by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
"Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
The controls work reasonably well. The game can use either a keyboard/mouse combo or a gamepad. The gamepad is definitely an easier proposition. Movement throughout the levels can be a little awkward at times, especially with the jumping mechanics, but since the bulk of the game involves moving from one fight to the next, the issue is a minor one. As with many side-scrolling beat’ em ups, fighting can at times be simply a matter of mashing the buttons as fast as possible. This can be interspersed with the use of your two allies, Rondel and McCoy with their bazooka and sniper rifle respectively. Unfortunately, unless the situation specifically called for the use of either, I found myself sticking to Dusty, as the use of the two allies somewhat diminishes any fluency in the fights. Indeed, there were even times when Rondel and McCoy’s icons would appear on screen with a caption along the lines of “we’re bored” because I seldom used them.
The music does an acceptable job, setting the dramatic tone when the fights get going. The sound effects in Dusty Revenge, though are fairly standard for a side-scrolling fighter, with the usual slashing sounds of Dusty’s scythe-like sword, the pew-pew of his pistols, the bang of his shotgun and the speed of his fists. The same goes for the sound effects of the enemies. There is some voice acting during the cut-scenes that help progress the story, but at times it doesn’t sound quite right. But having said that, it is preferable to have the spoken dialogue rather than to have to read the dialogue, so in that regard, the developers have made a good choice.
Visually, Dusty Revenge looks superb, especially within the cut-scenes. The cut-scenes do play out somewhat like a moving comic which suits the feel of the game perfectly. The cut-scenes enable the gamer to have a feel for the story, even though the story is all about revenge and not much else. The gameplay visuals aren’t quite up to the standard of the cut-scenes, but are reasonably good nonetheless. The scenes are vibrant and colourful, and the various enemies are easily recognisable. This is somewhat important when coming face to face with an armoured opponent as Dusty’s standard punches will have little impact on them. The background settings are also quite varied, from the brown dusty plains of the Wild West setting, to the lush green rainforest location and dreary, polluted underground sewers. The locations aren’t really particularly detailed, but they fit the overall cartoon nature of the game.
Vengeance is overrated
Dusty Revenge does a few things right. Although the movement during the side scrolling phase is ordinary and the fighting of henchmen is primarily a button mashing fest, the boss battles are extremely satisfying and especially so later on in the game. Each requires a different tack in order to succeed, so using all your abilities and allies will be required. Visually, the game uses a wonderful art style for the cut-scenes and the music does an adequate job of setting the mood. Although Dusty Revenge is a fun game to play, it is rather short, has an uncompelling storyline and lacks that touch of polish that would make it more memorable.
Nice art style, cool boss battles
Voice acting needs some work, rather short