Much like the console versions, Gun Showdown is a very easy game to play through. It's not just the fact that the game is short, it's also that none of the missions are that difficult. You may need to play through a couple of missions more than once, but generally that's because of the control and not the game's difficulty. The only way to get a real challenge out of this game is to put it on the hardest difficulty setting, but even then it doesn't make up for the game's short length and boring surroundings.
Gun Showdown is a good looking game, even if you can tell that Rebellion had to cut some corners to get this game on the PSP. The game works surprisingly well on the PSP's widescreen display, especially as you ride your horse through the beautiful terrain. Gun Showdown doesn't strive for new and unique graphical tricks, but what's there is good for the most part. This won't win any awards for best looking PSP game of the year, but it manages to get the look and feel just right.
The voice acting, on the other hand, is excellent all the way through, filled with a number of famous names. People like Lance Henriksen, Tom Skerritt, and Kris Kristofferson are all veterans of the western genre and manage to deliver their lines with the kind of delivery you would expect from this type of setting. If you're too young to remember any of those famous names, Gun also features Thomas Jane (the Punisher) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, and just about every other game you've ever played) giving commanding performances. Some of the side characters get a little annoying, but they are no worse than what you get in your normal western movie or TV show. The same goes for the music, which sounds like it was lifted right out of all of the cheesy spaghetti westerns I saw as a kid … but in a good way.
Considering the console versions were released almost exactly a year ago some may wonder what Rebellion did to enhance your overall Gun experience. Gun Showdown actually offers a good set of cool extra modes to go along with the slightly longer story mode. One of the additions is Quick Play, a mode that allows you to jump right into six different mini-games for just a few minutes at a time. These mini-games include quail hunting, holding the fort, suppressing the outlaws, bear hunting fire fighting and a fun dynamite run. These various games are short and sweet, giving you some quick enjoyment if you don't have too much time but still want to play the game.
Another new addition is the multiplayer mode, which allows you take six players into a room and fight for your life. There's a standard Deathmatch which can be a lot of fun, but the real charmer in this game comes in the way of Golden Cross, a mode that rewards you for holding on to the special item as long as you can without being gunned down. For what it's worth there is a Texas Hold'em multiplayer mode in Gun Showdown, but it's somewhat limited and since it's Ad Hoc only you might as well just pull out the deck of cards and play the real thing.
While Gun Showdown has its share of problems, I can't help but feel satisfied by this port. Unlike some recent ports (such as EA's The Godfather: Mob Wars) this portable version of Gun doesn't feel like an abridged retelling of a larger game. Instead it actually feels like the full game you got on the consoles a year ago, plus offers you some cool new content that is actually worth your time. Gun Showdown still isn't the amazing western-themed game it should have been, but it's just as good as it ever was on the PS2 and Xbox. If you can get over some awkward controls you may find that this game is full of exciting situations … while it lasts.
Gun Showdown could have been a disastrous port of a so-so action game, but it ends up being a surprisingly solid game full of fun missions, crazy firefights and some cool extra goodies.
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