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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur: Oo ee oo ee oooo wah-Wah-wah

Mario

Mario

By John Kane IIIStaff Writer

Red Dead Revolver/Publisher: Rockstar/ PS2/ $19.99/ ESRB: M(Mature)

We were having a face-off in the middle of the dry dusty road. Our eyes were focused on each other. Tunnel vision had set in. I could vaguely hear the boots running along the rooftops of the buildings on either side of us. I don’t know if what I heard were spurs jingling or rifles cocking. His hand twitched towards the pistol grip sticking out of his holster. I jammed down on the control stick and brought my revolver up to bear. I hit R1 once, twice, three times watching as the last shot caught him in the arm, spinning him around before he crumpled to the ground like an old rag doll. Shots rang out from the abandoned buildings lining the road. Someone wasn’t happy that I had the faster draw.

If Clint Eastwood was in a video game this would be it. In fact the main character and the box art look strikingly similar to a certain gun totin’ lawman. Red Dead Revolver is the wild west game we’ve all been waiting for. No making your home on the range, no justice seeking lawmen, and no freshly bathed banditos. It’s just you, your guns, and raw action. The game engine is basically Grand Theft Auto with no cars, just runnin’, climbin’, and shootin’. Red Dead Revolver is made by Rockstar San Diego, a division of Rockstar North home of Grand Theft Auto. I wouldn’t expect anything less than the quality found in this game from them.

The action of the game focuses around a Bounty Hunter named Red. When Red was young raiders killed his family after his father returned from the gold rush with a fortune. Years later Red has grown up to be a bounty hunter, and after rescuing a small town from the Ugly Gang, he goes to Brimstone to make money and eventually finds the people responsible for killing his family. Along the way you take control of other people that Red meets to give the story a little depth. The freakiest level has to be when you take control of British sharp shooter Jack Swift and take out Professor Perry’s twisted circus. Imagine a small town overrun with maniacally giggling dwarves in clown make-up armed with magnums. The rest of the game is pretty much a strait up western complete with music that makes you feel as though Turner Classic Movies is having an all day John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Clint Eastwood Marathon and your at the helm.

Of course, because you are a bounty hunter the game is all about making money so you can buy more and better weapons between each level. There are multiple types of enemies in the game and each one is worth a certain amount of money. On top of that you get more money depending on where you shoot them and how many times. For example, a shot in the arm is 6 dollars, a bullet in the leg is 4 dollars, and a headshot is a whopping 8 dollars. The most interesting aspect of the game, though, and the one that I think helps convey the feeling of being in a western style shoot out, is the ability to “attach” yourself to cover. Basically, you can attach yourself to a piece of cover, like a short wall or an overturned cart, and you will automatically duck down behind it. The character will stay behind or around that piece of cover until you detach him. While your there you can set up your shots then lean over or around your protection and empty all six chambers on your Peacemaker. To facilitate your hunt for fugitives you can carry three weapons, a pistol, a riffle, and a thrown weapon (either dynamite or a knife) plus any weapons some bandits you run into happen to not need anymore.

The music in the game is awesome, almost as if it were ripped directly from the soundtrack to a Sam Peckinpah movie. The graphics are not as good as Rockstar’s newer release GTA San Andreas, but the slightly rugged feel to the character models adds to the atmosphere. All the weapons in the game are realistic and the programs and designers managed to capture the feeling of using them in a wild west style shoot out perfectly. This game is one of the best I have played all year. I have one problem with it. The difficulty varies greatly level to level. Rather than having a steady climb in increased difficulty peaking with near impossible heights you will have an easy level followed by a near impossible level followed by a medium level. Besides that small problem the game is perfect. Jimmy Stewart may have gotten credit for shooting Liberty Valence but he ain’t got nothin’ on me!

John Kane III is the Photography Editor of The Mass Media. All opinions expressed in this column are his own. He can be reached at [email protected]. Oo ee oo ee oooo wah-Wah-wah. The theme from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, is copyright Ennio Morricone.