Why I bought a retro TV just to play lightgun games – Reader’s Feature

They don’t make them like this anymore (the TV or the game)

A reader goes to extreme lengths to enjoy lightgun classics such as House Of The Dead and Time Crisis.

So, I recently caved and bought Big Buck Hunter on the Xbox One – no great loss at a paltry £3. I’m a massive fan of it in the arcades (where, arguably, it should be played). It’s a decent enough port but the lack of support for a lightgun peripheral is absolutely unforgivable, lightguns are the raison d’être for this kind of game.

Playing it, however, got me thinking about how much I love lightgun games and why the genre appears to have died a death in the current generation (I believe it’s a combination of their being incompatible with modern HD tellies and not being popular enough to make it viable to keep bringing them out). Still, for me there are few things more video-gamey than standing in front of a screen wielding a plastic cannon and pretending to be Jack Bauer.

I therefore decided I was going to procure myself a CRT TV for the garage (these are literally being given away on classified ad sites such as Gumtree) and in practically no time at all I was on my way home with an absolute beast: a Sony Trinitron 32″ that I think Geoff Capes himself would have struggled to lift in and out of the car singlehandedly. How quickly we forget what TVs used to be like. I mean, this thing is just crazy heavy.

Connected up is my PlayStation 3 (given a new lease of life after failing to sell) and before anyone claps their hands to their skull in horror, the image is surprisingly decent on an SD display and certainly more than adequate for the games I want to play. Incidentally, I did have the PlayStation Eye and Move set up in my lounge during the heyday of the PlayStation3 but was never happy with it as my house is modestly sized, to say the least, and the TV wasn’t wall-mounted, meaning I had to be seated for shooting games. Which, as we all know, is just wrong.

Anyway, after almost giving myself a hernia hoisting the Trinitron up on to an old chest of drawers I’ve been having a blast – literally! – with the likes of House Of The Dead 3, 4, and Overkill, as well as Time Crisis 4 and Razing Storm. Don’t think I ever realised before, just how terrible the dialogue and voice acting is in some of these games (ha ha) but, for me, it just adds to their cheesy arcade charm. It’s been a pleasure, also, to introduce my nine-year old to the genre; his reaction to the TV alone was nothing short of hilarious!

In my opinion, holding a gun controller and blasting away at the screen is gaming at its most visceral and engaging – well, outside of VR, anyway. I’ve yet to take the plunge on VR but if games like Farpoint herald the future of blazing away with a daft peripheral then count me in in the not-too-distant future. Just need a bigger house…

By reader Karl S

The reader’s feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email and follow us on Twitter.


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