Mad Dog McCree was corny, is corny, and always will be corny. It's a poorly acted interactive video-based game that's halfway between a rubbish Time Crisis-style blaster and an Uwe Boll movie.
It's a game that is, for whatever reason, released over and over again, occupying platform after platform with its dumb dialogue, rickety sets and tedious gameplay. It's now on the 3DS's eShop service and it'll cost you just under a fiver to experience its cult "charms".
What are ya buying Stranger? (not this)
Set in the Wild West, the game casts you as The Stranger: a gun slinger that happens upon a town in trouble. The titular bandit has kidnapped the mayor and his daughter, and it's up to you to rescue them.
Along the way you'll meet a poorly portrayed barman, a poorly portrayed crazy guy, a poorly portrayed bank owner, and a whole host of other characters played by terrible actors.
The barman is particularly shocking - apparently he was the only one who didn't read the note in the script that read: "when addressing the player, look directly at the camera, and not the cameraman stood behind it".
The story is paper thin, but it's used to facilitate the gunplay. A pity, then, that the gunplay is just as bad.
This town ain't big enough for the two of us
Aiming is handled by pressing the stylus on the bottom screen and tapping to shoot the opponents up top. Often you'll miss enemies because there's no direct relationship between your input and the reticle on the screen above.
It also doesn't explain its minimal mechanics to you. For instance: there are randomly interspersed quick draws where you need to be the first to shoot, lest you meet your maker. The game fails to tell you that you need to press the reload button first, leading to a good five minutes of playtime wasted while you try to figure this out.
Still, at least those five minutes draw out what is otherwise an exceptionally short game. There are under ten stages to work through, each lasting minutes a piece. Enemies pop out of the same locations, and often it's a case of just memorising where they'll appear.
You can't shoot at the bad guys before the game lets you either. In the saloon scene (with our good friend the barman), you're threatened by a group of thugs who are sat at a nearby table. You know they're enemies, you know you have to dispatch them, but you can't do so until a set point in the video footage. It's maddening.
The footage is grainy but smooth, though there are odd sound issues that pop up occasionally. Voice clips end abruptly and one of the bank robbers you put down somehow speaks like Soundwave due to what must presumably be a recording issue.
To cap it all off, the final boss is one of the most disappointing in all video games. One shot, he's gone – boring. Oh! But is he dead? Who's that man riding off into the distance? Could it be him? Who cares?
The one thing the game has going for it is that it's cheap. If you've never played the title and you're interested in the history of the form (especially Laser Disc games) then maybe give it a spin at this price. If you're interested in playing an entertaining video game though, this is not for you. Not by a long shot.
There, that's the best thing to come out of Mad Dog McCree: a rubbish pun in a scathing review.