In the early nineties, due to the increased space of compact discs, a new feature was being added to video games, full motion video. That craze ran its course in little time showing that it took more than actual video footage to make a game good, but playing games from this era can often times be humorous. Mad Dog McCree is arguably one of the most popular games that used real video, and Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack on the Nintendo Wii collects the entire Mad Dog McCree series. The package includes Mad Dog McCree, Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold, and The Last Bounty Hunter. They were all developed by American Laser Games and were originally released as arcade games in the early nineties. Digital Leisure, who now owns the American Laser Games catalog of titles, ported the games to the Wii and the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Packwas published by Majesco in 2009.
In Mad Dog McCree, Mad Dog McCree himself has kidnapped a mayor’s daughter and his gang of bandits are running amok in the old west town. An older prospector filled my friend and I in and gave us some advice on where to begin. After this conversation, we were able to pick where we wanted to go, the saloon, the sheriff’s office, etc. In the saloon for instance, the bartender waved us over and told us that the group nearby was Mad Dog’s men and we soon had a shoot out with the bunch. We could shoot them beforehand, but nothing would happen. We had to wait for them to get up and the game to register that they could be killed then and that’s a severe downside of FMV, especially when you know who to shoot. Also, whenever enemies are popping out behind cover, the game hitches for a split second as the footage is being cut of the scene with no one to the scene of that enemy popping out. I don’t really consider that too terrible, I mean it gave us a little heads up to start searching and that’s just how FMV games have to operate, although it was more jarring in Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold when there’d be animals on screen in one spot but then just appear somewhere else instantly.
Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold also had an interesting mechanic that gave my friend and I a choice on how to complete the game. In Mad Dog II, we were again on the trail of Mad Dog McCree, attempting to take him out, but this time with the added bonus of getting his treasure. After some introduction, we had the choice of three characters to lead us to Mad Dog McCree. Each one took us through some unique action sequences, but they all led to the final battle with Mad Dog McCree. The final scene in Mad Dog II was lengthy and challenging. We were led to a small town that was full of Mad Dog’s men. The sequence took a couple of minutes and strewn throughout were civilians who we had to avoid. Quick thought, if I was a civilian and I knew there was a deadly battle raging outside, I probably wouldn’t pop my head out of a window and yell don’t shoot. During this lengthy showdown, there was a part that had my friend and I stumped. We were able to continuously get to a section of the town, and then we’d get shot and we couldn’t find out by whom. We tried for fifteen minutes but to no avail. We finally got on YouTube and found that the enemy was in a door way, in the very back of the scene, barely noticeable.
The last game in the compilation, The Last Bounty Hunter, ditches Mad Dog McCree. Instead, my friend and I were the last, um, bounty hunters and were tasked by a Union Army official during the Civil War to track down some outlaws that have been causing trouble. They could be attempted in any order and we had the option to bring them in dead or alive; alive if we shot their gun instead of them, which is harder said than done. This game was probably the most humorous as each outlaw had a unique personality and the actors who played them overacted. But that’s one of the things that’s great about these games, it seems like every actor overacts and it’s funny to watch with a pal and commentate on how awful they are.
These games don’t take a lot of effort to beat, they are practically built on trial and error, and while I usually don’t find that enjoyable, I was able to persist with these games if only to see the overacting. My friend and I were determined to beat all the games in one sitting and it took us an hour or two, searching YouTube included. The actual game part is okay, staring at a screen, waiting for an enemy to pop up isn’t the most thrilling action video games have to offer, but having someone else with you, taking out the bad guys, watching explosions in slow motion, and chastising the acting is worth tracking down the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack for the Wii.