By Chuck Allen
I'll start off with the presentation as honestly that is the strongest thing this title has going for it: the music is perfect as it makes you feel like you are in an old western movie like Tombstone or No Mercy. The stages have good design with all of the stereotypical western settings like saloons, canyons, and train chases all with destructible environments. The enemies you encounter are nothing special but look decent. Aside from generic cowboys, you encounter crazed grave diggers, Indians, and crazy midgets with dynamite strapped to their bodies. After you play through the first two levels, though, you'll soon come to realize there are only about 7-9 different enemies that you'll encounter as it starts to become repetitive.
Carrying on, the other good aspect of this game is the controls. Targeting is made a breeze with highly responsive pointer mechanics. Not once did I ever blame a missed shot on the controls. I have to say that the response between the wiimote and the sensor bar is much better than the only other shooter I played on the Wii, Umbrella Chronicles. In Wild West Guns there is no la g between your movements or inputs in correspondence with what's taking place on the screen.
So where does this game fall short? Replay value and, to put it bluntly, interesting game play. There are only six levels which have three stages each. However, they all have the same setup: a target stage, then a different target stage, then a shoot-the-bandits stage. While there a few other varieties like shooting balloons instead of targets or keeping a can in the air, by the time you get to the second or third level, you'll find yourself asking the question: "Didn't I just do that?" On top of this, several of the same settings are used multiple times.
There isn't much in the way of challenge either. Until the fourth level, you can't die. At all. I know it's supposed to be an arcade style shooter, but it just makes the game feel like it has no point when you can take 50 shots and still live. You also never have to reload, either. It's like going back in time to the Civil War and being armed with full body armor, an AK-47, and a bazooka. It seems like this game was perhaps made more for the multiplayer experience: seeing who's a better shot and can get the higher score. The single player game has no replay value as after beating the 6 levels presented in about an hour and a half or less for most players, there is nothing to bring you back for individual play.
Final Verdict - 5/10
Wild West Guns is best looked at as perhaps a good first attempt. It has good settings and sound to suck you in to the Wild West theme, but the actual gameplay just falls short. The controls are great and responsive, but the game itself is just too repetitive and gets boring quickly. If more variety had been added then perhaps a higher score could have been given.