Let There be Light(guns)

On the first day, God said "Let there be lightguns," and not, as is wrongly recorded, "Let there simply be boring old light." Cough. That's because God, in His infinate wisdom, knew he was onto a good thing when he planted the idea of videogames into Man's tiny, naked-ass mind. Of course, as we all know, games were shite until Man ate the Kebab of Knowledge, quaffed the Pint of Ingeniousness and invented the Mighty Dreamcast:

And lo, House of the Dead 2 was spewed forth unto the world like so much bile from the gullet of a 16-day old corpse, and it was good. So good infact, that Sega didn't give us another lightgun game for about 3 millennia...

At this juncture, I'd like to share with you a small musing I had earlier on. Bear with me. Anyone played Knife Edge on the N64? It was a pathetically bad 'lightgun' game...on a console without a gun. Now - if I had a) the intelligence; or b) the inclination to invent an N64 lightgun, and plug it into said 1920's themed console (it's pure art deco), would Knife Edge have the ability to recognise the lightgun? Hmmm. It's like that shit about the tree falling in the forest and nobody being around to hear it. Anyway, back to the real world (sigh).

Yes, after all the zombie blasting and enduring the horrendous dialogue of HOTD2 (who can forget such ambiguous gems as "Die - like G did," and "Don't come" (Snigger)), Sega rewarded us with:

Confidential Mission!

Yep, the newest entrant into the Junkyard is here - gleaming and shiny like a new 2 penny piece cast adrift in a particularly watery dollop of dog shit. However, in direct contrast to the evil, murderous, death-dealing shennanigans that go on within Confidential Mission, the circumstances surrounding the game's arrival in the 'Yard bring a tear to the eye. For, you see, Confidential Mission was donated to the cause by long time reader, supporter, and indeed commentator of this very blog - Father Krishna. Father Krishna - fellow Mancunian, Dreamcast lover and owner of the only Dreamcast collection visible from space - discovered that he, in his all knowing omniprescence, actually owned TWO copies of CM...and the rest is (recent) history.

But how does CM play? As you've probably already guessed after reading all the preceding guff, CM is - gasp - a lightgun game! The second one after HOTD2 infact. And it's a fucking stormer. After completing HOTD2 something like a bazillion times, it's refreshing to actually get to shoot some real-life peeps, and not already-dead buffoons with Sugar Puffs for teeth. But I'm jumping the gun (arf!).

In CM, you play as the decidedly un-heroically named Howard Gibson - a recent graduate from the James Bond school of smoothness. Armed only with a pistol, you set off (with your lovely blonde partner, Jean Clifford) on a 'confidential mission' to stop an evil genius (Agares) holding the world to ransom with a hijacked military satellite laser. Playing like Virtua Cop on anabolics, CM is big, brash and loud. It has great visuals and the game takes you through some really cool environments with loads of stuff to shoot and civilians WHO GET IN THE FRIGGING WAY. Ahem. Similarly to Virtua Cop, it features terrorists to cap and also the familiar green reticules that appear around an enemy and slowly turn red before he fires. An interesting feature in CM is the 'Justice Shot,' whereby if you manage to blow the gun out of an enemy's hand, he will surrender, thus furnishing you with more points. I don't bother with that though - I just shoot to kill. Maybe I'll try to get a job with the Metropolitan Police...

Confidential Mission is fairly short lived compared to HOTD2 and doesn't feature alternative routes through the levels (of which there are only 3), but it does offer some brilliant variations on the usual 'shoot, shoot, shoot' mentality of the genre. For example, during the second mission you hang upside down from the roof of a speeding train and as such must play that section from an upside down point of view. Also, to break up the monotony Confidential Mission throws in the odd time-limited task, such as firing blobs of glue at air vents to stop deadly gas from filling the room. Ace.

Like I said, CM isn't a massive game, but it features a great training academy filled with Point Blank style mini-games (above), and also a mode called 'Another World' where you play through the arcade mode but enemies appear randomly. An added bonus also appears in the manual - the page footer reads "The last trump for the peace of the world." Righty-ho.

So, all in all, a fantastic post-pub blast that breathes new life into the old dual Dreamcast lightguns (Health Warning: Playing with dual guns is only for the most hardened Dreamcaster. Do not attempt if you are of a weak disposition). Sadly, upon inserting the Microphone you still can't take Private Hudson's advice and use 'harsh language,' but you can't have everything:

And once again, many thanks to Father Krishna for supplying it to the 'Yard.

Oh, and through playing Confidential Mission, I think I may have stumbled on something that is as Earth-shatteringly amazing as playing Soul Calibur with a fishing rod. Watch this space...

8 comments:

fatherkrishna said...

Jesus H. Christ!!! I could not have in anyway hoped for a better result! Tis true that I the Reverend Father stockpiled the 'Yard with this particular piece of software but a better review (and big up!) of this particular game could not have been hoped for... Oh people! Take heed of the words of your guide for he is one who knows... Before I mess meself just understand how good this game is. For any of you have gone into the world of your peripheral and ditched your controller for a fishing rod/light gun/microphone etc. understand that shooting at shit with a gun (arcade style) far outways the confines of normal gameplay. Instead of thrusting 50p's into some defunct arcade console in some dead seaside town, "Get on this!!" You can supercede the thrill of the ace Virtua Cop by assuming the identity of a slightly camp James Bond and blasting the fuck out of terrorists that are more real than the ones that star in your nightly ITN reports. respect to TLC and the 'Yard. There will be more from FK interms of contributions, both in terms of comment and actual reviewable games. Goddamn! THE BEST BLOG ON THE NET... I'VE JUST SOILED MESELF SO I'M OFF... YOU KNOWS IT!

fatherkrishna said...

Hopefully the overall gushingness of this post will have superceded the gramatical/phonetic errors that any English student will have noticed. For "any of you who (HAVE NOT) gone into..." etc.. "Confidential Mission far outways the confines...etc"
Just thought I'd clear that up...

The GagaMan(n) said...

Playing Confidential mission with the Mouse? That's my guess. It makes the game too easy, though.

Also, while we only got 2 Light gun games here in the UK, there was in fact a total of 5: the two we got, followed by a port of Virtua Cop 2 (a budget release in Japan, and featured in Sega Smash Pack in the US), Death Crimson 2 (Japan only. Crap) and Death Crimson OX (Japan and US. Slightly better than 2).

gnome said...

(gnome rushes to buy Lightgun Finds none. They'll call him they say.)

Damn!

Tomleecee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
strawdonkey said...

I'm pretty sure you could do Justice Shots in Virtua Cop 2 - you definitely can in VC3. Perhaps even in the original.

Isn't that interesting?

Tomleecee said...

Hmmm. I played Virtua Cop 2 to death but only vaguely recall it...ah, the summer of 1997. Brings back memories - mostly of flogging my Saturn for an N64 with a copy of F1 Pole Position 64. But we must learn from our mistakes. But yeah, Justice shots. Lots of fun, but hard to pull off in both games and real life...

fatherkrishna said...

Virtua Cop 3? I need to know more!
Strawdonkey please elaborate!