Point Blank

Fairground Games make the basis of many of the games....

Fairground Games make the basis of many of the games....

Light Gun games often have two qualities. The first is that they are usually violent affairs – put as many bullets into as many heads as possible. The second is that they are also have little replay value on completion, once you’ve completed the rail shooter with little deviation, there’s no reason to play the game again. As such they begun to struggle when Arcade games began to struggle, as home consoles’ light guns was really expensive and you couldn’t use them for many games, particualrly those with little replay value.

Cue however a game that even 15 years after it’s arcade release can still be found with latest iterations.

Point Blank is an arcade game that radically changed the way in which light gun games were played. In the game you have to complete 16 challenges to get a high score. The game requires response, speed & accuracy in order to score big. Challenges are just chosen at random, from a bank of thousands.

You have 3 lives to complete the 16 challenges, which are presented in groups of 4. It sounds easy but there are things that will throw you. For example, there a number of “Very Hard” levels, which are levels that are – surprise surprise – very hard. Furthermore, hostages, enemy targets & bombs can also knock down your lives. WIth only one opportunity to get more lives (after the 8th stage), which is nowhere near guaranteed, you need to keep hold of your lives.

And really, this is as about as violent as it will get.

And really, this is as about as violent as it will get.

However, get good, then high scores are your oysters. By completing stages quickly & accurately, you will get more points. More points mean you’ll get on the high score table, your position increased by the final stage, which sees you launch as many fireworks as possible

As with many shoot-em-ups, there is a two player mode, which is interesting. Some levels you are working together, some you are actively competing against each other. It really helps knowing the levels, but it is incredible fun.

The game is an all time classic. The graphics are fun & cartoony, with little violence beyond slapstick (even the “bad men” you shoot are cardboard cutouts), the music is memorable, with a “William Tell” theme when you shoot an apple off somebody’s head, but the real value is the replayability. There are thousands of levels to play through to get high scores, and the stages are so fun, that many of your 50ps will be eaten.

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