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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Scalping Gun

From the title, you might think I haven't been enjoying my time with Neversoft's Gun ... but that's not really the case. Gun is actually pretty fun and in many ways a fairly well-designed title. The western landscape and motif is attractive and the production quality is quite high. One aspect, though, just seems odd. You can scalp people ... for just no good reason at all. When I first started the practice of scalping my kills, The Girl poked up from her book and asked about the noise. I told her I was scalping people. She asked if they had to scream when I did it and it turns out ... they do. You apparently can only scalp victims while they are still partially kicking. Which is obviously the meanest way to scalp just about anything. I defended my barbarism by saying that I thought you could trade scalps for money (thank god my Mom doesn't read this blog).

However, you can't. There's no purpose to scalping people other than just getting them to scream. At least in GTA, you're beating your hooker for cash. You can rob people. In Gun, there is no robbing. You can test the town's patience by attacking innocent people, but other than that ... it's cheating at cards or torture. A very odd spectrum to give to the player. Especially when those are the only two points in the spectrum.

Neversoft's odd concept of how knives work doesn't end there. It doesn't seem you can use your trusty blade to get pelts either. Also, they have a Grey Wolf hunt ... which is a pretty neat idea pretty poorly implemented. For one thing, the Wolf only seems to appear in a couple of places ... so it's not that hard to find. Second, the Wolf is apparently hopped up on meth ... because I put ten arrows into it's hindside and it just ran in circles. So when I put it out of it's misery by using my trusty blade ... the game complained that because the Wolf wasn't killed by an arrow ... the kill was ruined.

Wait ... what should I have done ... wounded it repeatedly with my knife and then shot it with a bow? Anyone hunt like that?

At it's core, Gun is a sound and fun game. The above is really mostly quirks which came to my attention while playing it at a brisk pace. The controls are slightly wonked and sometimes gunfights feel like you're spinning around. I would also have liked a deeper world, with more parlor games and the like. However, the scenery and the action are fun and slightly addictive. It's neat to play around in a western world, taking hits off the flask and defeating bandits single handedly. Just odd that I spent good money on this useless knife.

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