Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
0

Gaming News

Menacer retrospective: The Mega Drive's light-gun flop

By
The Sega Mega Drive Menacer light-gun

The Sega Mega Drive Menacer light-gun



First released: 1992
Now Available On: N/A

It wasn't just recent systems that saw plastic accessories clog up our living rooms; console manufacturers have been trying to sell us pricey add-ons for games ever since they were first conceived.

Light guns were the domain of arcades, but the arrival of the SNES and Mega Drive gave us the opportunity to see perfect arcade ports come to the living room.

With Nintendo releasing the bazooka-like Super Scope 6 on the SNES, SEGA knew it had to follow suit. Enter the Menacer, a device that was made of three different parts that could slot together in different ways.

The Sega Mega Drive Menacer light-gun

The Sega Mega Drive Menacer light-gun



The 'pistol' component featured the core essentials - the trigger, handle and infrared beam - which could be expanded upon with a shoulder stock for adding support and accuracy.

There was also a pair of twin sights which clipped on the top, which in our experience never worked, and so remained inside the box the Menacer first came in.

The Menacer was wireless, but required a frustrating six AA batteries to operate. Similar to the Super Scope 6, you needed a receiver that would sit on top of the television and plug into the console's second control port.

Since it read scan lines to find the curser position, it only worked on CRT devices. This wasn't a problem back in the day, but could be a problem for retro types today who only own HD televisions.



Much like the Super Scope 6, it came with a selection of games that showcased what the device was capable of - Wii Sports-style offerings, if you will.

They were almost all shootings games - blasting away tanks in a desert, or insects, criminals or aliens - which makes sense considering the device, but didn't showcase the Menacer as something that was particularly versatile.

However Whackball! - where players had to bounce a ball against tiles to change their colour - showed that puzzle-style games could work.

Another fan-favourite game was Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!, which saw the Menacer become a tomato-dispensing machine in the ToeJam & Earl universe.



Not only were the games available on the bundled Menacer 6-game Cartridge not great, unfortunately there was a severe lack of other games that used the device too.

On-rails shooters Body Count and Terminator 2: The Arcade Game stood as the only notable titles released, while the Mega CD offered a few more, most notably the Mad Dog McCree games.

The Menacer was a flop, then, but the Super Scope 6 didn't fare much better either, only supporting a handful more games, none of which were particularly high profile.

Nintendo, however, is keen to remember its light-gun experiment with fun cameos in games like Super Smash Bros, whereas the Menacer joins the Mega CD and 32X as expensive and ill-supported Mega Drive add-ons that will be fondly remembered by very few.

Do you remember the Menacer? Add a comment to the space below!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...