Box Shot
Platform: NES
Publisher: Capcom
Designer: Capcom
Genre: Shoot-em-up
Players: 1
Published Date 1987
Reviewed by: Toni R

Here's another almost rare game that's worthy of a NES collection. Unfortunately here's another Capcom game that got an average amount of attention. But as being Capcom's last NES game to have the first-generation "Virtual 3-D Grid" packaging (I think Mega Man, that horrible man garbed in blue-and-gold-with-a-dollar-store-pistol, was the last one before this one.), I guess it's aight for a classic game.

The story as I know it is, the game is set in 1849 in the rootin tootin, gun slinging era of cowboys and Indians. A group of outlaws storm into town, murder the sheriff, and the game takes on from there.

All I can say is the graphics are just a little bit grainy, but that does not take away from the fun factor of the game. But the gameplay is average. It may look like Commando, but it's really a vertical scrolling shooter. See that, now we realize that shooters don't strictly have to be aircraft, gunfire (well, what's a shooter without gunfire?), and heat seeking missiles. The control is a little bit funny, in a Section Z atmosphere, while 2 streams of gunfire shoot diagonally, B shoots to the left, A shoots right, and when both buttons are pressed simultaneously, the player shoots straight up.

Everytime enemies get killed they leave off money bags and items like boots, which speed up the player, bullets for extra ammo for different weapons, like the machinegun (which is basically the standard weapon but marinated with rapid fire), spread gun, smart bombs and more. And there are guns in which you collect to enhance firing range. Then there's the horse icon, which brings out a horse and fight on horseback to get the "real shooter sensation". Also, in the heat of battle, there are 2 townspeople that are there to hook you up with the means to win the game. One sells items, and the other one sells weapons.

Now, the point of the game is tricky to catch on. The stage goes on forever with no boss appearing. But you have to make the boss appear. Before each individual stage starts, they are presented with a reward poster that shows who the outlaw (boss) is. So the point of the game is to find the reward poster for each stage. They can be obtained through buying one, which is expensive, so you'll have to shoot enemies until you get enough money to buy one. But to make it short, reward posters are well hidden in a specific spot, so shoot in any places possible. Once a reward poster is collected, when it gets to a certain spot, then the boss appears. When the boss is defeated, you will get whatever amount of money the reward is, then you start the next stage with alot of jingle in your pocket.

There are not many sound effects in Gunsmoke, although most of them were soon to be borrowed in future Capcom NES games, and some of the music of repetitive, but a few tracks are awesome. The one track I think is awesome is the boss fight with Cutter, the boss of stage 2, big ol' metal boomerangs. And there are images that Capcom used in almost all their first and second generation games, like, I think this game has the "PoW" icon, which was used in 1942, 1943, Bionic Commando and some others. Then there was the infamous, now ill-fated, "Yashishi" symbol (Any body that's gotten to the end of the first Mega Man game, or acquired an extra man on stage 7 in Trojan will know what I'm talking about). This icon has appeared more times than the PoW symbol. I think 1943 was the last to have the Yashishi. But all in all NES collectors, grab a copy of Gunsmoke. This classic is screaming out to be validated in an NES collection.