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Fast Draw Showdown - WiiWare Review

Game Info
Fast Draw Showdown

WiiWare | Digital Leisure | 1 Player / 2 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
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27th January 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Quick, think fast! Fast Draw Showdown, Digital Leisure's latest WiiWare project, is a re-release of a light gun game that appeared in the arcades over 10 years ago. Continuing with the appeal in Mad Dog McCree, the developers hope that this release will draw out old and new audiences on the WiiWare service. Although it may not be the most solid WiiWare title out there, Fast Draw Showdown still provides a good amount of fun for only 500 points. 

The entire game is played through FMV sequences where you face off in fast-draw showdowns against western opponents. The game plays out in a series of rounds which are comprised of 6 match-ups each. To move onto the next round, you must defeat all of your opponents without sustaining a hit or getting a foul. You'll face off against some pretty silly characters who want to put a bullet in you for no apparent reason! In some events, there will be two or even three characters on the screen and only one of these (or both) will end up firing. In other cases, some characters will have two bullets and will try to get you just when you think they're done for good. Do you think you're ready to step up to the challenge?

Accurate pointer controls serve as a perfect fit coming from the arcade version. At the start of a showdown, you're required to holster your gun or, in this case, your Wii Remote. You'll need to point the Wii Remote downwards and when the time is right, you quickly aim your cursor at the screen and fire with the B Button. Over time you'll learn how to handle the Wii Remote for best results. For example, you may decide to leave it at your waist and simply tilt upwards quickly when you need to draw. Either way, you'll need to brush up on your skills as you progress with opponents getting harder with each round. By the time you reach Round 6, you'll really need to have some quick reflexes to take on the more swift opponents as you get closer to defeating the Fast Draw champion. If you stick with it and challenge rivals over and over again, you'll eventually figure out how to defeat them.

When playing on Easy, you'll have visual cues that tell you when you need to holster and when you're allowed to draw your gun. On the normal difficulty, though, you'll need to rely on your eyes, watching for any sudden movements that your rival makes towards their gun. For those who are up for something a bit more challenging, Hard mode will make it so that your firearm will only have one or two bullets in it, requiring even more accuracy. If you're not careful, some opponents will psych you out by moving their hands ever so slightly towards their holster without actually picking the gun up. Any slight movement of the Wii Remote can get recognized and if you go too early, a clip will play and Wes (the fast draw champion) will tell you to put your gun back in your holster. If you make a mistake more than once by drawing when you're not supposed to, this can count towards a Foul and will prevent you from clearing the Round. Not all of the characters will act immediately and so just waiting for them to draw can make you a bit giddy. Others will be standing at a considerable distance away from you requiring a little more accuracy. But having this mix of both speed and range makes gameplay that much more interesting.

Many of the game's elements focus on the idea of obtaining bragging rights and defeating opponents as quickly as possible. With each rival you face, the screen will have a 'Target Time' that you'll need to beat in order to win, 'Your Time' which will display your results after drawing, and a 'Best Time' which shows the current record for this particular event. Really impressive draws are awarded in the game by having your initials displayed every time you get to a specific match on the menu. Whenever you beat a high-score, an animation of a female character will play shortly after the showdown, encouraging you to keep pressing forward to prove your skills. Additionally, there's a separate option that exists on the Main Menu which lists the Top 10 fastest draws that have been made in the whole game. These elements give players something to strive for and even when playing in the same room as a friend, it can be fun to romp through to see if either of you can beat the local high-scores.

To that end, the game also features modes for two players where you can see who really is the fastest drawer. The multiplayer option features 'Quick Draw' mode where two players take turns, facing off against the same rival to see who can get the better time. In 'Showdown' mode, you and a friend play simultaneously where the first one to get the kill is crowned the winner for that match. These modes definitely have an arcade feel to them and they're great inclusions. It's a bit unfortunate that 4-player support wasn't added. Even though this wasn't included in the original arcade title, now that it's on the Wii, 4-player support would've worked well for an even stronger multiplayer appeal. Still, because the game doesn't take itself too seriously, the game is great even for a couple laughs with a friend from time to time. 

Being an older arcade game from 1994, the visuals show their age a bit, but really, one shouldn't expect astounding visuals. Clips can be a bit jumpy at times, particularly when participating in shootouts where your rival has two bullets in his firearm. At times you'll notice footage that isn't as crisp as you'd hope, but most won't pay much attention to it after a while. When playing, players need to be careful not to press the - Button accidentally, as this button is used to quit. Rather than giving you a warning screen, you'll be jumped straight back to the Main Menu, forcing you to start all over again. Nevertheless, all of these issues can be overlooked since the game is never hampered by any of the aforementioned flaws.

Even as an old game from the 1990's, it still carries some level of appeal in this day and age. For only 500 Points, you're getting a nice little diversion that you can play once in a while and still have some fun. You're bound to come back to this even just playing by yourself, aiming for new records and faster draws. Not to mention, too, that the single-player option can get really challenging and many will feel motivated to face off in the final showdown with the fast drawer champion. When playing with a friend, you're bound to have some good fun trying to outperform each other and just having a laugh at some of the movie clips. No matter how you look at it, the game is still a good buy for just 500 Points.

23/30 - Good

Gameplay 8/10 - Simple yet fun concept, challenges solo players, a lot to "aim" for, controls work perfectly
Presentation 7/10 - Not the most stunning title but for only $5 you can't complain, played entirely through decent-looking FMV clips
Enjoyment 4/5 - Sustainable single-player experience, doesn't take itself too seriously, good for laughs amongst buddies, fun multiplayer
Extra Content 4/5 - Great multiplayer, high-score focused: best draws for each event and Top 10 fastest draws overall

Equivalent to a score of 77% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Fast Draw Showdown
Review | Screenshot gallery | Trailer | Preview | Feature | Interview


Review by KnucklesSonic8

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