of SNES games well this is the game to buy. The hand drawn pixel visuals are as beautiful now as they were back then, and we all know that pixel art is all the rage now so this fits right in. The stages look really nice and they feel like there is always something about to happen. Objects in the background can be blown up, explosions look great, animations are on point and it’s super colourful.

I love the way the machines are drawn and this just reminded me to watch Westworld where season 2 starts this week! Machines and cowboys and all that. I digress, the visuals are great if you like pixel art. The stages have been touched up and it really feels like a lot of love and effort was put into doing so. The fact the game can be played in widescreen and is not boxed like some games is a real boon. Some new stages have been added which fit really nicely to the original styling.

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The characters and bosses are drawn superbly, and my favourite had to be one of the new charcters which has been added to the roster, bolstering it to four instead of the original two. The character is a dog named bullet, an adorable dashound which is accompanied by a flying machine.

Gameplay

Games like this have been lost for retro fans like me. For some reason, crosshair shooters or gallery shooters have never really followed other trends when it comes to bringing back old school games. We have seen 2d platformers and bullet hell type shooters making comebacks so it’s great to see a game like this having its time to shine. Let me start off by saying though that if you are not a fan of old-school arcade games which are hard then this is not going to be for you.

Hard as nails

This game is as hard as nails and requires a lot of work to be put in before you can even think about completing the 40-50 minute run it takes to reach the end. The game has online leaderboards so those of you that have that competitive edge will no doubt love it.

I have played many many hard games from the past but Wild Guns Reloaded is a curious beast. The controls do take some getting used to, especially if like me you are so used to playing twin-stick shooters which on Switch I have played many. For me, it’s just so natural to control the character with the left stick and then aiming with the right, but in this game, the right stick is not used for anything. Instead, you have to move the chosen character across the static 2d level left or right with the left analogue, but you can’t shoot while moving. Instead, you have to stop, aim, shoot and then move to avoid incoming fire. This creates a situation where you are always having to prioritise targets, but as soon as you hit your target you need to move your character into its next position. This certainly makes the game more challenging. You can jump and double jump to avoid incoming fire, which is essential because with one hit you’re dead. This game is so tough that you will find it difficult in easy mode. For those of you who cannot dedicate yourselves to a game like this you have beginner mode which gives you unlimited lives, but you will not be able to post a score to the online leaderboards.

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Movement

The only movement you can perform while shooting is a roll which is essential to stay alive. You can also lob back dynamite with a single press of Y while holding down Y is used for shooting as well as creating a lasso to paralyse characters for a few seconds. I must admit it took me a good while to get used to the controls and even then I was never 100% comfortable.

There is a range of different enemies from men throwing dynamite, machines launching a tirade of bullets at you and many more to keep you moving. Deaths here never feel unfair because they are always the player’s fault, but new players will die a lot before learning the enemy patterns. Once you get a rhythm for the game it feels so fun completing them. Differing characters have different skills. Bullet can move around freely without having to dodge which is great, and the targeting system locks on to enemies. He is cool to use but also quite limited at times as he just can’t fire as fast as say, Annie and Clint.

Dorris uses bombs and lacks any real quick fire weapons which makes her hard to use in a single player campaign. However, she is especially strong against bigger machines, but not so good against quicker enemies. Clint and Annie are your best all-rounders in my opinion for playing solo.

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Multiplayer

This brings us onto multiplayer where you can use a Joycon each to play, and this is where the lack of duel stick shooting makes sense for this as it means all players do not require two Joycons or a pro controller to play. Also, characters in multiplayer compliment each other nicely. Dorris is great to have in a team as her bombs really come in handy against larger machines. It will require you to use all of the skills available to really get the most out of the game in a group of friends or family, but my other gripe is those you play with will need to be quite skilled, and for new players this game will be frustrating at first to the point that they may just give up on it, which would be a shame. It is super fun once you get going but it will require a lot of investment to even complete it and much more to get those high scores.

Value

Wild West Reloaded in digital format is £26,99 or $29,99 or you can buy it physically here in the UK from Amazon for £30,99. I would buy this in a physical format due to being able to add it to my collection but for others, it may be due to the point of being able to re-sell it once done with the game.

The original in a box on SNES goes for a crazy amount of money on eBay and the like so you could consider this game to be not a bad deal. It is cheaper though on other consoles by around £10 so if portability is not important to you or having it on a Nintendo console then your best bet is to buy it on another platform. If portability is key then you can’t go wrong with this on the Switch. This is a pure arcade experience and one which has good replay value if you’re vying for those high scores and of course to play with friends. It also has a boss battle rush mode when completed which unlocks.

 

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Pros

P

Beautiful pixel art visuals

P

Pure arcade experience

P

Solid Soundtrack

Cons

P

Controls feel a tad awkward

P

Very difficult to the point one shot deaths will put many off

P

Game is quite expensive and short