Super Nintendo, NES & GameBoy tomfoolery;

(back to article list)

Up from (Super) Obscurity

The SNES's increased computational power made a lot of things possible which would have been impossible on the NES; and like every increase in console hardware, several games came along that took wise advantage of this muscle.
However, it also opened up great new ways for games to screw up, and (as is our wont here on GameWTFs), that's where we'll spend our time this week.
For example, the SNES's graphical power allowed many more moving objects to be on the screen at the same time, including bullets and projectiles. And while sometimes that was awesome,
(For example, in GunForce)
Other times, it lead to what I'd like to call...
The Ping-Pong Ball Gun Effect:
Maximum Fire Rate, Minimum Stopping Power! the point where "the smallest interval between frames" still makes this look like slow motion compared to the game. In the actual game, it just looks like a flashing blur of bullets.
Yes, nothing kills your gaming buzz like armaments that, well, couldn't kill a buzzy-bee without extended bursts of concentrated fire.
Here's five games that somewhat prominent feature weapons that would be at home in any fully-automatic popgun arsenal, and we'll start with the game pictured above:
Time Slip
...a time-travel-'em-up, starring Dr. Vincent Gilgamesh; and the only thing more imposing than his name: his TITANIC GUN!
It's pretty much bigger than his torso.
Here we see a freeze-frame of an intense gun battle between Dr. Gilgamesh's extra limb weapon and a medieval peasant armed with a bow and arrows. In the foreground, you can see another peasant dissolving into a cloud of pixelated flesh, having been the recipient of an extended burst of Gilgamesh's bullets.
However, it's worth noting that even these basic peasants take a second or two of solid fire before they explode. For example, the archer has a fire-rate of one flaming arrow per second or so. If you pop into his line of fire right after the first arrow, and begin to rain molden death on him immediately, he'll get 1 shot off before he explodes.
A puzzling choice, and that earns Time Slip's overcompensation machine fully-not-so-good-o-matic gun a spot on my list of Ping-Pong Ball Guns.
Now, we turn from the ludicrous to the supernatural, with,
The "Ping-Pong Ball Machine Gun" -- as seen on GameFAQs!*
*: cuz I put it there
You have a lot of weapons available in Ghoul Patrol, and this one is one of the more available and useful. This ping-pong gun DOES take a fair amount of shots to stop the game's ghoulish enemies, that's pretty much true for most weapons.
But still, I think it belongs on this list for a few reasons:
  1. each "shot" fires two spheres,
  2. the spheres are a festive, ping-pong-ish orange,
  3. and I named its bullets "Ping Pong Balls" over 2 and a half years ago;
Because if there's anything we've learned from Time Slip, it's that you shouldn't question yourself from another time period, or else Dr. Vince "BigMcLargeHuge" Gilgamesh may show up and fill you with seventeen times your body weight in lead!
From whacky supernatural ghouls up against a spread of silly firearms, we turn to goofy military miniatures facing off against terrifying toys in...Toys
Here we see a jerky mannequin-like being firing what I assume to be peanuts from a severed cartoon elephant's head.
They shoot fast, they have a terrible arc (compounded by the game's pesky isometric angle), low stopping power, and both their sprite AND ammo counter is a giant orange sphere.
Conclusion? It's ping-pong power. Q.E.D.
Mighty Max
It seems unlikely we're going to regain any gravitas any time soon, so let's go off the deep end with...
Ye gods, it's Mighty Max.
Though, to look at his full-sized portrait on the Character Select screen (to the right), "Bat-Feces Insane Barry" might have been a better name.
And things don't get less crazy-face any time soon, as you and Mr. Owl try to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop pick one of the weird theme-worlds located in your house(?) via the next screen's Level Hub.
but it's when the game begins that the Ping-Pong Ball Gun effect REALLY comes in to play: not only do you run and jump WAYYYYY too fast -- basically faster than the human eye can react (think Bubble Bobble with its too-speedy-to-be-useful Shoe power-up)
Foul footware temptress, luring Bub and Bob to an uncontrollable doom!
But your rate of fire is very rapid, too. Add to that the fact that your big festive yellow bullets literally BOUNCE OFF WALLS AND HILLS,
...and your launching a kooky cannonade of puff-ball power!
The Lawnmower Man
From nutty to grim, let's turn our attention to a game so serious it requires digitized Pierce Brosnan:
(no, not GoldenEye)
Indeed, this game deals with a concept so fully-realized in the 1990s, that over 20 years later, it's just about finished being a The Producers-like caper of investor-scamming, and is almost nearly kinda maybe ready to manifest itself.
I am, of course, talking about the reality-shattering power of...
Putting on giant sunglasses and pretending to be proto-polygonal arms!
Oops, that's not right. I of course meant the power of "Virtual Reality." And, like the 1990's promise of a Virtual Reality so powerful it could change the sovereignty of every human mind, let me just say...
You'll spend most of the game over-saturating the screen with low-potency wibbley-wobbley energy balls in hopes of (eventually) slaying generic soldiers and chimpanzees in leather!
Was that unsatisfyingly anticlimactic enough to be a good parallel for Virtual Reality?
I hope so!
But if not, I hope you found my summary of the SNES's unfortunate tendency towards "Ping Pong Ball Gun" weapons to be anticlimactic enough for this week.
Also, SPACE!
— carlmarksguy, 2015-09-21
(back to article list)

more me!

latest comments

6/26/23: Get Legendary, get lucky...and go to the DANGER ZONE! by CarlMarksGuy
6/23/23: Get Legendary, get lucky...and go to the DANGER ZONE! by Marla Singer
12/2/22: By the Programming of Grey Skull! by CarlMarksGuy
12/2/22: Faux American BADA$$ by CarlMarksGuy


Super Nintendo


Up from (Super) Obscurity (87)
NES Obscurity Quicky! (49)
Smorgasbored! (30)
Cover Art Theatre (24)
Boy in Gray (24)
killer Vaniller filler (14)
Four Reflections for Filler (7)

Short + Sweet
New Ancient Wisdom (383)
Shenanigans &/or Shinola (33)
Picture-in-Picture (22)
Miscquoted (21)
Pointless Point Pointers (11)
Made Up Facts! (6)


Bats/Cats/Rats/Gnats (33)
Beat-em-ups (44)
Bees Will End You (11)
Button Zone Defense (7)
CarlMarksGiger (5)
Censors on Maximum! (6)
Character DeCreation (7)
CHOPPAH (get to da) (8)
Cover Art...yeah. (9)
CRAZYGRAMPS-Approved (10)
Cross Hairs (14)
CTRL-ALT-Sports (39)
Cut the Cut Scenes! (50)
Delicious Power-Ups! (19)
Digitized Photos=Bad (34)
Dojo Mojo (15)
e-Pistolary Whipped (2)
Faces in the Crowd (8)
Fighty-Fight-Fight (39)
Foreground Peekaboo (3)
Form of: Plat! (86)
Fun with Cybernetics (28)
Glitched Pictures (12)
Go for the Gold! (19)
GOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (4)
Grappling Hook-y (5)
Gritty Urbs & Spices (37)
Haberdasher Galaxy (19)
Haiku You! (11)
Hellish Moppet (24)
Hi, Explosives! (16)
High Fashion (43)
I Give Up! (59)
I have bad taste (18)
Ice is Nice (14)
Informative Info! (46)
It's a Holiday! (12)
Jumpy-Stabby (43)
Keep on Truckin' (12)
Kids today! :P (15)
Laser-Powered Fist (10)
LevHELL Select (14)
Melting Flooring (6)
Mini(scule) Games (12)
Mission: Implausible (26)
Moto-cross/-cycle (14)
Movie Cash-In! (59)
Muscles n' Mullets (20)
no pants (19)
Not the BOSS of me! (21)
Oh, Aliens did it. (25)
Paid Celeb Spokesman (31)
Pigging Out (8)
Pirates &/or Ninjas (47)
Player 2 I <3 You (17)
Port-a-Porty (29)
Prehistoria Euphoria (18)
Puzzling, yes? (27)
Racing a La Mode 7 (11)
Random Spotlight! (15)
Rasslin'!!! (7)
Recursive Recursion (7)
Rushing Beat-ings (8)
Scan Th Funny Manual (3)
Scoot or Die (7)
Shabby Olive Drabby (20)
Shoot-em-U/D/L/R (62)
Shpiiidah! (10)
Snap th Game's a Job (13)
Spiky Apocalypse! (22)
Stupor Heroes! (16)
Sum-Sum-Summertime! (9)
Swords, Elves, Etc (32)
THAT'S how you win? (3)
The Grating Outdoors (24)
The InterNOT (2)
The Name Game! (18)
The Time Warp Excuse (18)
Toon In! (31)
Top 10 or so! (23)
U Stink But I <3 U (9)
Un-licensed to kill (22)
Uneven Challenge (18)
Unwieldly Projectile (33)
Warp Door Mazes (5)
Weird Animals (67)
What a scoop! (10)
What's the Password? (20)
Wheels + Feet = Go (7)
Whirled Tour! (13)
Woebegotten Sequels (21)
X marks the XTREME! (9)


elsewhere on the web...
Flying Omelette
Rage Quitter 87
Random Hoo Haas