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Marksman Shooting and Trap Shooting Review





Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega
Release Date: 1986 Also On: None

Fans of the Master System are certainly familiar with the SEGA Light Phaser, the simple answer to the NES Zapper. The Light Phaser was sleeker, had a better design, and was built much more solid than Nintendo’s zapper. If you use both of them one after the other, you’ll feel the difference immediately. Sega’s Light Phaser is just a better gun.

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However, for the most part, the majority of the games released for it in the US lacked that certain spunk that made games like Gumshoe and Barker Bill’s Trick Shooting so entertaining. Marksman Shooting and Trap Shooting is a good example of how the Master System’s shooting games were less than impressive. It can be looked at as SEGA’s answer to Duck Hunt, so I will make references to this well-known classic where I deem necessary.

The graphics are nice overall and really show off a great display of colors and variety in Trap Shooting. Marksman Shooting is just the same thing over and over and really gets tiresome. You’re probably wondering how I can say this when Duck Hunt is also the same thing over and over, but if you play both games, you’ll see what I mean. The difference must be experienced to be understood. Though the scenery changes in Trap Shooting every five levels, I must decrease my rating of it a bit simply because the backgrounds seem awkward sometimes. I thought most trap shooting was done in fields, like the first levels, not like canyons and beaches later on, although I could be wrong about this.

There isn’t too much going on here. There’s not really any interesting music, and the sounds are very basic and repetitive for shots and hits. You shouldn’t expect much, and it will get old fast. A great song for each level would have been nice, even if it was just the same one in every level.

Marksman Shooting and Trap Shooting is simple. In Marksman Shooting you shoot at targets as an FBI agent in training, and in Trap Shooting you shoot at clay pigeons. It sounds simple, right? Indeed it is, but it is also annoying. I can’t really explain this, but play Duck Hunt and then either of these games and you’ll see what I mean. It’s just annoying. In Marksman Shooting you shoot at the same targets in a room. They continuously pop up in the same places over and over, getting just a bit faster as the game progresses. The only way it really gets harder is that each level you have to have a better accuracy. Since it only raises by a single percent each round, you can forget having the required insanity level to play to the end, assuming there even is an end. Duck Hunt is simple, but it keeps you engaged with excellent animations and simplicity that refuse to become old until you play for a few hours.

Trap Shooting fares no better, though it is more interesting than Marksman Shooting. You shoot at clay pigeons, with the scenery changing every five rounds, and as the game progresses you can eventually only miss two out of the twelve or so clay pigeons that fly out, with the game ending if you fail. You can only get so entertained shooting at video game clay pigeons, but for a game like this it’s well done. This is the only redeemable feature about this combo cartridge.

This is obviously the Master System’s answer to Duck Hunt for the NES, and as such it is quite similar in many respects, especially in the clay pigeon game. This version is much better than that in Duck Hunt, but then again no one ever really cared about that game anyway. No ducks means no fun. Marksman Shooting is simply a poor attempt at uniqueness. I understand the concept of trying to make a similar game that isn’t a blatant clone, but they should have picked a better idea, such as what was done with Shooting Gallery.

I really don’t care to come back to Marksman Shooting, because I know there will be nothing redeemable after I get to the end, if indeed an end exists. The percentage of required hits simply goes up too slow to keep my interest, making for most likely a three hour romp through the worst of what the Light Phaser has to offer. Trap Shooting, however, is a bit fun to come back to due to the changing scenery and the increasing level of difficulty, as well as the ability to score different amounts of points based on when you shoot the clays as they fly out.

In conclusion, I must explicitly state that this game is not really worth the effort to locate, since the game is uncommon and therefore cannot be found easily. Trap Shooting is somewhat enjoyable, but it’s difficult to make a clay pigeon game interesting, so this really doesn’t make up for the fact that Marksman Shooting isn’t fun at all. All things considered, it’s fun for about 10 minutes, but soon after this time frame passes, you’ll be ready to quit.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 5
Written by Stan Review Guide