Retro Game Showcase: Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman


Developer: UEP Systems

Platform: Sony PlayStation 1

Release Date: March 25, 1999

Genre: Action-Adventure

Tested on: Sony PlayStation 1

What you need to know about Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman

  1. Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman chronicles the tale of Zan, a Western gunslinger who found out that not everything can be solved with a gun.
  2. Zan picks up the way of the Samurai from a mysterious master and sets out to rid the world of evil, with both gun and sword in hand
  3. The player can rescue hostages throughout a level, and perform attack combos with both gun and sword.
  4. A theme song was written specifically for this game, titled “Johnny No More”, with complete lyrics.

Controls do take some getting used to, but combos are easy to execute and look good too.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  1. The samurai gunslinger is an interesting premise that hasn’t been revisited often enough to become stale.
  2. Combos are easy to pull off and have a satisfying feel to them.
  3. Level design is decent, little backtracking, and good sense of forward progression.
  4. The quirky humour is enjoyable.

The Bad

  1. Despite combos being easy to execute, controls feel clunky without the twin-stick arrangement most consoles have today.
  2. Game looks unpolished at times.
  3. Music is decent, but can feel repetitive after a while.
  4. There is the sense that so much more could be done with the premise in general.

I don’t know if Wild West villains dress like this usually.

Verdict: Try It!

As far as we know, the idea of a samurai gunman being brought into the 21st century hasn’t been revisited. With such an interesting idea, the potential is there that we may see a great game waiting to be born. This game is a fun little romp, nothing too special or brilliant about it, and it does have some glaring flaws, but it certainly could be a lot more if remade today. The quirky humour and cheesy dialogue make sitting through the game less painful, and the combos are still fun to mess with. If you still have an old PlayStation, give this game a look.

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