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THE ガンシューティング 2 Gun Shooting 2, simple 1500 series vol. 63 (Sony PlayStation)

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The Gun Shooting 2 (simple 1500 series vol. 63) was made in 2001 by AMS for the Sony PlayStation. It was released exclusively in Japan as part of the simple 1500 series. As for the language barrier most of the story remains concealed to me. A little girl does interact with anthropomorphic animals in a fantasy world. The game is composed of 30 mini games. These mini games can be selected in the so called score attack mode. 3 similar mini games are put together as a group, yielding in a total of 10 groups. In the story mode the events of the game unfold on hand drawn images with text boxes and a bit of voice acting. After a story bit the player is left to choose one of three mini games within a given group. The story continuous to unfold no matter the player’s performance during game play and gives as fresh selection of mini games from another group after the player is put back to the main screen. The story mode and the score attack could be played by two players simultaneous in a competitive fashion.

Each mini game has a high score board and awards the first three ranks with medals. However caused by faulty programming the medals only get triggered if the player achieves the right amount of points. For example achieving the best score and improving this best score in two consequtive runs will leave the player just with one gold medal instead of the whole set of gold silver and bronze. Apart from the medals the player earns money which can be spent to buy the images from the story mode. These images are then viewable in a gallery. Finally there is a party mode in which up to 8 players may play against each other in a turn based manner, passing around and recalibrating the light gun each turn.

The game is rather import friendly as the menus are labeled in English and the rules of the mini games are depicted in images. Exceptions are two levels which demand knowledge of the Japanese language in order to succeed. The game seems to be targeted towards young children as most menu options are read aloud upon selection.

I think many of the mini games are very creative and some of them are certainly unique. However the difficulty feels really unbalanced ranging from far too easy to challenging without a visible pattern. Personally I don’t like the game. However I have to make clear that I am obviously not within the game’s target audience and that Japanese children might get more enjoyment out of this game. The story mode seems forced in and doesn’t feel natural. The scoring system gives me reason to think that the game didn’t undergo much play testing and tweaking prior release. This theory is supported by the fact that the selection screens of some mini games got mixed up.

The game hinders itself by little annoying details. One example is that the player is set back to the main menu after each trial and has to select the desired mini game from there again in order to get another chance. Furthermore the game doesn’t remember the player’s name and thus forces the resubmission thereof every time something is written to the high score board. Possibly to reduce the risk of photosensitive epilepsy amongst children the position flashes are very dark. That way even the supported Namco Gcon needs an unusual high brightness setting on the TV in order to work reliable. Compared to other light gun games of this epoch the game looks rather underwhelming. Just little animation is used and those few examples are rather choppy. I like the art style and the music though.

The cover is terrible. It has no connection to the game whatsoever and gives a wrong impression. Furthermore the artist doesn’t seem to have a profound knowledge of firearms as the scope was drawn attached to the slide of the firearm. On guns similar to the colt 1911 the upper part slides backwards in order to eject the empty case and reload another round at every shot. This would shake the delicate optic fiercely. Assuming for the fun of it that the optic could survive this mistreatment the scope position would be a blatant risk nevertheless as the scope would be propelled back towards the gun user once it gets loose.