Wild Guns is an arcade-style experience from the days of the SNES that sees you dodging enemy bullets while simultaneously attempting to gun down everything you can in a single screen shooting gallery. Natsume’s work on porting the game to modern systems without significantly altering the experience is excellent, offering a wider (though not 16:9) resolution, tight controls, the preserved original aesthetic, and two new playable characters and new stages.
If my star rating seems low for the compliments I’ve paid the game so far, that’s mostly because Wild Arms is... well, for me, a bit of a dated experience. It’s absolutely fun in very short bursts, but I don’t really personally have the attention span to keep at it for lengthy periods, as the core gameplay is about as basic as you might expect from an early 90s arcade-style experience. I don’t mean to say it’s shallow, as point-chasers will find plenty of opportunities to come up with strategies on how to maximize their scores; but for me, personally, that sort of game doesn’t hold my interest for long. I’ve also always preferred light guns over d-pads (or analog sticks) for this kind of gallery shooter, which is another reason I have a difficult time latching on to Wild Guns in this day and age. One final somewhat negative point is that given the vast gulf between the top scorers on the PC leaderboards and the next highest batch, I think there may be some cheating going on, if that’s the sort of thing that matters to you.
Do I recommend this game? Absolutely, if you’re the kind of person who’s into this sort of gallery shooter. It’s certainly one of the better examples of the genre, released at the height of that sort of game’s popularity, and as I mentioned, Natsume’s modern port is very well done. But I can also only really recommend it to those who are specifically fans of, nostalgic for, or curious about these types of gallery shooters. For myself, while it’s something I’ll certainly play for fifteen minutes now and then going forward, I’m not really the type of gamer who can get the most out of it.