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Video Game / The Gunstringer

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Twisted Pixel's first title for the Xbox 360 Kinect. The aptly-named Gunstringer is a former outlaw who's returned from the grave to seek vengence upon his former posse. Armed with his trusty six-shooter and the fury of the devil himself, the Gunstringer will be charging all over The Wild West (or at least as close as a puppet show can get) to find his betrayers and serve them some deadly justice.

The game has received a Downloadable Content add-on called Wavy Tube Man Chronicles, a Live Action Full Motion Video Rail Shooter starring the main game's iconic first stage boss, a shooting simulator called Real Big Shootin`, and a sequel El Diablo's 'Merican adventure.

This work contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Mixes The Western with a rather cheeky puppet show.
  • Anachronism Stew: It is a In-Universe puppet show, so historical accuracy is pretty much moot.
  • Beard of Evil: The Beard Master uses it as a deadly weapon!
  • Brain Bleach: How Gatorjack was conceived. Both the audience and the Gunstringer share this reaction.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: The Brothel Madam is very well endowed, and the only time the Perpetual Frowner protagonist smiles is when ogling her breasts.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Old Baron's a classic Western version of this.
  • Death Glare: the Gunstringer does this a lot to his enemies.
  • Far East: Everything about the Beard Master's stage. Odd for a game that's in the Old West...
  • Framing Device: The entire story is told as a puppet show.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Even in a world of silly Western puppets with anachronistic levels, the Wavy Tube Man really comes out of nowhere. Notable in that he's the first boss.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Gunstringer holds the half of a picture with those who betrayed him. He crosses them out one-by-one as he finishes them.
  • Guns Akimbo: A couple of segments have the Gunstringer whip out a second gun and shoot just about everything onscreen.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: If you're to believe the Brothel Madam's poster. Could be a case of Very False Advertising.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the upgrades is a flamethrower. That's right...a flamethrower in a Western.
  • Line Of Sight Premise: The game came about when the two heads of Twisted Pixel were in a meeting with a Microsoft exec in a Tex-Mex restaurant to pitch an idea for a Kinect game. Unfortunately, they didn't have one (to be precise they did but it was found at the last minute to be impractical with the Kinect's technology) and eventually the representative left to use the bathroom wanting to hear it when she got back, giving them only a few minutes to come up with a new game idea. They had previously discussed a game based on marionettes and one of them noticed a painting of a skeleton cowboy. And the rest is history.
  • Male Gaze: Gunstringer can not help but stare at the Brothel Madam's assets, it is the only noticeable time he smiles.
  • Mayincatec: The Lady of the Dead has an Aztec name (Mictecacihuatl) and is the living embodiment of Dia de Los Muertos.
  • Medium Awareness: The Gunstringer knows full well he's in a puppet show and takes a bow after every act.
  • Muppet: The Sheriff that works for the Old Baron is an all out parody of one.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: There are thousands of paper zombies that go after you in the Lady of the Dead level.
  • Old Master: The Beard Master is the eldest of the villains, and second in power only to the Lady of the Dead.
  • Perpetual Frowner: The Gunstringer never smiles, except for one brief moment when looking at the Brothel Madam's assets.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: A rare non-obvious example; the photograph is torn horizontally. It hides the identity of the last and possibly the worst member of the posse: you, the player.
  • Prehensile Hair: The Beard Master's beard can move about like a living thing, and he uses it to whip the Gunstringer during their battle. It can even detach from him and move about on its own.
  • Samurai Cowboy: The Beard Master's minions, as well as the Master himself, have this aesthetic.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The shotgun upgrade is capable of clearing just about half the screen in one shot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In keeping with the game's theme and tone, all the chapter completion awards reference Western films note . Several other progression achievements are similarly named, such as The Lone Star or neo-Westerns such as No Country For Old Barons.
    • The music during a scene with a lumberjack and an alligator has a song that is a reference to Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye.