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Reviewed: Mad Dog McCree with Act-Labs PC USB Light Gun
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: March 15th, 2003
Page: 2

The plotline of Mad Dog McCree is pretty straightforward; a girl has been kidnapped. Go save her, shooting any enemies that get in your way. Hit them before they shoot back, and advance the video. Miss, and you get a clip of the undertaker admonishing you to do better next time.

The game installs quite easily -- that is, it runs by being stuck in the CD-Rom drive. It pops up in a window or can be full-screened, though full screen on a monitor above 17 inches will start to look pixelated (the video is encoded in Mpeg-1 standard). Other than that, the game progresses by shooting the screen, repeatedly. Mouse controls are available and work pretty well, though playing a shooter game with a mouse is a bit silly. I'm happy to report that the game is 100% faithful to the original, from the "scene" selections to the progression of the storyline in each scene. There are even the normal funny pauses between detection of a successful hit, and the switch of video files to where the target falls over dead.

The Act-Labs gun is a nice piece of equipment; light to hold, with a decently sensitive trigger. The installation for this is a LOT more intensive however; first you install the pass-through box, then the drivers, then the USB connector that feeds data back from the gun. After this, it's nominally set up to go.

After a small amount of testing, I noticed a few flaws in the design. Instead of a normal "shoot the center of the screen" calibration, the calibration routine involves flicking a switch on the gun. This switch changes the operation of the pass-through box to a "test pattern" mode. The player then pans the gun left, right, up, and down in front of the screen from edge to edge to set the gun's sensitivity. Took approximately 6 tries to get right the first time.

The second problem was the gun's sensitivity itself; while fine at low resolutions, it became incredibly sensitive at high resolutions, such that anything above 1024x768 started giving targeting problems in Mad Dog McCree. 

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Added:  Saturday, March 15, 2003
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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