Top 100 SNES Reviews: #91 – Sunset Riders (1993)

Arcade Vigilante Justice.

Steve, Billy, Bob and Cormano — your western PD. 
Sunset Riders Title Screen
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #91/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

What a gem.

Few games ever become quotable (Star Fox 64 being the big exception). The game’s first boss Simon Greedwell says in a deep gurgling voice “Bury Me With My Money.” Not only is this the kind of financial planning the ancient Egyptians would endorse, it’s instantly quotable. From then on, I knew this was the game for me.

The subsequent scenes do not disappoint. There is burlesque dancing, a Micheal Jackson impersonation, and a shirtless muscular boss with a pro-BDSM slant.

Sunset Riders Quick Draw
Hyperspace mixed with the old west.


In a brightly colored and ornate west, four heroes track down wanted criminals and collect big bounties.

Sunset Riders Spirit Circle
Chief Scalpem lures you into the prayer circle where his ancient ancestors aid him in battle.


The action is fast; the screen will be scattered with shrapnel and you are tasked with avoiding it.  The protagonists are mostly blank slates outside of a celebratory pose and weapon of choice.

Sunset Riders Billy

Billy, a blue-clad pistol wielding cowboy, is clearly none other than Billy from Power Rangers, the ultimate cross-over character.

A playable character in Sunset Riders.

Get Billy real excited, and he’ll transport forward in time to pay homage to one of his biggest inspirations.

While there are plenty of things to like about the main characters, I lament not letting Dark Horse have his own spinoff.

Sunset Riders Dark Horse
A Western Villain or a Gay Leather Club Icon?

I have so many questions. Clearly Dark Horse is up to no good, but what exactly were his crimes? I would guess against humanity, but it could also be for the use of performance enhancing drugs. No wonder he doesn’t wear a shirt; how could this muscle daddy possibly find one in his size? His only friend, an equestrian with red pupils, also deserves more. He could have easily been the villain in the My Little Pony franchise.

I think Dark Horse has a lot to say about Friendship and MAGIC.


Best two-player fun I’ve had in a while.

Other People’s Takes:

  • Talking Comics: “This game is an absolute blast and I really recommend it to fans of the shoot ’em up genre and western motifs.”
  • Retro Pip: “It’s gotten a little bit spendier in recent years on the usual auction sites, creeping closer to the $40 to $50 range for the cart only.  It’s probably not worth that much, but if you can find it on the cheap, then by all means give it a try.  How else are you going to live out your Man With No Name fantasies?”
  • Nerd Bacon: “The game is a sure blast from the past, and I had a fantastic time revisiting my arcade days with this Western gem.”

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