I am going to do a top Light gun Games list soon, and to do that I want to get a few games out of the way. So apologies to the many people who don’t like On-Rails shooters as much as me.
Originally released in Japan in 1984, North America in ’85, before finally getting s PAL release in ’87 Hogan’s Alley was an early Home Console Light Gun Game using the Nintendo Zapper. It isn’t on-rails in the normal sense, but you are directed where to pew.
Hogan’s Alley was a police training facility at Camp Perry in the USA but was closed during World War II.
The game itself is very simple, 3 game modes with a primary aim of shooting the gangsters.
Here you are on a standard shooting range, 3 cardboard cutouts will appear, and you have to shoot the gangster avoiding the Civilian/Police Officer/ Professor. This mode is a little slow, as you have to sit through the cardboard cutouts revolving on and off screen between rounds.
The number at the top of the screen is the amount of time you have to make the shot(s), and is fairly random. I can get to around level 90, and the timer never dipped below 0.6 seconds.
I don’t know how long the game loops, but miss (or hit the wrong target) 10 times, and the game is over.
Game B is my favourite. Here you are on a “city street” training centre, you will shoot the enemies on screen, then you’ll move to the next section of the city. In one big loop. Complete the loop, and move onto the next round. There is a lot to shoot at, and I never really get bored of this mode.
Again, miss or hit the civilians 10 times and it is gameover.
This one is a strange trick-shot game. Here the aim to to shoot the cans and get them to land on a shelf. The top shelf gives 300 points, middle is 800, and the bottom is 5000 points. There is an obvious risk vs reward mechanic and this mode is fun in small doses.
Again, miss 10 and it is gameover.
That’s it, other than that enemies don’t shoot back. The only reason to play this game anymore is for highscores and funsies.
Hogan’s Alley is actually quite fun, and like Point Blank it has a different twist on the formula. Game Mode B is my favourite, and A is probably the most boring.
Of the NES Zapper games, it is my favourite as it does more than Duck Hunt, and isn’t as hard as Gumshoe or Wild Gunman. You can see the influence Point Blank took from Hogan’s Alley, and Point Blank is fucking AWESOME.
Though, it is basic as fuck. It is fun in short bursts, but doesn’t excel at anything.
Pros: It is actually fun for a bit, shooting is accurate
Back in the Day
Hogan’s Alley was described as “it forces the player to discriminate among targets rather than simply blast away willy-nilly”(Computer Gaming World), and doesn’t have a Metacritic/Gameranking rating.