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Westerado: Double Barreled Review: Fastest Pixel in the West
At first glance, Westerado: Double Barreled is just a pixelated spaghetti western with a silly name. The longer you glance, the harder that feeling sets in. Developed by Ostrich Banditos, the latest game to be published by Adult Swim Games takes the style of the third-person top-down RPG of yore and combines it with an overly-dramatized and often fourth wall-breaking western revenge story. For those “in-the-know,” this is a remake of a 2013 browser-based title originally just named Westerado.
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac)
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Developer: Ostrich Banditos
Genre: RSWRRPG: Retro Spaghetti Western Revenge RPG
Release Date: April 16, 2015
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Westerado: Double Barreled is wonderfully over the top with its multiple endings and stories. In addition to four characters (three of which you unlock during play), who you kill and don’t kill seems to change the story. There are also lots of pop culture and western references hidden around the world and in dialogue options. Reading through written old-west accents was a little strange at first but once you get used to it, it does add to the off-beat charm of the game.
Westerado has the look and feel of an old 8-bit RPG like Legend of Zelda. You can walk about anywhere around the open world and explore. You can, in fact, shoot anyone your twisted heart desires. You can chat with the inhabitants of Westerado. There’s some helpful dialogue and if you miss it the first time, much of it repeats (just like the old days!). Killing people like quest givers and characters centered around plot points can make the game more difficult, end missions, and/or give you achievements. It is totally worth playing around with free will in this game, and its relative short playthrough time makes it less risky if you want to try different choices.
The aiming, movement, and attack controls of this game are simple and unique. Your character can only look/aim left and right. This limits some shooting ability, but all of your attacks are ranged so you only have to worry about two directions when things get hairy. This makes the game a little faster paced all around given that no one is flanking on two out of four possible angles. Objectively, it functions a little like a 2D side-scroller or platformer, but one that does not have vertical attack abilities. There is also a draw-cock-fire order that you have to follow. You can’t do one before the other and running makes your character automatically put your gun away. Paying attention to running and dodging bullets and whether or not your gun has already been pulled out can trip you up and lead to “losing your hat” – also known as getting shot.
Overall, Westerado: Double Barreled is a fun game and worth the time and money investment. It looks old (in a nice way). It plays smoothly, and has a fair amount of replayability. The game even sounds great with what appear to be live instrumentalists listed in the credits. It is certainly worth having in your collection and gives a few laughs along the way.
Review Disclosure: A review copy of Westerado: Double Barreled was provided by Adult Swim Games for the purposes of this review.
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