View Full Version : My Top 5 Light Guns

7th October 2018, 12:07 AM
In this topic I'm going to be discussing and reviewing my top five Game Light Guns. Now a Light Gun is a 1980s and 1990s popular game accessory for those games that require you to use a gun prop that emit a light to be used like aiming with a real gun on the screen to hit your targets. Sadly Light Guns are pretty much off the market as they were mainly for CRT TVs due to their ultra low display lag and that they were used before LCD TVs existed – which DON’T work for Light Guns. The newer PS3 Light Guns for like Time Crisis 3 have a IR LEDs, that are used to be compatible on LCD TVs but isn’t as accurate nor as fast as the original versions. And Nintendo had prepared for using Wii Remotes as they have a Motion Sensor for the Wii Zapper, but most Wii games for FPS Single Player games and Shooting Games comes with a dynamic crosshair, and that the Wii Remote doesn’t have a perfect aim nor as less laggy than the older Nintendo Light Guns, as well Now the rating not only depends on my preference but also those key factors:-

>> Ergonomic handling
>> Robust and durability
>> Adequate controls
>> Input lag reduction
>> And how it is easier for casual gamers

#5 Namco G-Con/GunCon:-
This Light Gun was mainly used for the PlayStation and for games like Time Crisis and Point Blank, exclusively. It comes with a trigger and two buttons under the front barrel of the button on both sides. This gun is not bad and feels good for aiming with the iron sights and gripping. But it is nowhere as comfortable as the Arcade versions. The requirement to use the buttons are awkward for Time Crisis as you need to press the red button for reloading – after 6 shots. The Arcade version requires the player to use the pedal for reloading and taking cover, and to allow the player to control the aiming with both hands. There are some smaller alternatives that look like a 007 Walther PPK and with Auto-Fire mode and Auto-Reload for Time Crisis, but they don’t seem to last as long nor is as reliable as the Namco version. And the G-Con/GunCon 3 model allows IR LED for newer TV supports and comes with two Analog Sticks but can be tricky to work out which button to press in limited time solutions. I personally find the pedal easier to use as looking at the Light Gun button can be a bit distracting and can ruin the player’s aiming.

#4 Cheetah Defender 64 Lightgun:-
This was used for the Commodore 64 and it feels quite firm and smooth. It isn’t very sleek nor looks streamlined but it does look like a combination or hybrid of a Western Revolver and Space Ray Gun. This gun is very simple that it only has the trigger for firing and decent iron sights. It plugs into the C64 DE-9 Serial ports to connect. The only downside is not only that it works on CRT TVs but it looks kinda toyish. Of course this was made near the mid 1980s and the designs back there were very box-shaped and bulky.

#3 Nintendo Super Scope:-
This is a Bazooka-shaped Light Gun for the SNES. It feels good to grip as well makes it comfortable to rest your Super Scope on your shoulder. The advantage of this Light Gun is it’s improved accuracy by the detection of the TV’s brightness and that it uses 6 AA Batteries to make it wireless. It does require a Receiver Box for it to operate properly. Super Scope does have 2 buttons for pausing and firing. The only downside is that it is bulky and is cannot be useful for under 6 year olds as they haven’t grown to have wider and broader shoulders.

#2 Amstrad Magnum Light Phaser
This is the clone of the Sega’s Light Phaser for the Master System. The reason why I prefer this Light Gun is it’s ergo grip and its iron sights. It can be used for the C64 and ZX Spectrum but only for the 2A+ range due to its port available for it. This was made by Amstrad for Sinclair in 1987 as well for its Action Pack Bundles that comes with only a few Light Gun games. It feels firm and easy to grip. The only downsides is it’s hit detect on a poor quality picture TV. I had a 13’ TV back in the 1980s and made the pixels too blurry as well had bad contrast and brightness. So not also it only works on CRT TVs but only with a decent picture quality. It would perform better by not using those RF connectors like TV Aerial Plugs, and Composite RCA Connectors as they cause those blurry RGB overlay and dot crawl. But should work on big screen CRT TVs.

#1 Nintendo NES Zapper + QuickShot Deluxe Sighting Scope
Now this is my favourite Light Gun as not also it’s iconic but supports some top notch NES Light Gun games. Some retro players know how the NES was popular in the 1980s but the NES Zapper should be a must have for their controllers. The quality feels solid and smooth as well feels easy to grip and aim. The radiant orange colour looks better than the grey version and looks cool for using it as a Ray Gun. But this NES Zapper won’t be useful without the Scope for Skeet Shooting in Duck Hunt. Sadly the QuickShot Scope is very rare nowadays and most Light Gun games had been replaced for the Wii and some of the Arcade replicas.

Should those Light Guns have any key improvement? Well as for the Display Lag issue for Modern TVs well that can be very hard to resolve but the Raspberry Pi and the LightGunVerter – maybe something more less awkward or some other way. Also you can add or put fluorescent iron sights to make your aiming better and less eye straining, or even strapping a Laser Pointer as a Red Dot Crosshair. Personally I don’t mind the Wii Zapper and works as fine as a Light Gun but it doesn’t work like any traditional Light Guns. I don’t know if TV manufacturers well make any ultra low display lag breakthroughs faster than the OLED TVs, MicroLEDs or even QLED TVs. Bare in mind that Digital TV Inputs and Video takes time to project each pixel per frame. Whereas older Analog CRT TVs use RGB Election Guns that project more faster than modern TVs, despite its primitive older technology, excess energy consumption, toxic substances and noisy buzzing sound.

Only time will tell...