Mean Machines Sega

Sunset Riders

Publisher: Konami
Machine: Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

Published in Mean Machines Sega #7

Sunset Riders

Billy and Cormano were an okay team. It was true that Billy objected to Cormano's over-indulgence in the barbecue beans - especially when they had to share a bivouac - and his under indulgence in washing. For his part, Cormano thought that Billy was an alright gringo, despite his obsession with buying new spurs, and the fact he always asked him to put ointment on his saddle sores. But, all in all, they were pretty tight (Ooer - Rich).

And as they rode into Brushville County, they realised they might have to cash in that friendship for some rough times. There was plenty trouble around this joint, more than the normal saloon brawls and cattle rustling. Some seriously wanted men had rode in and were demanding high 'tributes' from the townsfolk. Billy and Cormano thought they might just put them in their place, knowing there was some English toff behind the whole set-up. Time to pay Sir Richard Rose a courtesy call. So lock up your southern ladies, it's the Sunset Riders!


Sunset Riders was one of Konami's own coin-ops of 1991. In many ways it resembles the Probotector games. Contra in spurs, no less.

How To Play

Sunset Riders

Move from left to right, shooting the outlaws and collecting bag bonuses. At the end of each of four levels awaits an outlaw. On the bonus round, catch the coins.

Express Yourself

Possibly the last train for you, unless you deal with the many 'conditions of carriage', like the following:

Spars Not spurs! These straddle the lines and easily knock your block off unless you take evasive action. Jump or duck them, you are given a couple of seconds warning by a passing post.

Sunset Riders

Free Loaders Some cheap hoodlums are riding on the freight. Watch out for them coming up from behind the logs.

One Horse Town

Cormano and Billy ride into the main street, and straight into trouble. Buildings line the level, and the heroes have the ability to leap from ground to first floor level vantage points. Watch out for snipers and these features:

  1. Barrels
    Some of your enemies are crouching under barrels. Shoot them and they'll fall on their heads.
  2. Saloon
    Pop into one of the bars, and emerge with a senorita and a bonus. A quick kiss and you're off again, heartbreaker.
  3. Stampede
    The cows are comin' home! Jump on their backs, or if you're daring, slide under them. It really doesn't matter.

Grave Reservations

Your Indian adventure is certainly hot and spicy. Both levels take place in the mountains. Will you be the last scalp of the Mohicans?

  1. Eat-In, 'Arrow
    There are two types of bowmen. The first shoot normal arrows, the others have flaming tips that flame on after they land. Both, funnily enough, are deadly.
  2. Here's Your Hoist...
    When you come to the edge of the great plain, the wooden hoist is ready to take you down to the burial graveyard, for a quick round of "It's Your Funeral".
  3. Water Margin
    The gal is helpless beyond the waterfall, as you take to the collapsing bridge. Get your galoshes on and wade the rest of the distance.

One/Two Player

Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders is quite a two-player blast for two reasons. Firstly, you can take on the outlaws together, using a common bank of continues. Secondly is an entirely new duel option which pits the Billy and Cormano against each other in a 'friendly' fire fight.

Bonus Bag

Yes, that old fave, "Quick guide to the bonuses" either hurled out of the wagon, or held in the enemies' bonus bags.

  1. Coin
    A big coin is worth $2,000, a small one $200.
  2. Gun
    Another gun, if you have a hand free to use it!
  3. Bullet
    Bite this! Even more rapid firing virtuosity.
  4. Star
    Pick it up for free entry into the wagon bonus game.
  5. Dynamite
    Aaaiiiieee! Get well clear of this, or pick it up and toss it at the no-goods.

Wagon Wheeze

Pssst, wanna collect some coins and extra lives. Honest, they fell off the back of a wagon. You get to collect them by riding Champion behind the vehicle, waiting for the dame to throw them out the back.

I Beg Your Pardon

Sunset Riders

The final level winds through some beautiful country, before you known on Sir Richard's back door, after a trip through his rose garden:

Gone To The Dogs No point of bribing these with mince morsels, as they're not very (pedigree) chummy. Just pull that trigger and say 'down Shep'.

Coming Up Roses Take a trip through the orboreal beauty, but someone has placed statues in the path. Once you've grappled with the Venus di Milo, you'll have to come to grips with Michelangelo's David(?).


Sunset Riders

I can't bring myself to like Sunset Riders at all! Ever since the moment I clapped my eyes and unfortunate ears on its many anti-features I have avoided it like the garbage it is.

Besides looking and sounding awful, the gameplay is a dull and a pretty pointless state of affairs, it's just shooting and more shooting in some of the most uninspiring situations I've ever seen.

It's far too easy, especially when there's only four short levels in the offering! Good grief. For as long as it lasts, the game is as playable as it deservees, the vigilantes walk where you want them to, fire when they're supposed to and earn themselves lots of points, but who cares? I don't! Especially when the games shares the same atmosphere as a room full of stale farts.

Sunset Riders

Before I knew it, the game was completed and I'd had enough of "Oops, thar goes another Injun" and "Whoa, hey - mind those cowboys"... Perhaps Westerns are you pot of baked beans and anything remotely related to the subject gets you all hot around the chaps, but even then there's precious little here to satisfy anyone. Yeehah? Eeyore is, sadly, closer to the truth.


I'd really been waiting for these first Konami products, since they're the King of Nintendo at the moment, and I'm pretty impressed with this in the event.

Sunset Riders was never a brilliant coin-op to convert, but it's quite a lark on the Megadrive. The graphics are great, well-coloured and with some neat animation, each of the levels has lots of little features, and things to aim for.

Sunset Riders

The two-player mode is especially good, as the feeling of working together is there, and the duel option is a superb addition that gives more lasting interest than the main game. That's because it's too easy unfortunately. With only four levels, you'll have this licked in days.

The other main grip concerns the control. Too often I found myself sliding instead of jumping, or just not ducking. Firing is fine, but the movement control often lets you down. These two downers are unfortunate, since the game itself is highly enjoyable and action-packed, for what it has.

A quality debut from Konami, but maybe not a rush-out-and-buy sort of a game.


Sunset Riders

Presentation 89%
P. Excellent two-player option. Nice title and attract screens, and enough options for this type of game.

Graphics 82%
P. Neat sprites, and a good range of animation. Good backdrop ideas.
N. Not so a great variety of styles between levels, and some areas, like the Indian mountain look quite bland.

Sound 76%
P. Jaunty soundtrack and arcade shooty effects keep the action bouncing along.
N. The composer couldn't quite decide between Morricone or Kylie, and some of the samples are muffled.

Sunset Riders

Playability 87%
P. Addictive from the first shot, with loads of enemies appearing and different things to do on each level.
N. The gameplay is not too taxing. Some more ideas would have been welcome.

Lastability 80%
P. The duel option is really ace, and the harder difficulties should draw you back from time to time.
N. You will have seen all the game has to offer within the week!

Overall 84%
A surprisingly good blast out of a lacklustre coin-op, which should merit an inspection at least. Bodes well for future Konami games.