Yee-ha! Ride 'em cowboy! Yes siree, all the thrills and spills of a wild west rodeo moseys on into town courtesy of Buffalo Bill himself. Six events, play them individually or as a series -the choice is yours, out to test your ability to be a rootin' tootin'son of the west.
Try your hand at knife throwing and see your beautiful assistant spiked on the rotating board (whoops!). Pointing the sights at the place you want the knife to land (careful now...), but don't forget that the board turns. If you miss the horse in the paddock laughs at you!
Next comes trick shooting; time to get your pistol out and have a shot at the baddie targets as they rise and tall from the ground. But it's no good getting trigger happy with these targets, you might just shoot the teddy bear out of the hands of an innocent little girl who just happens to be strolling by!
Calf-roping is another wild west favourite; ride your horse to the side of the call and simply lasso it with the rope. But it's easier said than done, and many a CRASH writer has ended up in the dirt! Bronco riding is really funny to watch but not so amusing when is you being thrown off a bucking horse!
Steer wrestling is the next event, and this seems impossible; jumping from a galloping horse and clinging to a rampaging steer for dear life cannot be classed under 'fun'! The last stage - the grand finale - is a good stage coach rescue. The hero rides up against a speeding coach, jumps onto its side, climbs up and beats an indian in a fist light to rescue the lair maiden.
This is all good wild west fun and I am totally addicted. The graphics are excellent, with colourful detailed back drops, well drawn animated sprites and action just bunting out of every event. There is a good dose of country style tunes and plenty of hoot-trotting effects. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Rodeo Show is a fantastic game whether you play it on your own or with a group of friends.
Just when you thought it was safe to forget the sports simulation... Well, it's not really a sports sim I suppose, if only because the idea behind this multiple event challenge is so original. It's great; the events are as difficult as any other multi-eventer (there's three skill levels as well!). The graphics are fine, the sound's very atmospheric on the 128, and the gameplay is wildly addictive. All topped off with marvellous presentation - it's great!
£8.95 cass/£14.99 disk
Reviewer: Duncan MacDonald
Well, this would be an ideal chance for me to say 'whoop' and go all cowboyish on you, but I'm afraid I can't - purely because Buffalo Bill's Rodeo Games is a bit of a whoop-free zone. Ho hum. Oh, all right then, I'll force myself. Here goes... whooooog!! Nope, I'll have another go... Whooob. Oh dear, it's impossible. Here's why...
After a rather nice loading screen and a rather jolly front end you get to choose which of the six multiload sub-games you want to play. In reality, I'd now choose none of them, but let's pretend (for the sake of this review) that I've chosen all six. Here they are, and why not? Erm, I can think of lots of reasons actually (Stop whinging and get on with it. Ed). Um, here are the games...
There's quite a nice, colourful backdrop with a canyon, some teepees and a 'boss' (that's Wild West speak for horse). On the right of the screen there's a large, spinning, wooden disc, with a Squaw attached to it. Move your crosshair sights over the disc, press fire, and hope that during the resulting one and a half seconds between the release of your knife and its arrival at the spinning disc, the squaw hasn't got her head or one of her limbs in the way. This is mildly engaging for three shots... then it isn't. I found aiming your knife directly at her belly was the best bet. You can't miss, and you get to go onto the next load ...
Again there's a nice backdrop and the idea is to position your crosshairs over the baddies who pop out of the ground (but not over the 'innocents' - the women, children and cowboys with their hands up) and shoot them before they pop back down again. It's a bit like the FBI rogues gallery, but a lot crapper. Let off 30 rounds and it's off to the next bit in which a little cowboy bungs bottles into the air. Crosshairs over the bottles time, Spec-chums. The real 'trick' in 'Trick' Shooting is how to move onto the next game as quickly as possible. I found that aiming the crosshairs at the sky and pressing the fire button 60 times in rapid succession worked a treat. But then it was onto...
A viewed-from-above horizontal scroller. The screen moves at a constant speed from right to left while the calf stays in the middle and moves up and down - what you have to do is position yourself next to (above) the calf and throw your lasso around its neck. Oh, and avoid the obstacles on the track at the same time. Snare the beef, or crash into an obstacle, and you can have another go or load the next game (as with all the sections).
Whoooook!! No, I still can't do it. Another nice backdrop with a large, nicely animated, bucking bronco in the middle. Atop this 'hoss' (you're learning) sits, erm, you! To the right of the screen lies a 'balance-ometer' which, essentially, is four bars. One up, one down, one to the left and one to the right. These bars are full and you want to keep them that way. So if one starts to dip to the left, you have to push your joystick to the right to compensate for it (and fill it up again). If any of the bars become empty then it's onto the dust with you. Which is quite handy, as you can load in the next game ...
A viewed-from-above scroller like Calf Roping, but without any obstacles. Erm, except for the steer itself. Ride your 'hoss' until you're next to the steer, press fire, and, if you're fortunate enough not to end up chewing the dirt, you'll find yourself on a different screen - just you and the steer viewed from the front. And it's joystick waggling time, when speed of waggle sees you wrestling the steer to the ground. Waggle waggle waggle waggle waggle waggle waggle crunch. Oh dear. Time to load up the last section while I get a new stick plugged in ...
STAGE COACH RESCUE
You've seen this. (Oh no we haven't.) Oh yes, you blimmin' well have - we gave it away on the Smash Tape last month. It's that viewed-from-the-side scroller in which you have to jump from your horse onto a stagecoach and repeatedly smack an 'Injun' in the chops. Finish this and you'll get a chart of your scores from each sub-game. Then you can start again. Or go to the pub. (Or something.)
What I liked about Buffalo Bill's Rodeo Games was the humorous feel and chunky graphics. What I didn't like was the gameplay. There's hardly any there. It's almost like an exercise in 'Quite Easy Machine Code Programming For The Not Very Advanced Machine Code Programmer'. On budget it might be fair enough (mind you, Marcus would have a field day) but at full price - well, I think you could feel a trifle robbed. Whoooot!
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