Another Mission: Impossible movie has recently come and gone, and I have found myself lost once again in the magic of that hokey 60’s spy show. The adventures of the original Impossible Mission Force have been a delight to me for years. The tension of a disguise almost uncovered, the absurdity of the gadgets and techniques rolled out with every episode, and the satisfaction of seeing a miraculous and crazy plan work out in the end all build up to make a really goofy, but thoroughly enjoyable experience, although it is definitely not for everyone.
Although Konami has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, at least as far as the gaming landscape is concerned, we will always have those old mainstay series to fondly look back on. Excellent hits like the Metal Gear series, with its fun arcadey stealth and bonkers story, Silent Hill with it’s mastery of horror and subtlety before the US studios got their hands on it, and Castlevania, the all out monster mash throwing the demon hordes of the night at you in consistently high quality titles. the only thing it couldn’t survive was the third dimension. Today I’d like to take another look at the forgotten children of the Castlevania series, the Gameboy titles.
This time we take a look at a third party light gun for the 16-bit era, the Konami Justifier. In the past, most peripherals for the 8-bit systems had little in the way of competition. Ideas like the Power Glove and LJN’s Rollin’ Rocker were major flops in their own right, so no one wanted to copy them, while others like the NES Power Pad had potential that was not fully realized until the home version of Dance Dance Revolution came around. On the whole though, most systems that had a light gun had just one designed in house. The NES had the Zapper, the Sega Master System had the Phaser, and later the Saturn had the Stunner. But when the Justifier came around things got a little complicated.
Now that Kojima has left Konami, it is a time to fear for his flagship series, Metal Gear. Konami, showing a distinct lack of foresight, have announced a Metal Gear Solid 3 themed pachinko machine and a 4-player co-op zombie game called Metal Gear Survive. These ideas do not make me confident the series is in good hands. This made me think back to any other Metal Gear games that were handled without Kojima’s involvement. There was Metal Gear: Ghost Bable (2000) for the Gameboy color, however that game was still made by people who had worked with Kojima on previous games, and he did give his approval to the project. There were the turn based Metal Gear AC!D (2005) games, but those were produced by Kojima himself.