Console: NES

Company: Konami

Release Date: May 1991

Genre: Action/Adventure

Number of Players: 1

Save Feature? Yes

Very rarely will a great game pass by the wayside like The Lone Ranger. This game is one of those NES games that so many people somehow missed. For a 1991 release, The Lone Ranger was way ahead of its time. There are action, adventure, RPG, puzzle, and even 3-D elements in The Lone Ranger. For people who want variety, they will have a blast with The Lone Ranger. The legend from the early 1900s rides on in this NES thriller!

Overview: The Lone Ranger consists of eight long stages. Most stages contain at least one town, a large wilderness, and caves, buildings, or rugged terrain where the enemies are hiding. Each stage has at least one main goal. For example, in stage 2, the goal is to return stolen treasure to its rightful owners. The gameplay varies from stage to stage. You can talk to people, buy items, and win money in towns. This gives the game an RPG element. There are side-scrolling levels where you must jump and shoot your way to victory. There are 3-D caves to trudge through, horse racing levels, and even bonus levels where you can use the Zapper gun! To battle the many foes of the game, the Lone Ranger can use regular bullets or the legendary silver bullets. TNT works nicely too.

Graphics: The graphics in The Lone Ranger create the "Old West" atmosphere perfectly! The towns look like they did back in the 1800s and the terrain looks empty and rugged. The attention to detail really adds to the atmosphere. The side-scrolling levels don't look as sharp as the town scenes, however. In one particular level, you ride Silver the horse and the parallax-scrolling in the background creates a really cool effect! For the most part, the animation is smooth. Although the animation in the side-scrolling levels is a little lax, it is very nice everywhere else.

Music: Konami never disappoints in the music department. There are many different tunes in this game and most of them are exceptional. The percussion that Konami puts in their music is just so cool! They really knew how to use the full power of the NES. I felt that the music did a nice job adding to the "Old West" setting. The sound effects are very nice; there is some impressive digital voice effects! I like hearing "Hi-yo Silver!"

Play Control: The play control in The Lone Ranger is exceptional. I say exceptional because since this game has so much variety, the play control in each area tends to differ. For example, the controls in the Zelda-like scenes are slightly different than the controls in the side-scrolling levels. The 3-D areas have different controls as do the horse racing levels. I think that Konami did a remarkable job of making the controls in every area of the game smooth and enjoyable. In the towns, you can move in 8 different directions which helps you to shoot your foes at an angle. Reloading your gun is easy and firing is a breeze. The controls in the 3-D scenes are easy to learn as well. You can even turn around and get that guy behind you. This game gets high marks for play control.

Challenge: Like many Konami games, The Lone Ranger gets really tough. I can say right away that inexperienced gamers will not fare well; it takes a real sharpshooter to beat this game. One thing that makes the game really tough is the fact that you have only one life. Don't worry, there is a nice password system, but you do have to conquer each level with one life. Since most of the chapters will take around 30 minutes to beat, it can get frustrating when you repeatly lose. However, the game isn't unbearable; it's still pretty fun.

Storyline: Big Lone Ranger fans will recognize the storyline in the NES game. Back in the times of the "Old West", there was a law enforcement agency known as the Texas Rangers. The leader was a man named Dan Reid, with his son John being second-in-command. Around that time, Butch Cavendish and his outlaw sidekicks got into a shootout with the Rangers. Butch's father was killed in the battle. Not long after, Butch and his men set up an ambush for the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately, it was successful and all the men were killed...or so Butch thought. John Reid managed to survive and after the outlaws left, was rescued by the friendly indian, Tonto. Tonto cared for John and taught him how to fight bare-handed. John wanted to fool Butch Cavendish into thinking that he was dead so he set up a tombstone for himself next to the other Rangers. John created a mask for himself to protect his identity and became (drumroll please) The Lone Ranger! For this game, the plot is that Butch kidnapped the President of the United States! Needless to say, John will not allow Butch to emerge victorious. After John finds his legendary horse, Silver, the two will set off to fight Butch in a final confrontation.

Funfactor: The Lone Ranger is very difficult but at the same time, it's a lot of fun. The amazing variety of levels is what makes The Lone Ranger so entertaining. You never know what the next level will be. The password system is a major plus; the game would be downright impossible without one. Overall, The Lone Ranger is a solid game pak and belongs in every video game collection. Many people have not played this game; if you're looking for a "new" NES game, this game would be a great pick!

Negatives: Compared to the beautiful towns and impressive 3-D scenes, some of the side-scrolling levels seem a little weak. The play control seems to be a little stiff in these levels as well. You only have one life to live in each level so you have to be extremely careful. [STAGE 2]

Ratings: Graphics: 4.3 Music: 4.5 Play Control: 4.2 Challenge: 4.3 Storyline: 4.3 Funfactor: 4.2 Overall Score: 25.8 out of 30.0 Overall Rating: Bronze Bravo


Last Updated: May 21, 2006
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