Wanted (SMS)

Wanted Box Art


System: SMS

Release Date: August 1989

Developer: Sanritsu

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Light Gun Shooter

Sega is back with another light gun shooter, this time with Wanted! You take the role of the sheriff and it’s up to you to take out the outlaws plaguing the territory. You can start by choosing the difficulty 1 through 3. Before I start, I emulate these games and normally even the light gun games work fine, but the aiming on this one was off. When I’d shoot, the bullet would hit significantly to the left. This made playing through Wanted quite difficult.

There are two types of main stages, on foot levels and horseback levels. The on foot stages scroll occasionally to the right and you have to shoot as many of the gunslingers as you can. You can tell they’re bad guys, because they’re aiming at you. Be careful not to shoot men who have their hands up and any women. You also don’t want to shoot people walking across the scene, unless they turn and aim at you. If you hit anyone you’re not supposed to, you get a MISS and lose some health.

The horseback levels scroll continuously to the right. Outlaws on horseback come from the left of the screen on one of three planes. Outlaws on the lowest plane, closest to the player, move the quickest and they shoot as they near the right edge of the screen. You need to dislodge them from their horses quickly or take damage. There are stationary enemies on the very bottom of the screen that you can shoot to unlock a bomb.

The bomb is your way of both clearing the screen and regaining some health. The more enemies you kill with the bomb, the more health you regain. The appearance of the bombs are random, but their possible locations are not. At the end of the on foot levels is a mid-boss that takes nine shots to kill. If you lose all your life at any time, you’re taken to the continue screen. There are two challenge scenes after stages 2 and 4. This is a bottle shooting scene, where you need to shoot the bottle being targeted and a coin shooting scene where you need to shoot the coins as they flip on screen. If you qualify, you earn bonus points.

The final level pits you against the Big Boss. He runs across the screen quickly, occasionally shooting at you, while outlaws chuck dynamite from four windows at the edge of the screen. You need to shoot the dynamite before it hits the ground. You and the boss each have nine hits before one of you takes a dirt nap. The hit boxes of the dynamite were quite small and compounded with the aiming issues I had, I used rewind on my 12th try to finish this one up.

Graphics: 2.0

I actually like these graphics. The enemies aren’t detailed or anything, but I like the backgrounds.

Sound: 1.5

The music is your typical Sega fare. The tempo is fast, but the melody is forgettable.

Gameplay: 1.5

I honestly feel this probably plays better on real hardware, but maybe the pull exists there, too.

Difficulty: 2.0

Having the ability to be accurate would take away most of the challenge this game offered me. You have unlimited continues, it’s not impossible to get through on easy.

Fun Factor: 1.5

I would like to play this with the actual Light Phaser. Where have I heard that before?

Overall Grade: 1.7

Wanted earns a C-. It’s probably better than I can give it credit for, but this is the best I can give it as is.

Wanted Video Review on YouTube