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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by South Peak

Ups: None to speak of.

Downs: Mediocre graphics, mediocre sound, terrible controls, dumb puzzles. Worse than the movie, even.

System Reqs:
Pentium 200, 32 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, 3D card.


Gamers beware!  There is great darkness looming on the horizon.  There is an evil force laying in wait for you, just around the corner hoping to catch you off guard and unaware.  Heed my warning.  Don’t be lead astray for you could face the greatest trial of your life when you least expect it.  That is why we, the select, must remain ever vigilant for our brothers and for ourselves.  Divided we are weak, but united we are STRONG.

Every gamer has gone to the store looking for an exciting new game and found after returning home that they have been duped into purchasing the biggest bomb of the year.  Well ladies and gentleman here it is; and it is called Wild Wild West.

Wild Wild West, developed by South Peak Interactive, is by far one of the most frustrating, uneventful, boring, and sad games that I have had the privilege to spend some time with.  But I am forgetting myself, perhaps it would be better to start from the beginning.  Let me lead you through the sorry tale of two noble heroes trapped in an adventure gone horribly, horribly wrong.

You come on the scene shortly after the final showdown with Loveless.  As select members of the President of the United States' Secret Service your job is to protect the president from a new would-be assassin.  Your job is to solve the mystery and discover the identity of the would-be assassin before it is too late.  To do this, you alternate between Jim West and Artemus Gordon, playing each successive mission as the other character.  Both West and Gordon have special skills and weapons that make each character very different from the other.  While Jim West usually throws down with a variety of exotic weaponry; Artemus Gordon is more likely to dress up like a woman to get around with out catching the attention of his adversaries.

The idea behind this game is good, unfortunately it is only good in theory.  The actual game itself leaves much to be desired.  The play control is horrible.  The characters are difficult to control, and the weapons require more patience than can be expected for the gamers of today.  While your character wanders aimlessly across the screen (oblivious to the shots raining down around them) you must wait “forever” for the target display to slowly shrink around the target before you can fire.  Of course you can fire whenever you like, but your chances of hitting anything before the target “locks” are nil.  When the target has “locked” on target your chances of actually hitting the target jump up slightly.

The choice of weapons available is acceptable, but nothing to really get excited about.  There are not that many to choose from, and ammo is extremely limited for the exotic weapons.  Also, some of the items and weapons listed don’t seem to be accessible.  They are available on the shelf to choose from, but have a “broken” sign hanging from them.  There does not appear to be any way to fix these items, maybe they are there to whet the appetite for an upcoming sequel. God help us.

The graphics are decent, but nothing to write home about.  This is a 3D game, but aside from the character renderings the scenery isn’t all that interesting.  The best way to describe it is to imagine a combination of MYST and a side scrolling action game.  The pictures are kind of pretty but the action is very, VERY limited.  Most of the game is spent lazily moving the mouse around the screen looking for items to look at closer or treasures to pick up for use later in the game.

What goes well with mediocre visual effects?  You guessed it!  It's mediocre sound effects.  The weapon sound effects are OK, but like everything else in this game, they could have, and probably should have, been redone to make them more realistic and powerful.  The musical score is more annoying then anything else and doesn’t seem to lend itself to the different environments.  The character dubbing is fair.  Yet the voice actors don’t really sound anything like Will Smith or Kevin Kline, but I am sure that they tried: that counts for something, right?

The only thing that this game does do well is the cutscenes between each level.  Each completed area leads to a cutscene, which can be entertaining.  It’s probably a good thing that these cutscenes are done well, since they take up about a quarter of the entire game.  

The levels in Wild Wild West are short and not very involved for the most part.  Some of the puzzles are a bit tricky, OK, it was only one puzzle, but it’s been a long time since I had to know all the presidents.  In all seriousness, there are a few thought provoking puzzles buried in this game, but even a few thought provoking puzzles couldn’t even come close to saving this game from ruin.  It appears that this game, like so many others, was rushed out by a company that is not very serious about games or gamers.  It is an ill-disguised attempt to sell a bad game under the guise of a mediocre western movie that came out to moderate success because of the star-filled cast.

To summarize: this game is pretty much the most horrible thing that I have ever had the pleasure to load on my computer.  Give me Ghostbusters on the old Commodore 128 any day.  The few puzzles that were remotely thought-provoking and sometimes entertaining combined with cute cut scenes can’t hope to make up for the sheer horribleness of this game.  Giving this title one star is being generous in my opinion.  The only reason that it warrants any merit at all are the cut scenes, the 2 puzzles that were reasonably interesting, and the retail box looks pretty cool.  In other words, don’t buy this for someone that you like.  However, if you have any enemies that you really want to get back at, wrap up this baby and send it to them.  I am sure that it will have the desired effect.

--Ben Moore