ACT-LABS USB Light Gun

Review

posted 10/24/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
When I first received the gun to try out the first program that came to mind to use it with was MAME. What better program to test the gun out then the emulator with a bunch of great old classic arcade games. I had a range of games lined up separated by a few years that I ran through. So, I fired up a few of the oldies to test the gun out with.

I had many fond memories of playing Duck Hunt on the Player’s Choice machine at the local comic book shop. Yeah I wasn’t one of the 99% of the kids at school with a Nintendo. I had the Sega Master System instead. But I digress. After calibration the gun worked pretty well most of the time. Accuracy seemed good for the most part with the occasional, “I know I shot that damn duck in the head!” scream only to see it fly off the screen. While it can be attributed to my aim being off, I know that some of them where because the gun’s tracking thought I shot to off screen.

I came to the conclusion that the tracking thought I fired off screen by going into Windows and shooting around. 95% of the time, the mouse pointer appeared where I shot. Being that the trigger mimicked the left mouse button, I shot at a few programs on my desktop to open them. During the course of this testing, I sometimes saw my mouse pointer way off to the edge of the screen after the screen flash from squeezing the trigger. I tried a few sessions of just shooting the center of the screen and various times the mouse would randomly appear on some edge of the screen. I don’t know if it was my unit or what but it was a bit annoying when playing games.

When the gun worked, it was a blast to play. Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, Crossbow, and on and on most of the old games worked well. I had no luck with Terminator 2 though and even though I followed calibration steps in game and with the gun the game just wouldn’t work with it. There might be an update to MAME by the time you read this article that will allow the ACT Labs gun to work in that game though.
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