Just a few years ago after the success of the superb Operation Thunderbolt arcade machine, the videodromes the length and breadth of the country were flooded with cabinets mounted with various types of assault weapon.
By far one of the best Op Thunder clones was supplied by Taito. Space Gun took all the best of Operation Thunderbolt and improved on it.
Space Gun has similar and atmospheric intro sequences, to each level, that unfold the horrific story of a space colony, complete with its own orbiting station, that has been invaded by hostile aliens who have taken some of the occupants hostage. As to the other members of personnel? Well, they've either been added to the alien's breakfast of Shredded Spaceman or are currently floating around space trying to find a party where they can soak up a little atmosphere.
Play begins within the corridors of the space station, and eventually progresses onto the surface of the planet and onto the base itself.
Up to two players can explore the high tech confines of the various scenarios, making their way along passageways and over the planet surface and, where possible, freeing the aliens' human hostages from the torture of having to go to deep space coffee mornings and discuss the merits of interplanetary and galactic domination.
You are armed with a standard issue alien bustin', butt kickin' assault rifle that shoots standard rounds as well as having freeze, fire and beefcake bombs, that do varying amounts of area damage. As you make your way through the corridors, you move the cursor over the target and press fire. By using the keyboard you can also select a spacial bomb weapon, if you have any, causing the normal sight to change.
The freeze bombs are particularly effective - they have a large area of effect, but you must shoot the frozen aliens blowing their bodies into a thousand fragments - otherwise they'll just thaw out and then be really mean.
The aliens don't just sit there and take all this hardship from you however. They have biting and slashing attacks - if they hit you with either, they'll leave their fang or claw marks up on the screen and take a healthy bite out of your life meter.
Space Gun is a great blast. Graphics are colourful but sometimes a little confusing once there're a lot of toothy little sods on the screen But most of the original features of the arcade have been retained - unfortunately there isn't a foot pedal to make you go backwards and there are no left/right decisions to be made. Nonetheless, it's compelling and should be a sure fire hit, unless you're from a different planet.
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
ALAN: There's certainly a lot happening and there's no shortage of aliens to shoot at. What there does seem to be a shortage of is variety. But, if you went trigger happy in the arcade with Operation Thunderbolt, Beast Busters and the rest, the Space Gun certainly won't disappoint you.
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