Bank Panic (Arcade) review
"I love the old West. You know why? Because everyone just shot everyone else all the time. Okay, so maybe actually being in the time period wouldn't be the best thing, as I'm not a big fan of being shot. Shooting other people though, is a different story. Bank Panic allows me to shoot all the outlaws I want as they pop into the bank and try to grab some cash. I sit down and wait for the action to unfold, then I must shoot at the right time at the right person. I can see three of the twelve..."
I love the old West. You know why? Because everyone just shot everyone else all the time. Okay, so maybe actually being in the time period wouldn't be the best thing, as I'm not a big fan of being shot. Shooting other people though, is a different story. Bank Panic allows me to shoot all the outlaws I want as they pop into the bank and try to grab some cash. I sit down and wait for the action to unfold, then I must shoot at the right time at the right person. I can see three of the twelve doors at any time, and at any moment the door could fly open revealing nobody, an innocent person depositing money, or an outlaw looking for a quick buck.
And no I don't mean the animal, because those aren't allowed in banks. No, I mean cold, hard cash. As the proclaimed "HERO!!!" of the town, it's my job to make sure these people can get their money in the bank safely while shooting down the bad guys. But it's not always as easy as it sounds, as both outlaws and innocents are often wearing the same clothes. However, the bandana over the mouth usually gives and outlaw away. There's also the chance that the bonus midgit will be waiting for me behind a door, and I have to shoot his boxes for bonus points. There's even the chance that there could be a bomb behind the door that's ready to blow! Luckily, I can shoot the fuse to stop it from blowing.
Wait a second, shoot a fuse?
Yes, that's apparently somehow possible. Fortunately for you the player, you don't actually have to aim. No, you're job is to simply press one of the three buttons representing the three doors in front of you and you'll shoot at that door. Your natural deadeye will shoot whatever you need to, I suppose. Now at first this is quite easy. If you shoot an innocent, you have to start the level over, but at first you have enough time to figure out who's who before you get shot, so you can hesitate. Later on, you need to react quicker though or you'll get shot. Plus, some different twists will be thrown in. Sometimes, there'll be an innocent citizen there, but they'll suddenly throw there arms up and yell "Help!", then jump out of the way. It's in these situations that they were a hostage, and you need to quickly shoot the outlaw standing behind them.
Another uncommon event is when a door flies open to reveal a citizen tied up in chains undoubtedly by one of the dirty outlaws. In this case, you need to shoot the lock to free them (once again, you automatically have the steadiest aim in the world, all you have to do is tell him when to pull the trigger). In a really rare instance, the bonus midget will appear along with a female innocent and the midget will look up her dress. This hilarious scene does not happen often and usually ends up getting you shot from one of the other doors because you're too busy laughing. When you get shot, you lose one of your few lives.
Shooting an innocent person also takes away one of your lives. Therefore, you have to limit your slip-ups in shooting innocents if you want to continue the game. Advancing through the levels reveals disappointingly few changes though: enemies may shoot a bit quicker and there may be more hostages and bombs, but the scenery never changes, and the graphics remain boringly the same. Though the bank you are in is fairly sharp to look at, I would have hoped for a new bank or something later on in the game, but it never happens. A positive thing that I can say about the game though is the controls. Simple, incredibly responsive, there's certainly no delay in your trigger finger which is good. Sound is mostly nonexistant, which is also a disappointment.
But all in all, this is a decent reactionary game (about as good as you could expect for its genre and time). Once you get the hang of things, it will likely feel too easy, however. The few twists (bombs, hostages) that appear later on aren't enough to complicate things and after a slip-up or two they won't give you any trouble. A bit more variety in both graphics and gameplay would have really added a lot to this game. Instead, it just kind of sits in the same place as you move along, boring you until you finally decide that enough is enough, and you let the outlaws take all the damn money they want. Some hero you are. Not that I can blame you.
Community review by iamtheprodigy (August 12, 2007)
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