The western has made a return to the video game market.
They have been around since the 1980s with the coming of the Commodore 64 and on the early Sega and Nintendo systems and, later, with Playstation and the Game Cube.
When the Playstation 2 came out the graphics that had been developed on the earlier games was enhanced. Rockstar, the creators of 'Grand Theft Auto' and 'Midnight Club' games brought out 'Red Dead Revolver'. It had a good storyline and a soundtrack that sounded as though it had come straight from the pen of Ennio Morricone.
Although rated with a max of 7.5 out of 10 in games magazines this game has sold 1.5 million copies since the 2004 release.
Following on with this was Playstation 2 released another series 'Gunfighter: The Legend Of Jesse James' which had a sequel 'Gunfighter 2: The Revenge Of Jesse James'
The first western video game to go out on all consoles was
With a gap in the market Xbox 360 came out with the 'Call Of Juarez'. This, in turn, has a sequel (though this is really a prequel) 'Call Of Juarez: Blood Bound'.
Sometime between now and April 2010 the second Rockstar game 'Red Dead Redemption' will appear on a console near you.
Mr Dobbs at The Tainted Archive has a video of the trailer for this game. It certainly looks good but like all trailers for video games it is made up of the cut scene graphics rather than the gameplay.
The main focus of the western video games has roots in the spaghetti western. The hero, very often, is Clint Eastwood inspired. Unlike the early Lucky Luke games from way back.
Even the packaging has that good movie poster feel about them.
The western video game does have an audience amongst the young. But these are RPG (role playing games) whereas most young people have a liking for sports related games or splatter games.
It is interesting to discover that it is the 55 and above age group that buys RPGs like the games listed above - and they have the nerve to criticise us youngsters.