Tag Archives: mad dog mccree

Her Story [PC] – Review

Her Story

It’s no surprise that my playthrough of Her Story was unique. After all, it’s the type of game that walks the tightrope between video games and more generally, an interactive experience. In my case, it was a cooperative playthrough with a friend. We had returned from a local independent theatre after watching Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, a riotous Japanese language film. (Wowzidukes! This article is going to earn me so much hipster cred!) I rarely play PC games so this was somewhat unusual but I’d heard much of it through social media word of mouth and gaming sites last week, plus it was only five bucks. It was a good plunge to take too, as the game provided a fun cooperative experience.

The presentation of the game was top-notch. Notice the light glare on the CRT monitor!
The presentation of the game was top-notch. Notice the light glare on the CRT monitor!

Her Story revolves around a series of interviews that the police conducted with a British woman whose husband was found dead in 1994. These were filmed at the time but for whatever reason, are no longer able to view in their entirety. Instead the player can interact with a police computer and search a database that retrieves clips based on search terms or phrases. The corresponding video clips seemed to average about thirty seconds in length. It’s unclear what ever became of the woman and the police’s investigation, but it’s implied that’s what the player’s character is after and serves as motivation for the player.

The way the game is presented is nostalgic. The police computer that the player interacts with appears to be running a dated version of Windows on an equally ancient CRT monitor. When a search is conducted, it takes a second for the computer to produce the results and the work it performs is audible. The player isn’t locked to a single program however as there are a few .txt documents and a “rubbish bin” with a minigame on the desktop. Crucially, all of the video footage is rendered as full-motion video. FMV tends to be a divisive issue in terms of video games, but the execution of it here is perhaps the best example I’ve seen, even beating out the Mad Dog McCree trilogy!

The police computer in question, with the woman in question.
The police computer in question, with the woman in question.

I’ll save any sort of plot spoilers or ruminations for another article. The way everything played out led to a lot of discussion between my friend and I. After our initial playthrough, there were two obvious ways everything could’ve happened, but I think we’re still undecided on the truth. I’m looking forward to replaying it with him so we can take detailed notes and reach a verdict. That in itself is hardy praise for Her Story. I feel confident enough with my theory on what happened that I’d be satisfied enough to move on, but I want to fire it up again, and definitely will this weekend. It’s well worth a look.

Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack – Review

Don't forget, Mad Dog's wearing a bullet-proof vest.

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.

Nailing the enemy in the distance. Often times, the bad guys appeared in difficult to spot areas and this usually led to trial and error.

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.

Rescuing Buckskin Bonnie in Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold

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.

In Between Posts, April 25, 2011

Let’s see, posted two things last week: my review of the Final Fantasy XII collector’s edition and my review of The Legend of Zelda. It’s satisfying for me to post more than one article per week, but this week might not be one of those weeks.

The games I’ve been focusing on are the same two for the past couple of weeks, Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. Two important things in Animal Crossing: City Folk this week. Yesterday was Bunny Day, which means Zipper T. Bunny came and hid eggs. I was able to find them all and completed the egg furniture set. The second important thing I did was plant a lot of trees, like, twenty plus. They’re all oranges which is a nonnative fruit in my town which means they bring big Bells from Tom Nook, plus they’ll improve my town’s environment.

I was very close to quitting Ogre Battle 64 since talking about it last week. I failed a couple of times on a mission in particular and eventually redid my battalions so that each one would have a cleric and that helped immensely. Now that I have clerics in each battalion, I have had very few deaths and the past few missions haven’t been too difficult.

Besides the status quo of Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, I played a few co-op missions of Killzone 3. The early missions were set in a destroyed city, which was very drab, but the game played phenomenally. My friend bought the Helghast Edition and the items that came with it seemed quite cool. We also played through and completed Mad Dog McCree. I bought the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack for the Wii which has all three Mad Dog McCree games, so once I’ve completed the other two, expect a review.

The one sure thing that I’ll post this week (besides this) will be my review of Truth or Lies. Like I said last week, I have a completed review of Devil May Cry 4, but I want to compose a review of the collector’s edition first so I can post both around the same time.