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Do You Remember These Amazing Lightgun Games?

So, do you remember these amazing lightgun games? If you’re somewhat of a regular here at eTeknix, you’ll know that at the start of lockdown, I built my own arcade machine. It’s pretty freaking awesome, but it was lacking something. A light gun! So, as lockdown continued to ravage our schedule, I built one of those too, and it works on PC! Albeit, it also works on my arcade machine, because that’s a PC too. So, that got me thinking, just how many amazing arcade and console lightgun games had I forgotten about? A lot folks, that’s how many.

Time Crisis Series

I’m not even going to pick one, because I’ve played Time Crisis 1-4 over the last two weeks and they’re all utterly fantastic. Haven’t tried Time Crisis 5 just yet. However, if pushed to pick one, I must admit a soft spot for the original arcade version of the first game. However, the best all-round experience seems to be Time Crisis II on the PlayStation 2 or arcade… ACTION!

Point Blank

This PlayStation 1 game was a blend of Takeshi’s Castle and Banzai mixed in with a fairground shooting gallery. It’s utterly bonkers. I’ve played Point Blank 1, 2 and 3 and they’re all basically the same game, and that’s no bad thing. It’s one of the most fun things Namco has ever done, as you enjoy the madness of Dr. Dan and Dr. Don to shoot ducks, play guess who (quick draw style), and more. Plus, it’s properly competitive multiplayer scoring antics are at their peak in Point Blank 3.

Virtua Cop

I’m not sure this one ever got the reception it deserved, it lived on AM2 arcade hardware, but also the Sega Saturn (which I owned it on). It was a little slow-paced in the first game, but by the time Virtua Cop 2 landed, they’d really dialled in the mechanics of this one. It was a release on Sega Dreamcast too, and for the time, I think I enjoyed this more than Time Crisis. It really was a golden age for the lightgun.

Die Hard Trilogy

Remember the Die Hard Trilogy for PlayStation 1? Me too, wow that was a great game, and while the driving city bomber game and the 3D run and gun game haven’t aged well, the Airport gun game is still a blast. It didn’t actually support my Guncon controller, but this is a modern world. Good “Die Hard Trilogy GunCon Patch” and you’ll be able to mod your ISO to boot straight to the Airport game with Guncon support. It’ll even work on legit GunCons with the original console (most likely chipped, as you’ll need a custom iso). “Yeeeeah, EAT THIS!” as the game would say.

Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt, because it’s what started it all for me, such a classic and easily one of the most iconic. Sure, it’s not the action packed adventure some of the games above are. Actually, it’s about one of the most simple gaming formulas ever created. However, playing this on the NES back in the day, on my own TV at home, felt like a truly next-gen experience.

Honourable Mentions

Silent Scope is still one of the best arcade games ever. The bloody scope had its own display in it and REALLY worked. That would be a big mod for me to make something like this at home though, yikes.

Haunted Mansion, House of the Dead, Sega Golden Gun, Terminator II, and countless others are great fun too. However, I prefer my more steady-paced skill-shot ones. A lot of the bigger arcade ones were damn near pure spam fire or auto-fire. Maybe I should build a table-mounted auto-fire gun for those next… hmmm

Of course, if you think that article is just bait for you all to remind of other games I might have missed, you’re right. Post a comment and I’ll fire it up for me and the kids to play this week, ha!

Peter Donnell

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