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The Qin Gun (キューインガン) was made in 2016 by Takara Tomy as a plug and play device. It sets itself apart from the competition by using a camera which operates in the visible spectrum. This allows the Qin Gun to operate with the TV itself, rather than with an external reference light source as it was needed by guns using infra red image sensors such as the Phillips Peacekeeper in 1994 and the Wiimote in 2006. The Qin Gun works with a slew of image display technologies but is meant to be used with LED/LCD TVs. The gun orientates itself with the help of a barcode border which frames the playfield.
As the gun was designed as a toy for young kids, the handle is rather short. The gun feels solid, but the trigger is rather mushy. On the back of the gun is a drawable handle, which engages the in game suction mode. Visible from the top is the On/Off switch. The system is powered by four AA cells. Sadly the gun lacks sights.
As I don't understand Japanese I don't know much about the game's story. It seems that monsters suddenly attack the earth. The player takes the role of a young boy who receives the Qin gun from a disguised stranger in a mall. The boy starts fighting the monsters and is supported by this stranger who later turns out be a befriended scientist who the child knew before. All around the globe and traveling through time the child collects Q symbols. Eventually the boy fights an evil eyeball creature who seems to be the cause of the monster attacks.
The gun has a capacity of 16 shots and is semi automatic. The player isn't supposed to mostly use the default bullets but to frequently select special shots using the suction handle. These special shots can be obtained by scanning Qin codes, making photos with the sensor camera, earned while playing or bought using the in game currency in a dedicated menu. These special weapons have different attributes which make them more or less effective towards different enemy types. When making photos the play mechanic, animation style, color and attributes for these shots are set at random. If the player isn't happy with present combination thereof the photos can be reshot until a decent combination is yielded.
The player may arrange any four special shots into decks, which are then selected at the beginning of a level. The main game offers a quick mode which helps the player to get familiar with the play mechanics and a story mode which can be played in one of two difficulty settings. The story mode itself is composed of eight levels most of which are concluded in a boss fight. The first level takes place in the mall where the player receives the gun. The second level takes place in school. A fun fair is the location of the third level. Next the player is thrown into a prehistoric location which concludes in a fight against a dinosaur. After that an underwater level follows. Level six takes the player to a vampire castle. Ancient Egypt is the location of the seventh level. The last level consists of two boss fights in the sky.
Personally I like the Qin Gun. I love the idea of using a visible spectrum camera as a light gun. I haven't used the camera functionality for creating custom shots much, but I think it's a nice novelty. The variety of different shots and the aspect of collecting them keep the replay value high. To my great surprise Takara Tomy claims that the game won't run fine on CRTs or when using a 4:3 aspect ratio, but of course both is working fine.
The box looks very appealing to me. The design is exiting but still pleasant. What I personally strongly appreciate is the fact that the screenshots are actually captured from a composite video source and therefore show the to be expected picture quality truthfully.