Mad Dog McCree (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Mad Dog McCree originally launched in arcades way back in 1990, and has since been ported to a further nine platforms – the latest of which, as you may have noticed, being Nintendo 3DS. In that time, however, the game’s remained largely unchanged, rendering this latest release on Nintendo’s handheld questionable at best.

What this 3DS port handles rather well is its adaptation of the controls. While it’s obviously no alternative to the Wii Remote’s pointer controls, sliding the stylus across the touch-screen to aim on the top screen is responsive, and using either of the shoulder buttons to fire gives the game a bit of a Kid Icarus: Uprising-esque feel. To reload your weapon you simply take your stylus off the touch-screen and push L or R.

As an ‘original’ 3DS download, that’s about as far as Mad Dog McCree goes in terms of positive points. As an unnamed cowboy you ride horseback into a Western town where it’s all kicking off – McCree has taken over the place and kidnapped its Mayor and his daughter; and it’s your job to play through a grand total of eight glorified shooting galleries in an attempt to hunt them down. This takes, ooh, the best part of half an hour?

Admittedly there’s three difficulty settings for you to choose from – four if you count Practice – although should you decide to come back for more, these are likely to frustrate rather than challenge you; with harder difficulties seeing enemies move out of cover and hit you before you even have chance to react. There are occasional showdowns – which pop up between levels, and require you to reload and shoot at your adversary both after he’s reached for his weapon, but before he’s shot at you – although these add very little to the game’s variety, and once again are more annoying than fun on higher difficulties.

Of course, what makes this game unique is that rather than graphics, Mad Dog McCree uses entirely pre-recorded live action footage. Whilst this has its benefits, such as looking intriguing, this often results in enemies falling literally seconds after you’ve shot at them, with absolutely no relationship between which part of their body you hit and how they fall – for example, shooting an enemy in the head will have exactly the same consequence as hitting him in the knee.

Mad Dog McCree (Nintendo 3DS) Verdict

If you’re intrigued by how its 90’s live action gameplay holds up to this day, less than £5 is certainly not a bad price to pay – but if you’re looking for a ‘real’ shooting game in the eShop, look no further than Level-5’s Liberation Maiden.


Originally published on

Martyn has been writing about video games for over a decade, and playing them for over twice as long.

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