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 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
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
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.
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.