Operation Thunderbolt is the sequel to the classic 1987 arcade game Operation Wolf. It was developed by Taito and first released in 1988, and is a first-person, simultaneous two-player shoot ’em up that uses cabinet-mounted positional gun controllers to shoot at the screen.
The funniest thing about this 1993 arcade game from Sega is that it is based on a film in which guns are decidedly absent. In fact: David Fincher‘s Alien 3 makes a point of removing guns from the story, because the characters exist on a prison planet where guns are not allowed. That said: I think many people would have preferred it if the film had had guns in it, so Alien 3: The Gun could be seen as something of a wish fulfilment for those who didn’t like the film.
Developed by Gremlin Interactive and published by Activision in North America and Gremlin in Europe in 1997, Judge Dredd on the PlayStation is an on-rails lightgun shooter in a similar vein to something like Virtua Cop, only much, much worse.
Microcosm was much-hyped upon release in 1993, but in essence is a very limited ‘rail shooter’ set inside a human body – with pre-rendered video sequences used to depict the third-person viewpoint.
The game was originally developed by Psygnosis for the FM Towns, with some investment from Fujitsu, and was later ported to MS-DOS, the Sega Mega-CD, the 3DO, and the Amiga CD32.
Known as Dead ‘n’ Furious in Europe, but I’m going with the North American title for this Nintendo DS rail shooter – a touch-screen tribute to Sega‘s infamous arcade game House of the Dead. Only the title reference doesn’t work properly because there’s no “of” in it… I would’ve gone for ‘Touch of the Dead‘, which doesn’t really make sense but is better than what they used, because it at least references the original game properly. Anyway…
Developed by United Game Artists and released simultaneously for the Sega Dreamcast and Sony PlayStation 2 in 2001, Rez is a trippy, mind-bendingly-original and visually-stunning ‘Rail Shooter’ (meaning: the path you follow is ‘on rails’, like a rollercoaster), with hacking and music influences.
Dragon’s Lair is one of those old arcade games that has developed a legendary status, even though there isn’t actually much of a game there. And what there is is incredibly difficult.
I’m going to use the Japanese and North American name for this game – Star Fox – rather than the European name (Star Wing, which was chosen because the name “Star Fox” was apparently too similar to a German company called “StarVox”!).
Over-the-top, first-person, survival horror blasting action, for one or two players!
House of the Dead III first came out in arcades in 2002, followed by XBox and other home versions, in 2003.
Sega‘s Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom was first released into arcades in 1982, and – to play it now – you’d wonder what all the fuss was about, but this game made waves when it was first released.