An exclusive release for the Super Nintendo, Wild Guns was one of those titles that took an existing formula and polished it to brilliant levels. Inspired from arcade side scrolling arena shooters like Cabal, Natusme's console release had it all; Wild Guns was a Co-op Western Steampunk gallery shooter with slick controls, amazing aesthetic, and a rewarding challenge.
Players control their character through arena style stages where movement is only limited to left and right; vertical movement comes from agile jumps - absolutely essential when dodging an onslaught of enemy fire. There's a cursor onscreen which acts as a targeting reticle, and this can be controlled to shoot down foes or even lasso them for a moment's breather. It's interesting to point out that Wild Guns probably had the most destructible environment in any SNES game, and behind the bottles and neon signs, there are a wealth of secrets to find. At the end of each stage, players will encounter massive bosses for a great twitch based finale of frantic shooting, rolling, and leaping.
As a re-release, changes include new stages with their own bosses, a wider variety of weapons, online rankings, and the addition of 4 player single-screen gameplay. And just to be thorough, Natsume has thrown in 2 new characters, a daschund who controls an attack drone, and a really buff baby faced woman who could actually just be a really buff baby ;)
To see that after 22 years, and completely out of the blue, having this cult title recieve a revival in Wild Guns: Reloaded is a wonderful thing for gamers. In the landscape of overly cinematic unfulfilling handholding quasi-narrative driven fetch quests that seem to be the popular at the moment, it's games like this that remind us of what games use to be: pure fun!