Light gun games are perfectly suited to the Wii, but it’s hard to understand why Sega chose to pair up Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns and slap them onto one disk. Neither game is particularly well remembered and the part of their novelty in the arcade was that they had a huge vibrating gun fixed onto the cabinet, which is something the Wii remote fails to recreate.
Gunblade NY has to be one of the most undemanding games ever – there’s no need to reload or look out for civilians, it’s just a simple case of holding down the fire button and peppering enemies with bullets. The visuals have aged badly, with very little going on in the backdrops, while the AI is laughable – on the freighter level the enemies plunge to their own deaths by jumping off the side of the ship and into the sea. It’s a stupidly short too, even by arcade standards – I took this game over to a friend’s house to show him and managed to finish it in the time it took him to pop outside for a cigarette.
LA Machineguns fares better. It was released in 1998, three years after Gunblade NY, so it looks a bit more respectable and it also has a combo system and innocent bystanders to avoid. Even so, this one can be finished on your first attempt too and only takes around twenty minutes to finish. Here you can choose what order to complete the levels in – which include Alcatraz, Yosemite and Las Vegas – and once they’re beaten a final stage opens up. Although there are extra difficulties to play through there are no extra features or modes, which is something Sega’s own Ghost Squad had in abundance.
It’s really hard to recommend a game that can be seen and done in less than an hour, but at least one good thing has come of this – if Sega are happy to re-release crusty old arcade game like this on Wii, then it gives us hope that we may one day see home conversions of the likes of 2 Spicy, Top Skater and Virtua Cop 3.