Back in 1994, an arcade game was made called Fast Draw Showdown, that for the first time, allowed you to draw a gun in a duel against a lifelike opponent in the American Old West. It was a successful machine that can still be found in a few arcades today. If you can’t find one in an arcade, or find an arcade, you can always download the game on the Nintendo Wii’s Wiiware Channel which just re-released it for 500 Nintendo Points.
Fast Draw Showdown is a western quick draw game that capitalizes on the most underused genre in video gaming, the old west. The object of the game is to simply outdraw your opponent. Each opponent has their own qualities such as speed or accuracy, as well a s quirks that tip off when to draw.
The presentation for Fast Draw Showdown was great in 1994, and still is in 2010. The game was originally made using laserdisc technology, (ah the 90’s) which allowed for actors to be filmed into the game. Therefore everything in the game is REAL. The sounds in the game are also top notch as it is all recorded from real sounds. There is corny western music in the game which adds to an “old west” mystique to the game.
The controls on the Wii version emulate the original game. In the arcade, the controller was a six shooter replica that had to be inserted in a holster before drawing. After drawing, you would aim the gun at the enemy and fire as quickly as possible. In the WiiWare version, the revolver is replaced by the Wiimote, and the holster is replaced by simply pointing the Wiimote down. This may be the thing I like least about this game as the Wiimote does not feel good emulating the six shooter, and buying a gun add on like the Perfect Shot will not work with this game.
The gameplay is good, but not as good as the arcade version. The core elements from the arcade version are well ported, making for a fun arcade experience. The enemies are portrayed by corny actors which gives the game a camp appeal that can only come from the 1990’s. The difficulty increases manage to provide each gunslinger with a challenging experience. One of the few misses comes from a lack of an add on accessory. The port also misses from the original with the lack of a holster, which makes it easier to win but less true to the original, as it will shave time off your draw time. You can also cheat the game by simply pointing close to, but not on the screen, shaving further precious time it takes to draw and fire.
Despite its few shortcomings, Fast Draw Showdown is still a solid game to own on the Wiiware. The game is well made and has a cheap price of only 500 Nintendo Points, or $5. It’s difficult to find a game so well made, that creates a fun experience for such an inexpensive price. This is what makes Fast Draw Showdown a very recommendable game.
Game review by Anthony Lifrieri.
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