Sunset Riders is a 1991 arcade run-and-gun by Konami, ported to the Sega Mega Drive and SNES in 1992 and released only in the US and Europe in 1993. This port was heavily remixed in terms of stage layout. The small rom size likely made a true to source arcade port impossible.
You play as one of two (reduced from four in the arcade version) American Old West bounty hunters, Billy and Cormano, who seek rewards for catching bandits and saving girls. Billy is armed with a peacemaker and Cormano with a shotgun that fires rather large shots; is used for stationary fire and is used to fire and walk at the same time, and both can collect various weapon upgrades along the way.
Aiming is done in the traditional Konami fashion (hold D-pad buttons diagonally to move while firing diagonally, hold to shoot straight up, hold and to shoot straight ahead while moving, or hold to shoot straight ahead while crouching). jumps; you can latch on to ledges and climb up, pressing + to get back down. + and either or slides. Score is measured as currency; each gold coin is worth $200, while larger red coins with dollar signs on them are worth $2000. You will lose $1000 for dying, and you die with one or two hits.
Similar to often used practise in arcades, the game punishes players who stay in same spot for far too long, as the bird will fly on top of the screen and then swoop down at you. You can jump over it.
Note that the guns are removed from the PAL box. This is also done on the SNES PAL version. A case of the Sega Europe censorship and strict German laws probably.
The game supports multiplayer for 2 players, which is less than on Arcade version, on same screen both in cooperative mode and competitive one.
To play competitive mode, just select "Versus" mode. The game will be played in few rounds, arenas changing slightly. Each player has a health bar and much lower rate of fire than in normal game, while a bird periodically coming in to drop extra items. Players have to shoot each other down in this mode.
To play cooperative mode you can either select "2 Players" mode or start the "1 Player" game and press on controller of the second player. Though the first method is preferable, as it doesn't take away a continue point. There is no friendly fire and continue points are shared.
However, due to bug, if both players have Six Button Control Pad (Mega Drive) then "Versus" and "2 Players" modes will not be selectable, despite being higlighted in menu. Another player can still join during "1 Player" mode play. Hold button when booting up the system to switch to 3 button mode and fix this issue.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #139: "June 1993" (1993-05-15)
also published in:
Computer & Video Games (UK) #140: "July 1993" (1993-06-15)