Yesterday in my summary of the Nintendo Update I said that if Fast Draw Showdown was similar to the old American Laser games then I would immediately purchase it. Well it is, so I did. In fact it’s not only similar, this IS an American Laser game, from 1994 to be specific.
For those who aren’t familiar with the works of American Laser, you are missing out. They were all over that FMV craze in the mid-nineties that lasted about 8 months. They didn’t make what you would ever call good games, but they certainly made entertaining ones. They were entertaining in the same a bad horror movie can be, so terrible that you can’t help but enjoy the experience. They were just about always focused on shooting bad guys who were played by some of the worst actors possibly ever. Bad enough they were relegated to making American Laser games anyway.
I was pretty excited to revisit these days and have a few laughs, while also enjoying some mindless but satisfying gameplay. Sadly, Fast Draw Showdown does not really deliver on either of these counts.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the actual gameplay of Fast Draw Showdown. It never really establishes whom you are supposed to be playing, but they don’t lead a pleasant life because everybody wants them dead. I mean every single person you encounter is incredibly quick to draw a gun on you.
They usually throw a one-liner at you beforehand, such as “I’ve got me some dynamite. But I don’t need it to blow you away.” My personal favourite is this one woman who walks out and just says “Hey” with no real conviction, then just stands there for like 5 seconds before drawing her gun. I guess she was trying to think of something clever to say and then just decided fuck it. That moment provided the best laugh in the game for me.
During these opening sequences you have your gun holstered, which just means you are pointing your Wii Remote down at the floor. After the one-liner you wait for them to reach for their gun, draw (by pointing the Wii remote back up) and then quickly aim and fire. If you draw too early, some dude yells at you. Other than some people requiring two shots to take down, the game never really changes much from this pattern. Occasionally a prostitute comes on screen to encourage you, but that’s about it.
The acting, as expected, is quite poor. However each of the actors usually only has one line, and sometimes even one word, of dialogue so you never get to see how bad they can get.
Obviously there was some compression done in order to make this game an acceptable download size for WiiWare. The graphics and audio are of very low quality, although having not played the original from 1994, this could be how it always was.
There isn’t that many rounds in the game but by the end this thing gets insanely tough. You have barely a second to pull the remote up, aim, and shoot. Once you do beat all of the rounds, there is a Two Player mode (offline only of course) and leaderboards, which are also offline only.
I was hoping to get more entertainment out of this then I did. It’s not a terrible game per say, but I doubt you would play it more than one time. Maybe to show a friend, but it’s not quite cheesy enough to even justify that. Five bucks is a pretty decent price for the amount of entertainment you’re getting, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.