While the central quest in Boot Hill Bounties may have been cliche and the gameplay slightly disappointing, the time spent with my crew made it worthwhile. This Western yarn might not be a consistently excellent experience, but it still reminded me of how much I love the Wild West.
Boot Hill Bounties would be considered a serviceable JRPG without the bugs. The visual glitches are just out-of-place, but the progress-ending bug in the opening tutorial had me worried every time I would open a menu or click through dialogue that my playthrough would be ended prematurely. Given that the story, systems, and mechanics are so familiar, it’s a shame Boot Hill Bounties does nothing to make its versions unique or exciting outside of the trope-filled, spaghetti-western theme.
Ultimately, Boot Hill Bounties just doesn't do much of anything. It does succeed in being a retro-themed JRPG set in the Wild West, but it's not a particularly interesting Wild West, the combat system is functional, rather than interesting, and it was really hard to maintain interest in anything that the game offers. Boot Hill Bounties doesn't do anything wrong... other than be so uninspired that it doesn't give anyone a reason to play it either.
Overall, Boot Hill Bounties was a game that I liked way more than I initially anticipated. I mean, I knew I would enjoy it based on the theme, but it was nothing like I expected. A couple of hours in will get you hooked and I had to see the end for myself (which reveals a huge twist that gives me hope for a third installment). The towns are filled to the brim with things to see and do, people to speak with, and sidequests galore. The characters, even the townspeople, are unique in design and in dialogue. If you enjoy a great western story with build-up, complex battling, and a bit of a challenge, I highly recommend trying this one out – it’s worth the time spent!
This is the sequel to 2014's Boot Hill Heroes, which is a wild-west themed JRPG with an old school art design reminiscent of Earthbound, and loads of charm. The first game itself was a very good Indie RPG in general with the one downfall of being rather short. This one remedies that problem and loads it up with even more content. Most of the downfalls of the first game have been addressed and the outcome is a stellar experience.
To explain, this does pick up where the first game ended, and you may be a little in the dark about the various characters if you are coming in fresh. This game does feature data carry over where you can import your items and levels, to encourage you to come in after playing the first game. To summarize what happened there, the Saints-Little Gang framed the Chepakwik Indian Tribe for destroying the town of Ashwood in an attempt to incite a war between the tribe and the settlers. Their exact motive was unknown, and the first game ended with you defeating one member of the Gang, and then hearing the story of how their leader was arrested 10 years prior to the start of the game. Your objective here is to round up the gang members who are up to no good and find evidence to clear the Chepakwik before a war breaks out.
So one of the big changes you get right out from the gate is the non-linear gameplay. Once you return to the hub town, you are free to go after any of the members of the gang, provided you can find them. This will affect your equipment, what side quests you can take, what recipes you can learn, and other sorts of minutia that are important to the world building experience. In doing so, you learn about past events related to the characters themselves and the world they live in, and also allowing you to see first hand what kind of chaos this gang has unleashed. Additionally, the way hats work in the game has also changed. The first game featured them as a tool for learning moves for combat, but now they function more along the lines of a job system, sometimes teaching you new moves for the hat itself, giving you abilities to be used with other hats, and also exceeding the 4 move limit from the first game. Beyond just this, there are many new moves that open up different strategies for fighting your opponents, meaning that you don't necessary have to grind to win, provided you look at what hats are available and adjust your strategy for whatever obstacle is in your way.
As for graphics, everything has been touched up from the first game, with portraits being added for many of the important characters, allowing you to see the smaller details of their characters. The playable characters themselves both change on map as well in portrait as you change their hats around. Cities have been re-designed to be more stream-lined and everything is just better. You will re-visit some of the locations from the first game, but there are also many other places to go, many of them having something unique to set them apart from the other areas. Seeing as you're playing as a farmer, it is nice to actually be able to use your farm to generate materials for some of the new systems in the game.
In terms of gameplay, there is both good news and bad news. The first is that the battle system itself still carries over a lot of the weaknesses it possessed from the first game, with an all-or-nothing aspect where you either dodge a move in its entirety or you take the hit in its entirety. This is bad when the shot is going to kill you from full health, which is a threat periodically throughout the game. However, the good news is that there are new systems in place that can make your life a little easier. Should you go down, Doc Valentine can now treat your wounds, meaning you don't have to go to town and shell out a fortune. If you need money, Rosy can use the food you collect to make dishes to sell, or just to eat to obtain some buffs for a few fights. And finally, when it comes to combat, Moon Dancer can augment your equipment with numerous effects to inflict statuses, boost your damage, or help you hit evasive enemies. Additionally, with the new hats in the game come new abilities to help speed up battles by allowing you to break enemy stances, turn normal moves into AOE, or other effects. Most of the things from the first game are still intact, but everything is bigger. And should you find the game too easy or tough, you can change the difficulty at any time to better suit your experience.
Overall, I have been waiting for this game to come out since I finished the first one, and I am impressed with what I've found so far. It occupies a niche of its own, and I recommend it to anyone interested in wild west themed gaming environments or those just looking for a fun JRPG to sink some time into. It truly is a unique experience and I am looking forward to whatever Experimental Gamer puts out next.
I beat it already on PC and just picked up the Switch version to give it another go.
(Reviewer only played the PC version, but essentially it's identical.)
As already noted by a fellow reviewer, this game is a sequel of Boot Hill Heroes. If you haven't played it before, reduce 1 or 2 from the score. This game starts from where the prequel left and It will be hard to catch up with the story and characters.
This game is quite straight forward JRPG. Move around, talk to the people, do quests, win battles and you progress. If you look at the screenshots and feel like "Hm, maybe I will enjoy this.", then very likely you will. There won't be much of surprise elements, positive or negative.
The BGM is LEGENDARY. But there's almost no additional tracks from the prequel.
This game seems charming and fun at first until you come to the mine area. There is basically a repetitive timed puzzle that requires careful coordination with your movement that is just not possible with a switch joy con. I am at a loss, I was having a decent time with the game until this point.
SummaryWild West Epic: Boot Hill Bounties is the second episode in a game series that fuses elements of spaghetti western film - gunslinging outlaws, brave lawmen, and the untamed wilderness - with classic RPG storyline and gameplay. 90s console RPGs like Final Fantasy, Earthbound and Chrono Trigger created lasting memories and impacted us as g...