WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure – PC – Review

Fenimore Fillmore is a shrewd dope who resembles the protagonist from Toy
. He is a clever idiot, a love-sick gunfighter. Fenimore is not unlike
Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate, from the Secret of Monkey Island. In
fact I almost expected Fenimore to utter, mighty cowboy, at some point during
the game. He doesn’t, but there is no denying that the developers of Wanted are
very familiar with the classic Monkey Island adventure games. Perhaps, dare I
say, even pay homage to the enduring classic.

Screen Shot for WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure 

The story of Wanted A Wild Western Adventure is taken straight out of
old-time Hollywood westerns. Local farmers must fight back against a greedy
rancher. There isn’t much to the plot. The farmers are inept, so Fenimore has to
run around and manipulate the town in order to help the good guys win. There is
a little romance and some gun battles thrown in throughout the game to round out
the progression. The delivery is simplistic but charming enough to make Wanted a
must for adventure game enthusiasts.

Screen Shot for WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure 

The graphics in Wanted are 3D from the travel screen right down to the
characters. It reminds me of Grim Fandango without the dark, artistic flair.
That’s not to say the visuals in Wanted are lacking, far from it in fact. The
exteriors are all crisp. I bumped up the resolution and everything was silky
smooth. There aren’t many locations throughout the game, mainly just a town and
some neighboring farms. What is present is done nicely with a humorous, cartoon
like quality.

Screen Shot for WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure 

The character animations are quirky, exaggerated and at times hilarious. So
are the facial expressions. This game is supposed to be a comedy, which is next
to impossible to achieve in a PC adventure. Very few games are able to be funny
consistently through an entire game. I’m happy to say that I laughed out loud
several times. The bartender animation made me smile during the dueling portions
of the game. The gag reel right before
the end credits is a fine reward for completing the game and should not
be missed.

There aren’t too many characters as compared to other adventure games of this
nature, however each person we get to interact with has a specific personality.
This allows the player to get familiar with the people and surroundings of the
game without an overly complex string of strangers to question, pointless
dialogue and long overwrought mission objectives. The result is a very
streamlined set of goals that each character communicates easily.

Fenimore must help the farmers defend a farm and to do this many traditional
adventure game puzzles are integrated into the story. Early on you must find a
doctor disguise in order to sneak in and rendezvous with Rhianon, the hero’s
love interest. Later on Fenimore must win a series of drinking duels that
progress in difficulty. This mini game is very similar to the insult fights from
the first Monkey Island game where Guybrush Threepwood
would cry ‘you fight like a cow.’  The drinking duel is clever but it isn’t
quite as funny as the ranting of Guybrush.

Screen Shot for WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure 

When Fenimore isn’t trading insults at the saloon, most of his time is spent
collecting objects and manipulating items in the environment. The interface is
quite simple. The cursor on the screen is controlled completely by the mouse.
Fenimore can look, pick up, walk and talk all by the click of a button. The
inventory pops up when you scroll over the top of the screen.

I only have two complaints, neither one very significant. The first is the
fixed camera angle. There didn’t seem to be any way to control the position of
the camera. For the most part this wasn’t a problem but there were several
instances where I had a heck of a time lining Fenimore up to a precise spot in
order to complete a goal. The second minor quip is with the fact that Fenimore
spends a ridiculous amount of time collecting money. He pretty much swipes cash
from every single location. I know he’s a cowboy outlaw but even when he visits
the beautiful Rhianon, Fenimore rifles through her drawers and takes cash. You
shouldn’t steal from a woman you’re trying to hook up with, you know?

Screen Shot for WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure

Cash is a commodity in Wanted. It is needed for just about every single
puzzle, whether it’s the drinking duel or the gun gallery game at the
fairgrounds area. More money is required to purchase mission specific items at
the general store. To be fair there is plenty of spare change lying around so
all the objectives can be met with cash to spare. It just seemed like a lot of
time was spent searching for the green. This in no way detracts from the overall
success of Wanted. If you are an adventure gamer who enjoyed Grim Fandango, Sam
and Max, or any of the Monkey Island games I highly recommend Wanted.

Review Scoring Details

Gameplay:  8
For the most part the puzzles and objectives are logical. The interface is
very intuitive. Wanted also offers a break from the search and travel portions
during the gun gallery game, the drinking duels and a nice shoot out at the end
for a true western finale.

Graphics:  8.5
Character animations are done well and include clever facial expressions
that help define each personality. The town is scarce in size but is done with
enough detail to look interesting and provide an appropriate wild west

Sound: 8.5
The voice cast is surprisingly good and really adds that camp type humor
which makes this game funny. Fenimore is a dope, but he is a brave, charming,
hopeful dope, so it’s okay. The music sounds like midi, but it has a catchy
Hollywood cowboy theme that I was humming way after I beat the game.

Difficulty: Medium
I got stuck twice and when I found the solution I felt like smacking myself
in the head. The puzzles are logical yet challenging. Some require back-tracking
to prior locations to obtain an item.

Concept: 8
A wild western adventure game that actually delivers a delightful
experience. This game is not your standard point and click pixel hunt through a
static unmoving screen. Wanted has a fully realized 3D environment complete with
interesting characters to talk with and a small town to explore.

Overall: 8
Despite a few minor shortcomings, Wanted should provide gamers with a
satisfying experience. After sneaking around inside the hellish world of Doom 3,
and fighting for my life in the grim reality of Call of Duty United Offensive,
both incredible games by the way, the light hearted silliness of Fenimore
Fillmore’s antics is a welcome addition to the genre. The gag reel is tops and I
wouldn’t mind a sequel one bit.