As it’s now available on the Switch, here’s The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash review from yours truly, a first-person shooter set in a future Wild West.
Quite possibly a brighter rendition of Michael Crichton’s Westworld, The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash is a western-themed amusement park where the robots no longer serve but run riot.
As the daughter of the owner, you have to enter the park, take out these outlaw bots serving justice with your pistols and in the process, return control back to your father.
The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash Review – Nintendo Switch
This simplicity remains throughout, and both the park and the menus are quite barren. There’s no intro or cutscenes, just a simple title card and you head into the action. A tad disappointing, but if the gameplay matches up, then we’re golden.
Dixie is armed with some laser pistols, as The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash is set in the future. They aren’t as lavish or futuristic as they sound, but despite packing six-bullets that require a reload, ammo is infinite – unlike the other weapons.
Pick up a rifle and zoom in for headshots which take out the bots pretty quickly, or shoot off their arms so they have nothing to fire with, this is a pretty powerful gun but limited ammo. The same applies to the shotgun-like pistols, which are like miniature cannons and very cool at crowd control.
While you’ll still see ammo drops, Black Dragon Studios are a little stingy with the amount you can claim, so it’s worth ferreting away for the later waves or the boss. Now you know that this is a wave-based game and not a free-for-all.
Most of the time, you will enter a small area of boxes and alleys, and the park robots will continue to spawn until you clear them out. At first, the waves are minimal but soon get a little overwhelming when you get rushed.
These enemies are a little limited in choice, which is a shame as they look pretty good as if they were extras from Futurama. There are the standard robots that will strafe to the left and right repeatedly shooting at you, the snipers with laser sights and the suicide bots that are a nightmare.
With a total of three areas, each has three levels of difficulty: Deputy, Sheriff and Marshall. To be honest, the entry-level was like going up against stormtroopers and if it wasn’t for the later waves of being rushed, a literal walk in the park.
You can’t take any form of shortcut and to unlock each stage, have to complete the one before it, and at the same level of difficulty. In other words, you can’t play Deputy for the first two levels and switch to Sheriff.
The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash does come across as a bit of an N64 title. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does feel a little light in content, and I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a bit more variety of enemies and weapons.
As a score-based title, you can continue your game if you’re killed, but you lose points, and you’ll need to complete the level on par for a chance of three stars. It wasn’t too hard to get the stars, but it doesn’t open up anything other than bragging rights.
So the difficulty is comfortable on the easy setting – rightly so, but with playthroughs of approximately 20-30 minutes for each level, depending on your skill, it doesn’t warrant repeat plays as there’s nothing to unlock – no new weapons or enemies. The bosses of each stage were the same, but could take a bit more hits than their predecessors, but essentially the same tactics.
For a pick-up and play arcade-like FPS, The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash is ok, but it soon becomes repetitive and ignoring the suicide bots, it lacks any urgency as you’re locked into sections at a time.
Not one for being able to find ‘loopholes’ in a game, I did uncover that you could make the level quite clinical by defeating enemies in stages. What that meant was hiding in an alley or similar and wait for the suicide bots to rush you, occasionally the odd standard bot would appear too.
You could essentially pick these off – even with the pistols, one at a time until clear. From then, you walk out into the open space, then take out the snipers. I applied this method a couple of times near the end of my playthrough, it worked, and I didn’t die once. I should be punished for this exploit!
With the bosses, there weren’t exploits as such, but they weren’t challenging either. Shoot all four arms off, then the four armour pads, finally blast the last of it to smithereens. An easy strategy that mostly worked, but between shots, they would pull up a shield which you would have to wait to drop before attacking again.
It felt like this, as well as the numerous waves, dragged out the game a little too much. It was almost as if The Copper Canyon Dixie Dash was a VR game first as it felt quite restrictive. Indeed, it was initially, and in that respect, it might have been a much better experience there.