When the NES
was introduced in 1985, retailers cringed. After the Atari 2600 crashed,
consoles were thought of as a thing of the past. So what did Nintendo do?
They marketed it as toy and not as a console. An exotic (but useless) 'robot'
named R.O.B. thrown in alongside a Zapper light gun. R.O.B. and its accompanying
is nothing more than a historical footnote now, but the Zapper gun game,
Duck Hunt, became an instant classic. From the way your dog laughs at you
if you miss a duck, or the way the hound jumps out proudly from the bushes
with a duck in its paw if you hit your mark, to the fact that a friend
can control the flight of the ducks while you attempt to shoot them, this
game is innovative, fun and loaded with personality. It popularized the
console shooting game genre and would make Charlton Heston, Ted Nugent
and all those card-carrying members of the N.R.A. proud.
Alley was nothing more than an FBI/Police-style shooting practice, but
it was done with style. Placards would scroll by with their thin side facing
you. They would then quickly turn in your direction and reveal innocent
bystanders, police officers, or Mafia gangsters. Shooting all of them was
fun, but you only got points for shooting the criminals in an allotted
time span. The gameplay was sparse, but it was purposely simple and to
the point. It was a test of reflexes and recognition, and it gave millions
of youngsters their first chance to shoot people on their NES instead of
just animals or clay pigeons (oops, here come the Senators).
shooting game with a plot? You better believe it. In fact, Die Hard 2 really
should've been called Freedom Force: The Movie. A gang of terrorists has
taken over an airport and it's up to you (and a buddy if you like) to take
'em down, Zapper-style. Kill the terrorists, don't kill the hostages (easier
said than done), pick up first aid kits, free the airport, be the hero,
feel like a gun-toting stud; you know, that macho killing machine uber-hero
paradigm (just don't be a lady killer, if you know what I mean).