There's an arcade about 20 minutes from where I live. It's a very quaint place; and by quaint I mean awful. Half of the machines don't work, there isn't a single game more recent than 2005 (seriously), and it's almost always barren. This beat-up galleria of near-obsolete technology, however, is my home-away-from-home. I go there on occasion, get a $20 dollar game card, and get to dick around for an hour or so.
To the far left are the racing games and the Skee-Ball, next to that are the skill/ticket games, and in the far right corner is where I like to call home: the "Shooting Gallery".
The Shooting Gallery is comprised of 5-6 different machines, like Time Crisis 2, House of The Dead 2, and some other really obscure Konami shooters (L.A. Machineguns or Crisis Zone, anyone?). House of The Dead 2, although an extremely fun game, loses it's luster due to very poorly-calibrated Light-Guns. L.A. Machineguns is pretty fun, and Crisis Zone (a Time-Crisis-style game with automatic guns) would be great if the light guns' rumble functionality would work. Then there's Time Crisis 2, which is a totally different story. My arcade's Time Crisis 2 machine works excellently, they even sprang for custom light-guns that work like a charm. This machine is my dojo; these plastic gun-shaped controllers are my weapons.
I'll quickly pop in my card, the allotted points will be deducted, and it's my time to show these horribly-rendered terrorists who's boss (it's me, by the way). I'll skip the first cutscene and spring into the first room. Around 6 enemies pop out of their respective covers, I can shoot each of them in less than 4 seconds without a miss. I aim down the sights, I quickly pump the "cover" pad to reload, and yes, I even quickly tap the trigger during the fights with a tank/armored vehicle where quick damage is a must. Yes, I am that
guy. I am also the guy who takes up every spot in the top 10 on the leaderboard. After a couple months without playing, I went back to my arcade a few days ago to play. I only had to use 4 continues, and that was when I was rusty. It was pretty amazing.
Why do I love these games so much? Well, it's simple: it's as close as you can get to shooting a gun at terrorist without, you know, shooting a gun. I am a total pacifist in real life, but when it comes to games, I find it really fun and enjoyable to shoot at crappy, poorly-rendered terrorists and be the hero. I am an avid player of Airsoft, and playing any light gun game is both good practice and stress release. I'm just glad I have the reflexes (and patience!) that these game require. I have high hopes that my arcade can some day redeem itself and get updated games.
Until then, you can find me rocking some face at Time Crisis 2.
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