Approximate Release Month: November 1992
Genre: Light gun shooter
X-Zone x-ceeds x-pectations.
I say that as if Super Scope games have been bad so far. They haven’t, but there’s the tendency to look at games that require x-pensive peripherals as gimmicky or low in quality. As long as you’re okay with shooting lots of things, you’ll be satisfied with the games so far.
X-Zone is a standard light gun game, where you have to blow up incoming missiles and x-terminate attacking enemies before they whittle down your shields. It’s Super Scope 6‘s LazerBlazer game meets Battle Clash, and while I am disappointed that X-Zone doesn’t really do anything new I’m impressed with how good the game looks. There is a lot of stuff on-screen at times and at no point does the game choke and stutter. Very smooth.
It’s a hard game, though. When I played Battle Clash, I was struck by how easy that game was and assumed it was because I was playing with a mouse on a computer and not with an actual Super Scope. I’m having the opposite x-perience with X-Zone. Even on easy it’s difficult, so I can’t imagine how x-cruciating playing the game on real hardware would have been. I became increasingly annoyed by the number of enemies that have hitscan weapons. I like the interplay between shooting down incoming missiles and taking pot-shots at enemies, so give me more of that and less unavoidable damage, X-Zone!
The primary fire for the Super Scope is very satisfying; sure, it’s “just” a machine gun, but it sprays a torrent of potent projectiles in a fun way. By holding down the secondary fire button, you can lock on to an enemy and press the fire button to blow it up. That’s fine, I guess. It’s a powerful attack, but it lacks tactility. There’s a big explosion and the bad guy dies, usually instantly. I can’t tell if there’s a sound effect associated with the attack, either. It feels x-traneous, and it’s more fun to shoot the turret off of a tank or blow up the legs on a bipedal robot.
X-Zone is worth checking out if you want a new light gun game. It’s not x-traordinary, but it’s great at what it sets out to do.
3 thoughts on “SNES A Day 125: X-Zone”
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I had this game as a kid. Having a Super Scope and a game that worked with it made you the coolest kid on the block. I remember being in, like, first grade and having to hold that bazooka up towards the sensor for several minutes and it made my neck and arms hurt (because 6 AA batteries and some hollow plastic at that age is like holding a dying sun).
The secondary fire you were talking about – if I recall correctly – happened when you aimed at an enemy and just tapped the fire button. It would fire a single powerful shot that made most of the weaker enemies explode in one or two shots. It was also much more effective against bosses. The machine gun was more for shooting missiles out of the air and raking across a sea of piddly enemies.
I never beat it on hard mode with the hardware growing up, but I did go back and complete the game on an emulator with a mouse like you’ve talked about. Sure it’s not the same as using the Scope, but I got some closure actually having beaten the entire game.
It hasn’t aged terribly well, but at the time it was like having an arcade-style shooter in your own home, which was boss as hell.