Retro Review: Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders

Released: 1993

Platform: Super Nintendo

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

SunsetRiders CoverThere aren’t many games set in the Wild West that are generally that well regarded. Certainly Red Dead Redemption would usually be considered the best of the bunch however, I also think Sunset Riders should be mentioned as one of the better cowboy games. Let’s face it what other Wild West game can you run on the back of stampeding bulls?

Sunset Riders is a side scrolling shooter where you can pick one of four characters called Steve, Billy, Bob and Cormano. In effect two characters are the same with Steve and Billy firing a pistol and Bob and Cormano having a rifle and shotgun. You can also bring a friend along and play the game in two player.

My go to guys were always Bob and Cormano mainly because their weapons had a nice spread shot, meaning you could take out more bad guys as opposed to single shot pistols carried by Steve and Billy. Come to think of it I could have been drawn to Cormano because he wore a purple hat, pink poncho and red trousers. In fact all our heroes are obviously making some kind of fashion statement as they wear the most garish clothing and not something a gruff cowboy would be seen dead in.

Each level starts with a wanted poster of the end boss featuring the likes of such nefarious villains as Simon Greedwell, Hawkeye Hank Hatfield and Chief Wigwam. There are different types of enemies from your standard gunslinger, knife wielding maniac and a lunatic who throws dynamite at you.

The gameplay is quite versatile meaning you can shoot in 8 directions, jump and have a handy slide move to get out of trouble and incoming bullets. You can find upgrades allowing you to dual wield weapons and do more damage.

There is also a bonus stage which is a nice break from the action but pretty basic. The objective is to move the cursor where the enemies appear and fire. This can help you get more points to obtain some much needed extra lives. As well as the bonus stage there are levels set on horseback and riding on the back of a train. These add a good amount of variety to the game.

The sound and music are excellent throughout with the tunes having a nice western vibe. There is also some impressive speech for a game released in 1993.

Konami were the kings of these type of games. They released some amazing titles on the SNES such as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels (AKA Contra 3: The Alien Wars), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and Batman Returns. These games made the SNES feel like an arcade machine in your home and as a result they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Graphics – Bright and colourful with some nicely animated sprites. 8

Sound – Great music, sound effects and impressive speech. 8

Playability – Excellent responsive controls and a nice mixture of levels. 8

Re-Playability – Still good fun today, a tough game that will test your skills. 8

Overall – Sunset Riders is still very playable and definitely a game you should seek out for single player or coop action. 8

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and ‘The Same Coin‘)