Sunday, January 17, 2016

Below the Cut: Cowboy Kid (NES)

Interesting art direction (Source: Wikipedia)
Cowboy Kid - Rating(5 RPP)
1) 0 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 0 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 1 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 2 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 1 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 1 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

Welcome to the wild west, where if you have money, health, and stores, you get to call the game an RPG. Simply put, the game hides its levels by placing the duty of sheriff on a new stranger in town, and you select a "quest" to capture a bandit. Put another way, it's a simple action game with no character development, combat based solely on weapons, and even some scrolling-shooter levels. I can only imagine someone was confused by the inventory plus health related items and slightly open world, and decided that was enough to label it as having RPG-elements. This categorization has since been corrected on MobyGames.

The setting is interesting for an RPG, and one that's hardly ever used to my knowledge. It seems a wild west RPG is ripe for the making. The only RPG that comes to mind is the Wild ARMs series, but an action-RPG based on the western theme seems to be missing.


  1. The old style Hollywood Western is dead, with it comes the so-called Neo-Western where racism and other sensitivities come in to play (This year we have The Revenant and Hateful Eight).

    I don't think too many people will want to step foot in this genre right now... It can be done well, but the writers would have to be careful and take a hint at how current movies are doing it (i.e., don't do it like The Lone Ranger). Cowboys and Indian days are over, or perhaps should be.

    Having said all that, the best "western" RPG I've played was on the PC, Fallout: New Vegas (hence the quotes around western... sure, it's the future with robots, but it's the closest to wild west gun-slinging RPG I've ever had). Red Dead Redemption is a "real" western, though isn't an RPG. Now on the console... I've got nothing. Call of Juarez looks like it could fit the bill...

    1. I suppose the western setting lends itself more towards gun-slinging shooters. Gun is another game that came up early in culling my list, but I cut it before I started making posts for cut games.

  2. This bastard has been collecting dust on the shelf of my local video game story. I think they're asking like $95 for it.

    As for Wild West games, Gunple: Gunman’s Proof comes to mind. Though I suppose that's more of a Zelda-like action-adventure than a true action-RPG.

    1. That's quite steep. Looking online though, that's actually a good deal if it's in great condition.

      I've seen Gunple played, but didn't consider it for this blog since it didn't get a US release. One of these years I should do a short review of all the games we've missed that never made it overseas.