Mr Random Dave showed me this crazy overlooked PlayStation action game called, Rising Zan The Samurai Gunman; and my word, I seriously need to try this game out!
After finding the intro of the game on YouTube, I really wanted to play this game so much! A Wild-west gunman who travels to Japan to become a Samurai and returns to save his town is a great plot, but what makes this better is how silly, over the top and how it never takes itself seriously, ever!
The game is simply a beat’em’up in the same vein as Devil May Cry, Bayonetta and God of War. The controls are different though, they’re more like tank controls in Resident Evil and Gears of War, where left/right are to turn, and up/down are to move forward and back. To describe the main protagonist, Samurai Gunman Zan; he’s pretty much a male version of Bayonetta, wielding a sword and a gun, poses a lot, and generally kicks ass. Amazingly this came out eleven years before Bayonetta; so could the Bayonetta games be inspired by Rising Zan? Personally I doubt it, but there are a lot of similarities between the two games.
When this game came out in 1999, magazines at the time gave the game mediocre review scores. People to this day don’t really know what to make of the game; but this is one game I would do my best to find a cheap copy just to experience to craziness and insanity that is Rising Zan, The Samurai Gunman.
I hopped onto eBay to see what the prices are like on Rising Zan. Turns out it’s around the £10-£20 mark. Personally, I want to get a copy for £5. As much as I would love to play this game, it’s still a game that I wouldn’t pay mega bucks for; I know my limits, price my prices accordingly, and I’m a bit of a cheap arse. I’ll wait or find a cheap copy of game one day and experience what being a Samurai Gunman is like.
Whilst finding videos on Youtube, I found this similar PS2 game named, Samurai Western. Again, it mixes the themes of Feudal Japan and the Wild West together. In this game you’re a samurai named Gojiro, and he is searching for his brother who has gone to the US to become a marksman after being shot by one. When you step onto US soil, you’re in a town that has been corrupted by a Mister Goldberg, who you believe has taken your brother. Gojiro needs to get him home and make him a samurai again to maintain his, and his brother’s honour. This game looks pretty good too, though just like with Rising Zan, it’s going to be a game I want, but don’t want to spend too much on. This game is a bit darker and moody compared to the crazy and insane Rising Zan, but the whole Wild West meets Feudal Japan theme is pretty cool to me.
Looking up Samurai Western on eBay, I could only find NTSC copies. However, PAL versions of the game were produced by 505 Games, a European publisher that releases games at cheap prices. The closest I got to finding a PAL copy was one in Spanish. No idea if the game is in Spanish, or if the voice overs are kept Japanese and English, but the text is in Spanish. Regardless, this’ll be another game to hunt down along-side Rising Zan.
What do you think of Rising Zan and Samurai Western? Would you play these games? Do you already own them? Tell me in the comments below!