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I'm just putting together a list of the 15 best or most influential light-gun games for Retro Gamer, I've got about 10 definites that I think should be in there so far... what are other people's favourites? Virtua Cop 2 and House of the Dead 2 are already in, natch...

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Playstation 1

Elemental Gearbolt

Point Blank

Arcade

Lethal Enforcers

Mad Dog McCree

Xbox

Silent Scope

NES

Wild Gunman

Duck Hunt

Master System

Operation Wolf

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I was lucky enough to play Lucky & Wild once years ago. It's really good fun and you can have some good buddy-cop arguments.

Rambo and Terminator Salvation are both good fun although as has been said a bit new and I wasn't prepared to put a tenner in the things to find out how good they get later on.

T2 Arcade wasn't too bad, it's more a shooting gallery with HKs.

There are some shocking lightgun games though, Alien 3: The Gun springs to mind. And of course Mad Dog Mcree.

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Good call on Lucky & Wild... Mad Dog Macree is a classic laser disc game though ;)

Time Crisis or Time Crisis II?

Gonna crack out the guncon and Time Crisis & Elemental Gearbolt later...

EDIT: Anyone ever play Snatcher with the Megadrive light gun?

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Ghost Squad. It's amazing. Easily the best lightgun game I've played since Virtua Cop 2. Not massively surprising considering it was made by AM2, but it still gets my goat that everybody ignored it on Wii.

EDIT: L.A. MachineGuns and Gunblade New York are also available on Wii, but both suck. Out of all Sega's internal divisions, only AM2 knew how to make a good gun game. HOTD not withstanding, although the fact you had to use your pistol (and all the limitations that entails) by spamming the trigger begs the question of why they didn't just give you a machine gun. Of course, that's what they did for 4, and 3 had shotguns, which also made sense.

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Seriously, did anyone actually enjoy playing Mad Dog Macree beyond the novelty value? Remember seeing it in arcades in the mid-90s and not really liking the look of it then. I'm sure it has lots of nostalgia value for people, but as a game there are so many more playable ones out there.

What was the similar one, Ground Zero Texas? Apparently that was better, better acting, randomisation. Just not interested in FMV games.

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My ex-gf was sansaely good at House Of The Dead 2. She could get quite a ways on a pound. She also had a great time with HotD Overkill on the Wii, it was her de-stresser when she got in from work. Great days.

was GZT a light gun game though?

I think I'm getting it mixed up woth something else.

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No it was more of an interactive movie-adventure thing...

I think Mad Dog has it's place as a mass-appeal, family-oriented gun game, but yeah, it's the Dragon's Lair of ligh-gun games I guess. But then you can get away with FMV in an on-rails genre...

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Also, I'll say this for Elemental Gearbolt (I've never played it, unfortunately) - the soundtrack is really great. I mean, really, really great. Track down on one of the vg music download sites, because it's well worth a listen.

EDIT

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Also, I'll say this for Elemental Gearbolt (I've never played it, unfortunately) - the soundtrack is really great. I mean, really, really great. Track down on one of the vg music download sites, because it's well worth a listen.

Agreed... it's absolutely stunning... I was a bit of a Working Designs fan back in the PS1 days and glad to say still have my boxed copy...

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As oldies go I have a bit of a soft-spot for Crossbow myself. I also vaguely remember playing a few electro-mechanical games involving sinking subs and shooting sharks.

Yes I'm that old.

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I loved Point Blank but the one I used to like a lot was the Lost World light gun game. I played it and finished it on my own initially in Spain and then during another holiday I played it with someone else as a co-op thing.

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I suppose you ought to start with the old Pong clones too - I had one with a gun that had a couple of variations of shoot the square on the screen. Then Duck Hunt....

Yeah, I was going to say I should probably put more lightgun games into one of the 'gaming regrets' thread, because I don't think I ever played one after the old 'shoot the white square sliding across the screen' games.

As oldies go I have a bit of a soft-spot for Crossbow myself. I also vaguely remember playing a few electro-mechanical games involving sinking subs and shooting sharks.

Yes I'm that old.

Or the old redneck cabin 'rifle range' you'd see in arcades across the land, with amusing 'animatronics' when you hit the target.

I can recall one electro-mechanical game where you had to shoot down UFOs, but to do so you had to sit on a seat that span around the game, with your face pressed to a Battlezone-type periscope.

You scooted around, pushing off with your feet, then hit the fire button when you lined up with the projection of a UFO on the skyline; rapidly replaced by a projection of two laser lines, then a still explosion graphic, then a burst of white noise...

Kids these days don't know they're born, I tells ya.

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Sooo... I dug out the Guncon and Time Crisis and Elemental Gearbolt and man... they are a lot tougher than I remember....

Didn't play for long on Time Crisis but I coudnt even get much further than the first encounter with the helicopter (stage 3 or 4?) - the time limit is much tighter than I remembered and I just kept running out of time. Admittedly I have the JPN version so I'm wondering if I had the difficulty settings too high or the GunCon configured badly. Either that or I'm just crap. Have to say the the years haven't been too kind to the graphics on this version...

Elemental Gearbolt in comparison still looks quite nice - fusing Panzer Dragoon-style fantasy graphics, anime cutscenes and RPG style level-upping. Again it's a lot tougher than I remember, it took me an hour or so just to progress past the first two levels. That soundtrack is gorgeous though. Shame it never got officialy released over here afaik.

I have to say the GunCon doesnt feel as accurate as I used to think it was, a fair bit of waiver between shots, but then that might have just been my pudding hands.

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For me, the titles which represent the apex of the genre are...

Virtua Cop - I know people are nostalgic about Operation Wolf et al, but I'll be honest, I think VC was really the birth of the proper light gun game - I always felt everything beforehand was merely a novelty. Really "solid" visuals, great enemy placement, superb scoring system and that Sega 90s charm.

GunBlade - Really just about the cabinet with the huge numbness-inducing machine guns; playing the Wii reveals the actual game to be good, but nothing special.

Silent Scope - The opposite of GunBlade, in that the cabinet was a novelty but the game was tremendous - great fusion of novelty cabinet and a game that got the best out of it. The final bit where you have to headshot the villain on the boat with one bullet was superb.

Time Crisis 2 - Probably the very best light gun game ever made. Loads of stage variety, great pacing and design. The 2 player concept was very novel and it was very "fair" for an arcade title (I used to be able to 1-credit it).

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As oldies go I have a bit of a soft-spot for Crossbow myself. I also vaguely remember playing a few electro-mechanical games involving sinking subs and shooting sharks.

Yes I'm that old.

Crossbow was a brilliant game - doesn't look like much now, but at the time the graphics looked fantastic (it was released in '83). And it was great fun being able to make choices as to where you wanted to go.

There was kind of a follow up called Chiller, although I've only played it on emulation. Tried to be a bit of a video nasty with cut up corpses and the like (plus you had to shoot up parts of bodies). Might be worth a box out in the article...

http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7328

That remake of Beach Head (Beach Head 2000) was a pretty decent shoot em up. Not really a light gun game.

Plus Silent Scope was awesome.

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House of the Dead 2 on Dreamcast was a favourite for a brief period when I was at uni. There was a bit in the first level where a child in a sailor costume bursts out of a door and runs straight at the screen - whoever "shot the wee boy" first was the winner. Then we'd reset the game and do it again.

For an actual playthrough, Confidential Mission was the preferred choice - the justice shots (borrowed from Virtua Cop?) and gadgets were inspired.

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