So yeah, as you can see we’re doing three games in one post – three arcade shoot ’em ups, in fact. Please allow me to explain.

Today (as I’m writing this, that is), we were out in London for a private celebration and, having some time to spare, Peter suggested we’d visit the London Trocadero. While it’s arcade had closed down earlier (I still miss Funland), it seemed like we might be able to find something there. You never know, right?

And yeah, we got lucky and found three games there. We might need to go back for one or two others we missed (we ran out of change, not having had time to prepare), but thought we’d cover these first.

Why one post? Well, first, we always said we have ten years ahead. If we covered this many in this short a period, we might as well help you out by speeding up slightly. Second, being arcade games, they’re smaller and we’ve had less time to play around (not to mention saying goodbye to the better part of a twenty pound note). We might as well, right?

Point Blank. Time Crisis. Silent Scope 2. Here we go.

Our Thoughts

Just to explain, each of these games have the same basic controls – you look at a screen and have a lightgun – you aim and shoot, with your own aim mattering most. While fairly straight forward, the three differ quite a bit in their implementation and details. One by one…

Point Blank

143th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

Let’s start with the oldest first. Unlike the other games, this is almost a collection of shooting minigames – shoot the apple off the head, fire at the soldiers but not the innocents, kill plenty of bees. You’re scored on how well you did – especially in multiplayer, when you’re partially playing against each other.

The games seem fairly varied and are fun to play through – even if they are hard and learning them will eat up your change.

I remember the first time that I played this. I was probably about six and at a classmates birthday party at Quasar. I got freaked out about the idea of being shot with lasers so I took a whole lotta change and played on Point Blank for ages and ages. Eventually I got the home version for Christmas and I became addicted. My aim got so perfected that I could easily pass that level (and enthusiasts will remember it) where you have one bullet and you have to split a falling leaf in half. A lot of this aim still remains to this day since I easily trounced Jeroen.

The great thing about this game is the sense of humour. True there are serious levels involving criminals but there are also the stupid explorer characters that need saving from piranhas, bombs and (if I remember correctly) ninjas. This game (and the hope of getting a second-hand version of it on eBay) remains the sole reason that I have kept my old CRT television. Since, annoyingly, these light guns do not work on plasma or LCD screens… this really needs a remake (or a Wiimake).

Time Crisis

144th played so far

None of the pictures came out well for this game

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade, Playstation
Year of Release: 1996
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

The first with more human enemies, Time Crisis pits you against armies (or terrorists, not sure). There’s a few parts, really, that stand out here. Aside from the shooting, you can duck behind cover (or really do so by default, using a pedal to jump up). This means that you can duck most shots if you’re careful enough and can catch a breather. This is the same action you take to reload as well.

From these, you get thrown into some pretty cool combat situations. They’re fun to go through and pretty manic to shoot through, with some nice unexpected additional effects. It looks good too – not brilliant but lovely enough.

Not much more to say really, this game (as well as it’s sequels) can still be found in most entertainment venues like cinemas or bowling alleys. Always worth a bit of a flutter, especially the later ones in co-op mode.

Silent Scope 2: Dark Silhouette

145th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 2000
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

Last, Silent Scope 2. The interesting bit of this machine is the gun. Not a simple light gun, we’re looking at a sniper rifle sort of thing with – yes – a scope on top. You’ll need this, as on the normal screen your targets are really just black dots. You need to use the scope to get a zoomed view to see and kill your targets – headshots optional. What’s really neat about this scope is that it contains it’s own little screen. So rather than actually zooming in on the screen and giving yourself one hell of a migraine there is actually some complex technology going on here linking the two… cool.

The time limit is annoying, but beyond this the game is highly playable. The scope takes some time to get used to – adjust to the speed of movement and how to find your target (there are helpers on the scope, but you need to realise that’s what they are). In any case, it’s a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the actual physical feeling of aiming the scope.

That applies to all games really. Yeah, we can do this using the joypad and there are other ways to simulate a gun, but the light guns really add to all of these games – whether it’s just to aim, or the scope adding an additional element, they’re all good extra fun to play.

Final Thoughts

Arcade games were always going to be hard for us to find, especially when specialist equipment like light guns are involved. However, there are still many games that we need to find in order to complete this blog and if there is any help that can be given it would be greatly appreciated.

The main arcade games we need to find are the original Dance Dance Revolution, horse-racing simulator Final Furlong and golf game Golden Tee Live.