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Lazer Tag Video Game Module (Tiger)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

In this video I am going to review this, the Lazer Tag Video Game Module or Burner as it is called in the game. But before I start I give a short introduction into Lazer Tag. In Lazer Tag people wearing or carrying infrared sensitive light sensors shoot each other with infrared light emitting guns. As discussed in the ActionMax themed episode 51 Lazer Tag was invented by Worlds of Wonder in 1986. The design of the so called StarLyte gun was later used for many Famiclone light guns, as Worlds of Wonder went bankrupt after a deputy sheriff shot a teenager who was playing Lazer Tag. Tiger Electronics licensed the Lazer Tag brand in 1997 and put out the so called Striker. The innovation was that the gun beared a light sensor itself, so that the players didn't have to wear external sensors anymore. The gun I am showing in this review is the Phoenix LTX of 2008. By the release date Tiger Electronics was already owned by Hasbro. Right after the release of the Video Game Module bundle Hasbro decided to fuse the Lazer Tag product line with its Nerf brand. That's way many Phoenix LTX guns exist which show a Nerf logo instead of a Tiger Electronics logo. However these later Phoenix LTX are still compatible to the light gun module.

In episode 96 I talked about using laser guns as gaming controllers. Of course Lazer Tag guns can be used to some degree, but the light seems a bit week and too less focused. This is slowed down footage of a high speed infrared camera, showing shots on a wall. The shots of the Light Blast attachment are even wider and less intense.

The Video Game Module slips onto the gun just like the Light Blast attachment would. This causes the gun to behave differently. When playing the light gun game the sights of the gun are off and can't be used. The so called Pinpoint sight which is a green red dot sight is even worse off. On the opposite side of the trigger there is a button which engages a shield. Just like in real Lazer Tag, the shield needs some time to be available again, after it was engaged. The ambidextrous reloading mechanism still works, but the gun can be set to auto reload if the player desires. The indication lights however are off. On the sides of the Video Game Module are two buttons which are used to walk sideways and to throw grenades. A start button allows pausing the game. The Video Game Module is powered via the gun and transmits the image as composite video with the protruding cables.

Besides two main modes, the game offers a training mode, in which targets are shot in a random level. Furthermore there is a so called "quick play" which immediately launches a randomized match of Lazer Tag. The main modes consist of "Free for all" in which the player fights alone and "Tournament" in which the player is accompanied by NPCs. In both of these modes the same fife levels are played, but with different enemy patters. The Team matches in fact offer three distinct patterns per level.

The first level takes the player into a forest. The second level is a destruction site. Next the player fights in a cave. A scrap yard is the location of level four. The final level takes place in the ruins of a city at war.

Similarly as with a Lazer Tag gun the health is displayed in a colour gradient at the left side and the number of remaining shots is shown at the right side. The state of the shield is displayed with a little shield icon on the bottom of the screen. The player can engage the shield to repel shots and grenades. While the shield is engaged grenades can be thrown. These are picked up by shooting at icons. There are screen clearing grenades and stunning grenades. Other items are two kinds of medi packs, a holographic decoy and vision enhancing goggles. The scene in which the enemies are appearing is wider than the field of view and the player has to walk around using the side buttons on the Video Game Module. Some levels offer branching paths, which let the player decide where to go. Playing the game yields in points which unlock weapons and in the Free For All mode levels. Once unlocked, one of four different weapons can be selected at any time in the pause screen. The game saves the progress and the achieved scores are written into a scoreboard.

Personally I really the Lazer Tag Video Game Module. Of the light gun plug and play systems I have played so far it is my favorite. The animations are fluent, each level feels distinct and every level has a dedicated track of fitting music. In my opinion the game is quite challenging which helps keeping it interesting for a prolonged period. Beating it felt like a huge achievement. Not everything is perfect though. If the mating contacts of the Video Game Module and the Phoenix LTX aren't clean enough, the system is prone to resetting if the hands apply to much strain to the union.

The box looks appealing to me, but it baffles me that the video game part isn't emphasized more.