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.