Boot Hill Bounties for the Nintendo Switch
Boot Hill Bounties
Boot Hill Bounties is a Mother/Earthbound-inspired RPG set in the old wild west and follows Kid, our protagonist, and his posse made up of Moon, Rosy, and Doc, who are on a mission to stop the Saints-Little Gang, a group of criminal outlaws which have remained hidden for more of a decade and came back to cause tensions between the Chepawik tribe and the settlers. The tension between the two is high as war is coming if things don’t get solved fast.
It’s the sequel of Boot Hill Heroes and picks up where it ended.
The game’s story has many branching paths, meaning that the player can decide what to do next, and this will influence various aspects, such as items gained, recipes, side quests, and characters met. There are also mini-games such as a cooking contest in which you have to prepare various recipes to win. To cook those recipes, the player must find the ingredients scattered on the map or from enemies’ loot.
There are many other side activities, including upgrading Kid’s farm, finding hidden codes in newspapers and modifying your weapons. All of those will provide useful items or power-ups, which are much needed for this adventure.
There are various “challenges” provided by Rusty, the posse’s dog, which upon completion will give you even more items as a reward.
The game has a wide arrange of features. The combat and the way you gain new moves is quite creative: instead of the typical turn system, Boot Hill Bounties’ features the Active Time Battle system (ATB), in which timing is the one thing that matters most. The player can select one move and must wait for the gauge to fill up to attack. The same goes for enemies. But don’t worry, you can always pause and select your next move if you need to! The moves a character has depends on two things: what hat (yes, hat) they are wearing and its level. Different hats have different abilities, and leveling them up will make them stronger and unlock them in other hats. Characters can also level up, making their statistics higher. Interestingly, the game can be played co-op with up to four players.
The game art style is quite… divided. The overworld is made in pixel art, and I must say, it’s quite nice, but characters, monsters, and landscapes during combat look very bad. Surely, every mob looks unique enough, but the art style used conflicts with the pixel art and it doesn’t look good at all. They are quite muddy and sometimes distracting, and some characters just look really ugly (yes, I’m talking about you, Rusty.)
Also, watch out for crashes. It doesn’t happen often, but in my playthrough, it happened twice and at random times.
But aside from the art style, I LOVED the fights. While you can decide to just try to blast through enemies with your most powerful attacks, you can instead try to debuff them, poison them, paralyze or waste their attacks. It takes some time to learn what every move does, but if you mix them up correctly, fights can be done quickly.
Since the game is an old west setting, you won’t be fighting trolls or pixies, but people and animals.
The music is quite nice too, as it captures those “Old wild west” tunes you can hear in movies. It’s catchy and always fits in the situation you are in.
In conclusion, while the story isn’t too long (about 15 hours if you care only about the story), there is A LOT that can be done throughout your journey (and even after!). The ending is open-ended, which basically guarantees a sequel. It’s fun, and people who love retro RPGs (but even modern ones!) will enjoy this gem.
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Reviewed by Senpavo for the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Experimental Gamer Studios