High Noon - Early C64 Western with extras from Hokuto Force


Back in 2015 when I joined Indie Retro News, there weren't so many brand new C64 games being released, so we used to fill our blog with news from the various cracking groups. I particularly liked Hokuto Force's releases because they focused on re-releases of those lesser known titles that most of us probably missed the first time around. Hokuto Force never stopped, but recently our C64 news has focused more on all the new and recent releases which are coming so fast, I feel like we've kind of deserted the "sceners", who pretty much kept the C64 alive for many years single handed with a constant stream of games and demos. So I thought I'd check out Hokuto Force's latest release (in collaboration with Mad Hackers Inc.): A new version of Ocean's 1984 Western shooter: High Noon. So let's take a look and see how it plays.


Firstly, the graphics, they are simplistic, but I liked the charmingly drawn sprites and animations. Enemies (and yourself collapse when shot, and don't just disappear), an undertaker even comes to collect each body in true western style. The game unfortunately suffers from poor and unresponsive controls. You'll fire in the direction you are facing, but you aren't able to move quick enough to react to most enemy shots. Completing the level relies on you getting lucky and being in the right place to shoot the enemies before they shoot you... Having said that, this cracked version contains a high score saver, and there's nothing like trying to beat that high score in a classic arcade style game. Even a slightly janky western.


In between each of the attack waves, you'll get a classic style quick draw bonus stage, which plays pretty well... Similar to Megastyle's recent quick draw game: Tombstones. Hokuto Force added features include 6 trainers (Lives, collisions, level skip etc), An added introduction and ending screen, documentation and an awesome cracktro with a great SID tune and animations. Overall, this isn't the best western game, it's nowhere near as good as Kane, or Kane 2, but it does have a certain charm and definitely worth a play or two, and if it hadn't been for this re-release, we'd probably have missed it completely!

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Posted by @hayesmaker64
twitch.tv/hayesmaker64

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