Konami threw all their ideas into this cowboy grab bag.
RELEASE DATE: August 1991
Am I a Debbie Downer, an absolute, no-holds-barred NES-imist, or is The Lone Ranger just kinda there? I’m all for genre amalgamation on any console, but The Lone Ranger is an example where sticking to maybe one or two genres instead of five would have served it better. The types of gameplay on display are as follows: top-down, third-person action with minor adventure elements (going from town to town, seeking information and buying supplies, while shooting banditos and protecting the brainless women [social commentary on Konami’s part?]), side-scrolling action consisting of more bandito shooting (as generic as Sara Lee Apple Pie), and finally, first-person dungeon crawling (!) combined with all-too-frequent shooting sequences where cowboys and jerkfaces pop out from every angle and shoot/throw knives/throw TNT at you. For the latter sequence, you better have the fastest gun in the west or you’re dead (and it’s one life and you’re out because you’re the Lone Friggin’ Ranger and you should be able to survive all that the Wild West has to throw at you – which, as it turns out, is a butt-load of knives and TNT). Konami allows you the option to use a Zapper in these sequences, but I can’t imagine that being any less cumbersome than using a controller, especially when the game forces you to turn around in first-person mode to shoot guys behind you. I would have been a much happier Ranger if Konami would have scrapped the dungeon crawling/shooting sequences, and improved the average action/adventure. A simpler, streamlined, fast-paced Western action game would have played more to the Nintendo’s strengths. Still, bonus points to Konami for not simply putting out Castlevania with guns in the Old West.