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29 Controls of Christmas
Super Scope/Sega Menacer
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 07, 2008   |   Episode 11 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



Not only were these two light guns big and lame, but they were also expensive!
Brief Synopsis: Apparently 1992 was the year that both Nintendo and Sega realized that they needed a light gun. But they didn't want to repeat the sins of the past, where cops were being confused by the realistic look of the fake plastic zapper and phazer. Instead they needed something bigger; something more impressive. Interestingly enough both Nintendo and Sega went about creating their gaudy 16-Bit light guns in different ways, yet in the end they both proved to be huge eye sores that were laughably stupid. Nintendo's entry was the Super Scope, a bazooka-like gun that you rested on your shoulder and used to fire big, giant missiles. At least, that was the theory. In most games it felt like you were just firing a regular light gun, even though you had this enormous piece of plastic resting on your body at all times. The Sega Menacer wasn't nearly as large, but it was definitely stupid looking. It's gimmick was that you could pull it apart and craft it in any number of different ways. The problem is that no matter how you used it, you always looked like a huge moron holding an oversized piece of plastic. Sure these products didn't look like real guns, but they also didn't look like anything you would want to be seen holding.

The Style: I understand the desire to make your light gun bigger and better, but who was the guy that decided that it would be a good idea to package a fake plastic bazooka? I'll give you that bazookas are generally pretty cool, especially when you see a terrorists or somebody whip one out in some badass 1980s action film. But a bazooka doesn't seem practical as a step up from a light gun. How do you go straight from a fake plastic handgun to a bazooka? Shouldn't you try and make a fake plastic AK-47 first? Instead Nintendo just assumed that if it's big and sits on your shoulder, then it must be cool. It's clear that the 1990s had rotted these company's minds to the point where they figured they could just release any old big gun and somebody would buy it. Thankfully very few people bought either the Menacer or the Super Scope.


Loser!
What the 14 Year Old Me Would Say: Hey, I can use this Super Scope to knock out unsuspecting intruders. I'm not sure I like the idea of holding this gun on my shoulder and having to look through the tiny little view hole. And what's the Sega thing, I like how you can take it apart, but shouldn't there be at least one configuration that worked properly? Whatever happened to the idea of me pointing a gun at the screen and pulling the trigger? I miss my old zapper, it wasn't the sexiest light gun but at least it got the job done. These light guns suck ... and when it comes right down to it, so do light gun games.

What I Would Say Now: My 14 year old self was very progressive, shunning light gun games long before the rest of the world caught on to the fact that most of them suck. I'm not afraid to offend the House of the Dead or Time Crisis lovers, because most people have already woken up to the fact that light gun games are boring, repetitive and lack interaction. You can get the same rush from a first-person shooter, only with the ability to actually move your character and not get bored shooting at the same ground of people over and over. The biggest problem with light gun games is that they are short. They were designed as arcade games, so it makes sense for Time Crisis or House of the Dead or T2: The Arcade Game to be no more than 30 minutes long. But when you're spending close to $100 for a home game (and the light gun) you expect more for your money. Light gun games suck ... but not as much as these terrible 16-Bit light guns.

The 16-Bit Light Gun Haiku:
Bigger and better.
At least that's what they say.
But light gun games suck.
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