Wild Guns is a classic game on the Super NES. One of the most bizarre mashups of genres, it proved to be an enduring gem that is still loved to this day. Natsume has now made a modern redo of the game for the PlayStation 4 as Wild Guns:Reloaded, and after purchasing it and playing for a while, I am conflicted.
The game has gorgeous sprite work and animation, and the music is amazing. Both feel like they are out of the SNES game, but to be more precise, they feel like how we remember the SNES game, versus how it actually looked and sounded. The soundtrack captures the weird west feel of the game, and the new characters and features of the game look great in the animation. Where I have issues with the game is in the controls.
The game just felt awkward to control, and that the setup was counter-intuitive. With characters like Clint, I had a difficult time playing due to the control scheme, whereas Bullet the dog seems made for people like me, who have trouble adjusting to the controls. I did spend more than a few hours playing and did start to get the hang of it, but I feel compelled to warn you that this game does take some effort to learn and you can not just jump into it.
Once you get past the control scheme and get into the game, you will need to do one thing. You must prepare to die over and over again because this is a hard game. And I like that. The difficulty isn’t because of the control scheme ( although that really doesn’t help matters at all) but because Natsume wanted to make this a challenging game. There is a ton of new content to this version and all of it really helps the weird west idea the game has. These range from horror themed levels to more steampunk themed levels. As stated, Bullet the Dog is a great new addition, especially for players who have difficulty adjusting to the control scheme. In fact, I must recommend using Bullet when first starting, since he helps you ease your way into the game and learn how to do things. He uses a drone to attack and can be easier to dodge with as well as attack enemies. Doris, the other new character, also has a great style involving explosives, although she takes some time to learn to use effectively.
You will die a lot, but once you learn how to progress without dying, you will find the game passes by very fast. That said, even though this is a short game, it is one that heavily encourages replay. This can be off-putting for some who want longer games with more content however, and that is understandable. That plus the confusing control scheme that takes a while to learn and intense difficulty, can be off putting to most players. As well some may not like the fact that the game has SNES style visuals and a preserved soundtrack, although others like myself prefer this in the game. This is not a game for everyone and that needs to be said. I cannot recommend this for everyone but I can recommend this for people who like retro scifi games and are willing to put the effort in to learn and persevere with the gameplay. This is a hard game, and I am conflicted over its positives and negatives, but I do feel that if you can overlook the negatives, or can adjust to the control method and do not mind hard games that encourage replay, then give this a shot.