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Peripherals: Turbo Buttons and Menacers

Way back when I was a tiny kiddlywink, I loved me some lightgun games. Any chance to play things like the Terminator 2 Arcade Game or Lethal Enforcers, I lapped up. When I discovered that there was a lightgun for the Mega Drive, I begged and begged and got it that Christmas, and went on a journey of lightgun bliss and tedium, in equal measure.

The game bundled in with the Menacer (which, now I think about it, my parents might have actually got second hand) had 6 games of varying quality, ranging from slightly entertaining to climbing-up-the-walls in boredom. I totally admit, beyond the gun itself, I had to look up on Wikipedia exactly what games the cart had on it - I remembered the slightly "Dirty Harry" one the best (Rockman Zone), shooting cardboard cut-out people in windows, but totally forgot there was a Toejam & Earl themed one. As I totally loved Panic On Funkatron, I thought this one would stick in my mind more, but alas. I did recall Pest Control a bit too - shooting bugs before they get the pizza, and leaving me totally weirded out by the whole thing

The gun was, to my young primary school self, totally fucking amazing, although beyond the base unit you had two extra parts - the rifle butt attachment and a scope, both of which were pretty useless. The other games were also totally forgettable, such as some alien shooting version of Snap, something where you blow up tanks and Whackball!, which even after looking at a screenshot I can't even remember anything about it.

The only other Lightgun I got was for the eventual console port of Time Crisis for the Playstation, the G-Con 45. I used to play the hell out of this game whenever I went to an arcade with it in, creating a running joke that remains in my family today. Beyond that, I got Point Blank (which the RPG mode I still want to play through at some point), and that was the end of my lightgun years. The odd time these days when I'm in an arcade, I'll have a nostalgic sigh and pull the trigger on one of these new lightgun games (ranging from Police 24/7 to whatever House of The Dead they are up to now), but I feel like I grew out of them. To a young kid, the first time I played Time Crisis in an Arcade was the closest I was going to get in a a gun fight. The whole ducking mechanic really amazed me, it had that sense of 'realism' (if one could call it that) that games had not had for me until that point.

My other weird gadget I got, also for my Mega Drive, was a third party, 6 button controller, complete with turbo switches and tacky, cheap buttons. In fact, until this very day I thought six button controllers weren't even supposed to be made for the Mega Drive (Wikipedia coming in handy again, there) - They were brought in for Fighting games. These also had Turbo buttons - You pushed a button, turned the Turbo button on, and it would read that you pushed that over and over again. It was a fucking terrible idea, and the only fun I ever got out of it was making games pause over and over again. I know I had one or two games that only would work with a six button controller, but I can't even remotely remember what they were, nor am I going to even remotely guess.

Later on in life I didn't touch much in the way of bizarre peripherals - I didn't even like using third party controllers that much. I do remember an unofficial memory card we had for the first Playstation, however, that just wiped saves as and when it felt like it. Still managed to complete Final Fantasy 7 twice, though. Recently, however, I heard a little bit about DJ Hero and decided to give it a go. It's sort of embarrassing spinning your little plastic turntable, but less annoying than the hitting of a Rock Band drum kit.
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About DavoTronone of us since 5:31 AM on 11.07.2011

I am David.

I play in bands. I play games. One day I want to make a game too.

I am on the twitter over @theworldofdavo
Xbox LIVE:DaveOTronB
Steam ID:d-tron


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