"You ain't gonna get me, sheriff." That's what the absent-minded criminal told me right before I shot him in the face. Moments later, his friend pops out with a multi-colored poncho and says the exact same thing. In fact, everybody says those words at one point or another. Without exaggeration, every other bad guy introduces himself by using those six words. By the time Lethal Enforcers II: The Gunfighters was over, I must have heard that phrase more than the N-word in Django Unchained.
Released a year after the original Lethal Enforcers, this sequel trades modern city life for the Wild West. It's the 1870s and there's a new sheriff in town. Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, that new sheriff is you and the whole town is expecting results. So grab your Sega Menacer, Konami Justifier or, as an absolute last resort, the Genesis game pad and get ready to clean things up.
Lethal Enforcer II's five stages are rife with your favorite Wild West cliches. There's the bank robbery, a stagecoach hold-up, the saloon shootout, a train robbery and, when you're done messing around, a final showdown at the gang's hideout. Each stage offers a number of locations to shoot up, as well as a difficult boss battle to contend with.
As a light gun game, Lethal Enforcers II is painfully shallow. The gameplay doesn't change from one scene to the next, which means that you're forced to shoot the same looking bad guys saying the same thing through five routine stages. The rules never change -- shoot the bad guys and don't accidentally hit one of the innocent hostages. You can almost see the conveyer belt keeping this boring shooting gallery moving.
In the arcades, Lethal Enforcers II uses digitized characters to create a more "realistic" look. To Konami's credit, they've done an admirable job recreating the look on the 16-bitter. Unfortunately, the end result is messy and hard to look at all these years later. The characters don't act realistically and some of the backgrounds are laughable. The Genesis is capable of so much better than this light gun sequel.
Despite the ugly graphics and repetitive audio, Lethal Enforcers II: The Gunfighters is a solid light gun experience. With both the Menacer and Justifier, players had an arcade-style experience at home. Things break down when you try and play this with a standard Genesis game pad. In the end, this 16-bitter managed to be both a solid arcade port and a miserable light gun game.