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by The Red Fox
"You stole my prostitute!"
YEEEEEE HAAAAAAW! The Red Fox here y'all with the rootenest, tootenest, gun shootenest game to ever come out of the south bound side of a north bound mule. But enough of playful banter, let's hear all about the new game that doesn't quite live up to its namesake, mainly because it involves more than just one gun.
Since this is the classic western shoot ‘em up there needs to be at least some reason behind all the gun slinging and injun killing. In Gun, there is the illustrious hero, fittingly named Colton West, who has to avenge his father, who was killed by a bunch of former Confederate soldiers and a priest who were trying to discover some golden cross. Sound confusing? Well, it should, being that there are several twists and turns of the story the end up with the eventual death of a one eyed plate armor wearing fat guy. The story in-between is basically a combination of every western ever made, besides Paint Your Wagon, with the rescuing of whores, working for the pony express, becoming a deputy, cheating at cards, ending corruption, and a whole lot of injun killing, just for good measure.
Gun, being the 'masterpiece' that it is, is an RPG style game, with the many side quests that RPGs traditionally entail. The side quests are basic and general tasks that just about everybody had to do to get cash in the west, from playing poker to collecting bounties. Like all normal side tasks these increase the players stats as well as supplying income, but Gun goes so far as to make the game nearly impossible without the completion of these tasks. After each part of the main story, side quests are unlocked but the more the game progresses the more it is necessary to gain the improvements, considering they can only be gained on side missions. If none of the side quests are attained the character takes about ten times longer to reload weapons as well as going ridiculously slower on horseback. There is no real point behind giving optional quests if they are required to win the game.
You know what more games need nowadays, racial stereotypes. Of course, since this game takes place in the ol' west, there should be at least a few racial slurs, injuns and the like, but Gun takes it all to a new level. I can understand the fact that people did call American Indians 'injuns' but when they take cheap shots about how they can't keep the Irish sober they are just going too cliché. There were plenty of quips and jabs at all of those minorities, also including the "Chinks", but they didn't seem to be up to a truly horrible standard. The insulting of injuns made an American Indian group protest the game, but that is only the tip of the iceberg that could have been used to insult people everywhere.
The control scheme for Gun is the standard clicking adventure. R fires gun, C stick aims, control pad moves the character around but those aren't the problem controls. In order to switch between weapons, such as a shotgun to a rife, the control pad must be used in conjuncture with the C stick, which gave me aggravation to no end when trying to play the game. In close combat, for example, it is next to impossible to try and swap weapons without getting killed in the process. Both hands have to concentrate on switching the weapons so there is no real way to change from distance to close quarters weapons without being attacked at the time. It really defeats the point if you can't switch weapons when that is what is required to defeat enemies but that is just me.
As far as graphics go Gun is probably sub par, at best. There is quality in the large distance of objects that can be seen, but when one looks closer all of the images look grainy and distorted. Even the cut scenes, which have the same graphics as the actual game, have distortion lines. There have been a lot of advancements in technology for the GameCube and I know that most games don't have that kind of lines so Gun shouldn't have that same low balled quality either.
Too bad these aren't in game graphics.
Gun may not have many redeeming qualities, but one thing it does have is a whole lot of scalping. From about the first mission on the character has a chance to buy a scalping knife from the local merchant, which actually has no real beneficial use. Most of the game can be played going around killing people and, if they don't die from the bullets, you can take their "top knot." Hell, Colton doesn't even discriminate about who he scalps, anyone from Indians to women are fair game. Honestly, who can admit to scalping an entire town just for the fun of it. That's right, I can.
My one complaint about Gun, if the above paragraphs weren't sufficient enough, would be the fact that the game is just so short. As normal RPG's go, there is a long involved story that takes the player through at least a solid twenty four hours of game play. Gun, while playing it the first time through, took only eight hours to complete which was perhaps the biggest disappointment I have ever had. The quality of the game play is good and interesting in Gun, but the fact that the story, and more importantly, the side missions are used up so quickly leaves the player wanting more. The pacing of the game is horrible in that many missions could have been added to the games main plot yet weren't. At one point of the game, for example, Colton becomes the deputy of a corrupt mayor and learns about this fact after five minutes of game play. I think it would have been better if he could have at least done a few missions as a corrupt deputy while not knowing the truth, but I guess that was too realistic for this game. Hell, I think a bunch of twelve year olds could have made a more in depth plot than this, rather than just stealing the most basic ideas from western movies.
Gun is a toss up in the category of whether or not to buy, but that all depends on what you are interested in. If you want a pretty interesting RPG that takes you into the old west for a few minutes, then by all means go ahead. But, if you want a long lasting intense game, then go find another prized pony.
How many needles of black tar heroin to make this game good?: 3, one
for every minute of gameplay