Well, "arcade" might be stretching things a bit. The steady march of technology over the past fifteen years have made the arcades from my childhood obsolete... the Dreamcast closed the performance gap between home and arcade hardware, and the rise of emulators like MAME means that players no longer have to run to the nearest laundromat or amusement center to scratch their retro gaming itch. These days, arcades are packed with redemption machines like Skeeball and coin bulldozers, along with action games centered around a gimmicky controller that's too impractical for home use. You know, steering wheels, massive rifles, a giant butt you can stick your fingers into... that sort of thing.
|Yikes! You don't have to tell me twice!|
(image from Namco America)
Thanks to the inexhaustible golden guns and a generous life bar, Deadstorm Pirates is pretty easy. I finished most of the first stage on a single credit, and would imagine a perfect playthrough would be possible with some practice. Nevertheless, the game is a blast the first time you play it, as all great light gun titles should be. The action is intense, with the screen routinely choked with skeletons, and the graphics, while a little plain, really sell the nautical setting with scurvy shipmates and violently churning seas. You'll even get a chance to steer your ship from time to time with a wheel in the center of the cabinet. Cranking the wheel is exhausting, but narrowly missing that haunted schooner makes it worth nursing a sore arm the next day.
|"Wait, grim reapers too?"|
"Never mind that, just keep shooting!"
(image from PS3.mmgn.com)
I'd never heard of Deadstorm Pirates until this week, so its existence came as a pleasant surprise. I'm even happier to discover that it was released for the Playstation 3 not just once, but twice. It was originally included in a three game collection called Time Crisis: Razing Storm, and was offered on its own as a PSN download. At fifteen dollars for roughly an hour of gameplay, the download is more expensive than it probably should be. However, if Sony ever cuts the price during a flash sale and you've got some Move controllers stashed away in the closet, you'd be smart to hop aboard this ship.