Sunset Riders is galloping onto Switch
Bury me with my money. Sorry, I mean, give my money to Hamster. Thanks
One of Konami's tippity-top ultra-definitely mega-best games, the seminal Sunset Riders, is finally getting a re-release courtesy of Hamster's Arcade Archives series. Bloody hell, how long has it been? Twenty-nine years since its arcade bow and with only the cut-down (but excellent) SNES conversion to be getting along with in the meantime. Sunset Riders was once mooted for the Xbox 360's ill-fated Game Room project, but never released, so unless I'm mistaken (and if I am, I did it on purpose because I am very clever) this is the first time the original arcade game has been made available outside of emulation.
If you haven't played Sunset Riders, you really have no business on this website. Leave at once. No, wait, come back. I'm sorry. It's fine. It's coming out, you have a chance to redeem yourself. See, it's pretty much the perfect 90s arcade game, a side-scrolling shooter superficially similar to Contra but with a wild west flair of its own. Every stage sees you chasing down a memorable villain with an indelible sampled speech quote ("Hasta la bye bye!"), taking in saloons, honky-tonks and even bars as you pursue the disreputable and critically English final boss, Sir Richard Rose. The shooting is fast-paced throughout and the difficulty, while high, never reaches the 10p-munching nadir of the likes of Konami's own X-Men and The Simpsons tie-ins.
It's an arcade game that's eminently beatable and that's so rare that it's just fun as hell to try and do so. My only possible reservation about this re-release is my doubting that the questionable likes of Chief Scalpum will survive the porting process unscathed. While I'd prefer it in its original form, I wouldn't be too surprised if the outdated "injun" imagery is altered or removed. Fingers crossed that whatever solution they come up with is a graceful one.
If they could see fit to put spiritual sequel Mystic Warriors on Switch too, I would greatly appreciate it.