ACT-LABS GS - Page 4

Rail Test
Classic "rail" style shooting games such as Sega's Virtual Cop and House of the Dead are traditionally dominated by gun systems. How did the GS fare? Due to the lack of software support for the GS, I had only Top Shot to test with in this area. This was a real shame as there was no way I could try Cabela's Big Game Hunter III on the GS. Version 1.02 of the GS drivers was used with Top Shot. Before I elaborate on the performance of the GS, here's a little preamble about what Activision's Top Shot is about.

Top Shot
Top Shot is a game which basically allows you to practice with your gun system and get used to the feel of the guns. There are several shooting ranges available. Top Shot is bloodless and just involves shooting at target boards. You can have your go at the following ranges :

  • Distance Range
  • Skeet Range
  • Indoor Range
  • Simulator Range


The Various Ranges Available in Top Shot

The Distance Range is an open field range which allows you to shoot target boards of critters and vermins such as rabbits and prairie dogs. The target boards will pop-up for a certain exposure time and hitting one will cause it to go down.


Like Shooting Rabbits in a Barrel...

The Skeet Range is of course, a range which allows you to practice skeet shooting using the GS. Skeet shooting basically involves shooting down machine-fired discs. You will have to aim fast and shoot early because the discs will be harder to hit as they recede away from you.


Shoot 'em Pigeons Before they Disappear!

The Indoor Range is an enclosed range very much like those found in firearm shops or police departments. A target board is placed a specified distance away and points are given according to accuracy and distance from the target.


Bullseye!

The Simulator Range is very much like a primitive version of Sega's Virtual Cop. Target boards will appear behind obstacles and you will have to gun them down. These appear in the form of armed criminals. Penalties will also be given for gunning down "innocent" targets in the form of civilians.


"Getcha Hands Up Buster!"

The GS worked very well in Top Shot and the gun units were quite accurate after calibration. There were no glitches and shots did not run wild for any reason. Where I aimed was pretty much where my shots would land. Though the only comparison I had were my Sega light guns, I was more than happy with the performance of the GS gun units in this aspect.

A point of note though; Because of the fact that many of us own monitors which are smaller than our TVs, the effective distance in using the GS is substantially shorter than a console-based system. With my 29" TV screen, I can stand a full 1.5m away from the screen and still shoot quite accurately when playing Virtual Cop II on my Sega Saturn. With my 17" NEC monitor, the gun had to be less than 30cm away from the display to register accurate hits. This is not the fault of the GS but is due to the fact that targets are noticeably minute on a much smaller display! This can be rather odd in a game which utilises both gun units as both players will not have much room to manoeuvre.

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