When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.
This is a surprise recent acquisition of mine. Having gone through a period seeking out arcade compilations on home consoles, this game was of course on my radar. But, I never found a copy in the price range I was expecting to pay. Just a few weeks ago, Jenny and I made a trip to the mall to get a filter for our fridge, and I felt like popping into GameStop. They had a display of heavily discounted Wii games along with loose GameCube and PS2 games. This was in the bunch, complete for a few dollars. Eureka, my search had ended! I also picked up Sin & Punishment: Star Successor for a few dollars as well; complete no less.
Both games hail from your movie theater lobby, circa 1999. Actually, Gunblade NY was released in 1995 while L.A. Machineguns followed in 1998, but you get my point. Sega was responsible for both, and since I haven’t played this compilation yet I can’t say with certainty, but I believe they were developed by Sega AM3. This compilation was originally released for the Wii in Australia on August 26, 2010, with releases following in Europe and North America on the 27th and 30th, respectively. After enjoying Ghost Squad, I’m looking forward to these. Plus, they’ll take around twenty or thirty minutes to beat and should provide a fun co-op experience.
Light-gun style games are almost always lacking in content, but feature-rich in replayability. Ghost Squad for the Wii is no exception. It was originally developed by Sega AM2 and released into the arcades in 2004, but was ported to the Wii by Polygon Magic in 2007. I just played through it with a friend and it literally took us less than a half-hour. There’s a handful of reasons to replay the game, but with the exception of one, they’re hard to justify actually do so. That said, this brief experience was a blast as the game was well-executed. Continue reading Ghost Squad [Wii] – Review
Back when arcades ruled the video game roost, light gun games were widespread. The genre wasn’t as ubiquitous on home consoles, but it seems like each console from back in the day had a light gun. One game with a big presence back then was Lethal Enforcers. It was originally released as an arcade game in 1992, but was ported to the Genesis, Super Nintendo, and Sega CD from 1993-1994. Developed and published by Konami, each version came bundled with the Konami Justifier, a blue light gun modeled after the Cult Python, the iconic .357 Magnum revolver. Enabling cooperative play is the harder to find pink light gun, although it works across all three platforms.
Lethal Enforcers contains little narrative, but little is needed. Crime is being committed and as a cop, it’s your (and your partner’s) duty to uphold the law. You’ll shoot through scenes in which bad guys pop their heads up from cover looking to blow yours off. Without quick timing and precise accuracy, game over comes quickly. Once those qualities are on lock-down though, you might just be able to make your city a little cleaner. While that sounded like an ad, that’s pretty much the best way I can sum up the game.
My friend and I played the Genesis and Sega CD versions of Lethal Enforcers and I only noticed one difference between the two versions – the soundtrack of the Sega CD version was of a higher quality. Both games looked identical, although the Sega CD version should look much better than its Genesis counterpart. I imagine the Super Nintendo version is identical to the Genesis version, although without playing it myself, I can’t say with certainty.
My friend and I had a rough go at the game. It was easy to complete the first level, a bank robbery, and even do so without losing lives, but to unlock the next level, we had to have 70% accuracy. We eventually managed this, but the second level, a trip to Chinatown, upped the difficulty, while also asking us to have even better accuracy. The game has five stages and I’m sure this continues to be the case throughout the game.
I really enjoy light gun games, and Lethal Enforcers seems to be one of the genre’s better examples. It’s tough, but it doesn’t force players to memorize enemy locations. With quick reflexes and good accuracy, anyone can have fun. Playing cooperatively is a treat because at that point, you’re into the experience for at least thirty bucks, but it’s definitely much more fun with a partner. Lethal Enforcers is a fun game, although for the best experience, it will be slightly costly/difficult to track down. It’s worth noting that Lethal Enforcers won’t work on HDTVs so if you’re interested, make sure you have a CRT TV or something you can play it on.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to the movies and watched J. Edgar. As we were walking out I spotted a small, dark room containing about a dozen arcade games. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was two teenagers making out in a cockpit. Once I was done staring at them, we walked around and I told my girlfriend about the games. We stuck to one wall avoiding the other couple and after getting change we played a few games.
The first game we played was Cyber Troopers Virtual-On. It was developed by Sega AM3, published by Sega, and released around 1995. We picked two anime inspired mecha and fought each other until someone won two rounds. I liked that we had to sit down in a cockpit and pilot out mecha with two joysticks. In practice though we didn’t have time to figure out what the buttons did. By the time we were starting to grasp the controls, she had won. Next up was X-Men.
X-Men was developed and published by Konami in 1992. It’s a side-scrolling beat ‘em up and what I thought X-Men for the Sega Genesis was going to be. I played as Storm while she picked Wolverine; it was much easier to understand than Virtual-On. The graphics seem very detailed for when X-Men came out; our characters in particular were very large, good looking sprites. I think my joystick might’ve been messed up because I had a difficult time getting Storm to walk down. We didn’t last long but I enjoyed the minute or two we played it.
Lastly my girlfriend played Maximum Force, alone because one of the coin slots wasn’t working and it stole my change. Maximum Force is a light gun shooter developed by Mesa Logic and published by Atari Games in 1997. I didn’t find this game very attractive. The environments were poor 3D while the characters were 2D sprites. The enemies (monsters or aliens?) jumped into screen quickly and popped up all over the area, making it easy to get flustered. She lasted a while, but Maximum Force didn’t look very fun. You know what? I don’t think Maximum Force is the game she played because the descriptions of it on the internet differ from what I’ve just said.
There were plenty more arcade games but I only had three dollars worth of change and it went fast. I liked X-Men and could see myself wanting to stay and play through it, but overall it was kind of a poor experience. That doesn’t diminish my want to visit a proper arcade jam-packed with games or California Extreme, a large arcade convention, those would be fun with a friend or two. But until I do, my arcade action is limited to the movie theaters.
In the early nineties, due to the increased space of compact discs, a new feature was being added to video games, full motion video. That craze ran its course in little time showing that it took more than actual video footage to make a game good, but playing games from this era can often times be humorous. Mad Dog McCree is arguably one of the most popular games that used real video, and Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack on the Nintendo Wii collects the entire Mad Dog McCree series. The package includes Mad Dog McCree, Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold, and The Last Bounty Hunter. They were all developed by American Laser Games and were originally released as arcade games in the early nineties. Digital Leisure, who now owns the American Laser Games catalog of titles, ported the games to the Wii and the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Packwas published by Majesco in 2009.
In Mad Dog McCree, Mad Dog McCree himself has kidnapped a mayor’s daughter and his gang of bandits are running amok in the old west town. An older prospector filled my friend and I in and gave us some advice on where to begin. After this conversation, we were able to pick where we wanted to go, the saloon, the sheriff’s office, etc. In the saloon for instance, the bartender waved us over and told us that the group nearby was Mad Dog’s men and we soon had a shoot out with the bunch. We could shoot them beforehand, but nothing would happen. We had to wait for them to get up and the game to register that they could be killed then and that’s a severe downside of FMV, especially when you know who to shoot. Also, whenever enemies are popping out behind cover, the game hitches for a split second as the footage is being cut of the scene with no one to the scene of that enemy popping out. I don’t really consider that too terrible, I mean it gave us a little heads up to start searching and that’s just how FMV games have to operate, although it was more jarring in Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold when there’d be animals on screen in one spot but then just appear somewhere else instantly.
Mad Dog II: the Lost Gold also had an interesting mechanic that gave my friend and I a choice on how to complete the game. In Mad Dog II, we were again on the trail of Mad Dog McCree, attempting to take him out, but this time with the added bonus of getting his treasure. After some introduction, we had the choice of three characters to lead us to Mad Dog McCree. Each one took us through some unique action sequences, but they all led to the final battle with Mad Dog McCree. The final scene in Mad Dog II was lengthy and challenging. We were led to a small town that was full of Mad Dog’s men. The sequence took a couple of minutes and strewn throughout were civilians who we had to avoid. Quick thought, if I was a civilian and I knew there was a deadly battle raging outside, I probably wouldn’t pop my head out of a window and yell don’t shoot. During this lengthy showdown, there was a part that had my friend and I stumped. We were able to continuously get to a section of the town, and then we’d get shot and we couldn’t find out by whom. We tried for fifteen minutes but to no avail. We finally got on YouTube and found that the enemy was in a door way, in the very back of the scene, barely noticeable.
The last game in the compilation, The Last Bounty Hunter, ditches Mad Dog McCree. Instead, my friend and I were the last, um, bounty hunters and were tasked by a Union Army official during the Civil War to track down some outlaws that have been causing trouble. They could be attempted in any order and we had the option to bring them in dead or alive; alive if we shot their gun instead of them, which is harder said than done. This game was probably the most humorous as each outlaw had a unique personality and the actors who played them overacted. But that’s one of the things that’s great about these games, it seems like every actor overacts and it’s funny to watch with a pal and commentate on how awful they are.
These games don’t take a lot of effort to beat, they are practically built on trial and error, and while I usually don’t find that enjoyable, I was able to persist with these games if only to see the overacting. My friend and I were determined to beat all the games in one sitting and it took us an hour or two, searching YouTube included. The actual game part is okay, staring at a screen, waiting for an enemy to pop up isn’t the most thrilling action video games have to offer, but having someone else with you, taking out the bad guys, watching explosions in slow motion, and chastising the acting is worth tracking down the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack for the Wii.