For the second “What We’re Playing” video game review I’m covering a port of my all-time favorite arcade game and a fantastic run n’ gun on the SNES, Sunset Riders!
This game was at the top of my list when I first started collecting for the SNES again, and remains one of my favorite on the system for a few reasons: Number one is just the pure nostalgia from when I first played this game at a cousin’s house, number two because it’s a great Contra-esque 2 player game, and number three because you can play as a pink-poncho-wearing dual-shotgun-wielding badass named Cormano (and three other guys I guess). Seriously.
Sunset Riders was released by Konami in arcade game on September 4th, 1991. It came in a standard 2 playercabinet and a 4 cabinet (which was unusual for that time). Then, in 1993, it was ported it to the Sega Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo Systems.
The graphics are some of my favorite on the SNES. The colors are vibrant, the characters are animated great, and the whole game feels like it’s really set in the mythical Old West. Though this game did have to simplify the graphics and reduced number of enemies some, it’s actually a very faithful and well-done port of the original arcade (Unlike the Genesis version, which isn’t worth buying). Nintendo did have some censorship issues with the game however: all female characters were more conservatively dressed, the Native American enemy characters from Stage 6 were removed and replaced with regular outlaws, and “Chief Scalpem” was renamed “Chief Wigwam”
MUSIC & SOUND
The boss voiceovers are a little muddled but they’re not too bad. The soundtrack is great and the sound effects range from good to hilarious.
This game plays like Contra, but if it was set in the west… and had a healthy sense of humor. The controls are tight and the only real gripe I have has to do with how much faster the bullets move on the SNES version, which makes it far more difficult than the arcade. Especially the final boss Richard Rose. Seriously it’s nearly impossible to kill all his henchmen and dodge his barrage of bullets and not die at least a couple times. I’ve only ever made it to the end a handful of times on the SNES and every time was a challenge (it’s pretty easy on the arcade if you have enough quarters though).
If you like solid shoot em’ ups, enjoy great 2 player games, love pink cowboys, or any combination of the three I highly recommend picking a copy of this game up!
Game Score: 8/10