MAD DOG McCREE
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 22, 2015
Yes, dear readers. It's once again time to join our brave time-exploration crew in their latest adventure, as they journey across decades towards their final destination. They returned from their last assignment nearly unscathed. Well, I say nearly unscathed... A better term would be 'somewhat messed up'. It seems someone else has taken it upon themselves to venture out into the wide world of time travel. The accounts from my trusty crew were a bit vague, but they seem to have collided with something resembling a flying toilet. After some research on my part, I quickly found out that the object that messed up my rig was the infamous Chron-O-John... Damn that Dr. Fred! The collision threw our time machine a tad off course, if you can call twenty-six hundred years a tad... So, Ever wonder where the ancient Maya got their advanced knowledge in astronomy, mathematics and other physical sciences? Yep... you've guessed it!
After crash-landing our time machine, repairs were in order, half of the crew got to work fixing the bloody thing. The other half went for a leisurely stroll. Now, don't think these individuals are in any way unwilling to help. On the contrary, they are always eager to! And that is precisely why the technical part of our crew keeps them at bay whenever repairs are in order, because although they're willing, they are also utterly incapable of any repairs that don't involve silly putty. So off they went to explore their surroundings. One particularly eager member of our crew brought along a whole stack of her school books to study when off duty. So she sat under a tree and started to do just that. But, as any teacher will tell you, students attention spans can almost only be measured in nanoseconds and she quickly got distracted by a, no doubt very interesting, squirrel. She completely forgot all about her books, only to remember about them when the repaired timemachine and its entire crew safely returned home to the here and now... Oh well, at least we got some nice-looking ruins out of this little mishap!
Our current goal however, has nothing to do with temples and ancient civilizations. What it does have to do with, are cowboys and gunfights. No, we're not going back to the wild west, that would just be plain stupid. Where would we find an electrical outlet, let alone a videogame. No, ladies and gentlemen, the year we are currently travelling to is a bit closer to home: it's 1993! The game we are currently after was first released in 1990 as an arcade machine, but in 1993 it was brought to gamers around the world on the Sega CD and Windows. Does anyone of you have a clue as to what I'm talking about? No?! I'm talking about the one gun-slinging game that looked like a western movie: Mad Dog McCree! Originally released in 1990 by American Laser Games, Mad Dog McCree had earned its merits in arcade halls across the globe. in 1993, the same company released the game on Sega CD, while Digital Leisure provided PC gamers with a chance to be the hero in their very own western. Mad Dog McCree featured live action sequences, interlaced with duels and other shootout goodies.
The game tells the story of a man, only referred to as 'stranger'. And yes, that would be you... The stranger arrives in a town, only to find the population in a color-my-underpants-brown state of terror. You encounter an old prospector who tells you that the mayor and his daughter seem to have gotten themself kidnapped by a band of rowdy outlaws, led by a particularly nasty piece of work: "Mad Dog"' McCree. The Sherriff presumably tried to stop the kidnapping, but the outlaws overpowered him and threw him in jail. What follows is a one-man crusade to free the Sheriff, save the mayor and his daughter and restore peace to this quaint little town.
The thing that made Mad Dog McCree stand out was the use of well-written and well-acted live action cutscenes. The actors involved talked to the camera, giving you the illusion that they were really talking to you. You are the hero the townsfolk has been waiting for. So you load your guns and start cleaning up the town, killing bad guys left and right. My favorite shootout is the one located in the saloon, which really felt and looked like a scene out of an old western. The story embedded in the game made you want to defeat Mad Dog and his gang.
The gameplay itself is simple and straight-forward. Whenever you get into a shoot-out, you'll have to try to shoot all the bad guys, before they shoot you. Duels on the other hand, are a different story; you'll have to holster your weapon (position your mouse at the bottom of the screen) and wait for your opponent to make his move. When this happens, you'll need to draw your gun (put your reticule over the guy you are trying to shoot) and help him on his way to the next world. When successful, the other guy dies and you continue on through the story. If you fail, a cutscene will play in which the local undertaker tells you what you did wrong and how many lives you have left to squander. If your lives reach zero, he closes your coffin and it's game over!
Mad Dog McCree is a fun game and even has a sequel: Mad Dog McCree 2: The Lost Gold. The solid acting and decent story make it an experience to remember and to play again and again. And, luckily for us, the game has been re-released on the Wii, the 3DS and the Playstation Network. So the only thing left to do is to round off this article with some wise words from my all-time western movie hero, Mr. Clint Eastwood.
"When a man with .45 meets a man with a rifle, you said, the man with a pistol's a dead man. Let's see if that's true. Go ahead, load up and shoot."
MAD DOG McCREE
American Laser Games & Digital Leisure