PS2 Light Gun Games - Gun Basics and Tips

Aiming, Lighting and Gun Selection Are Key

Playstation 2


A few of the subjects we have covered thus far have been geared towards the Xbox console but could be applied to other consoles as well as PC games. The PS2, for example, has something that can be fun and also frustrating at the same time. Light-Gun games are popular in the arcades, so it was no surprise they started to show up on the PlayStation 2. The real trick to using light guns is learning how to set-up your TV, getting the right Light-Gun and the right games. Below you will find everything needed to get in on the fun of this genre as well as a list of some pretty cool titles, based on my experience with them anyhow.

It Is a Light-Gun, Right?

Gamers who enjoy Light-Gun games think that they are going to get the same gameplay as they would by playing in an arcade. The truth is the PS2 can recreate the same fun, but you need the right Light-Gun. The choice is a pretty easy once you know the secret. Namco created the Light-Gun games and perfected them for use on the PS2. The GunCon2 Light-Gun controller is the best out there according to most PS2 hardware reviewers. In fact, it has been tested and proven to be accurate within two pixels. It simply means the gun is the most advanced controller out there and performs great. No matter who makes the game, this gun is used as the standard. There are many knockoffs and cheaper models out there, but to get the most out of the games you need this Light-Gun.

My Light-Gun Does Not Seem Accurate

The first thing you need to know about Light-Gun games is how to get the best experience and gameplay. In order to do this, you need to understand a few things. The biggest mistake gamers make is not knowing how to set up the room to play a Light-Gun game. You need to remember that it works by light hitting the screen and then making it look like you're really shooting the enemies on the screen. In order for this to work, ​the lighting of the room is the most important part. Turn off all overhead lights. If playing during the day, close any blinds. The less light around the gaming area and TV will enhance the gaming experience. If there is too much light, it will reflect the light from the gun.

Right Gun - Check, Right Lighting - Check, Now What?

You are almost ready to enjoy that new light-gun game. The last few things you need to remember are simple things but very important. You need to adjust the brightness of your TV during the calibration of the gun before the game starts. After you set the brightness, remember or write down the settings. Also, remember during the day or late at night it may need additional adjustments; remember during the calibration of the gun it was set to the place you were sitting at. If you get up from your spot and then come back, you may be in a slightly different spot and your aim will be off a bit. Be careful to note exactly where you were sitting and be sure to return to the exact same spot. Also, many gamers think the TV has to be close to the gun for it to work right. This is not true. As long as you set-up the lighting and the brightness the right way, you can play at a normal distance.

The Game Says One Player Can Use Two Guns, What Gives?

While Namco's Time Crisis and other games will allow one player to use two light-guns, this method is just a gimmick. You will do better and have more fun if you just use one gun. While you may not look like Billy the Kid anymore, you will shoot like Annie Oakley. Two guns are meant for two players plain and simple. It may be fun to try for a round or level but the games have become more advanced and need dead aim.

Alright, I'm Set - How Do I Aim Correctly?

Most light-Gun games have mini-games included for practice and for added fun. If you play these levels, you will almost always get better each time, and it will help you with the main game. Every level is made different. If you focus on the closest enemy first, you will find it easier later to select targets farther away. Practice is the key. It is also important to learn how the gun loads and which way works best for you. You can aim away from the screen to reload or push the button on the butt (back) end of the GunCon2. The second one is the method used by most!

I Ran Out of Credits!

Again, most games are the same in this area. If you keep playing and save your progress, you will earn more credits. After a certain time or number of games played, most games will open “free play” mode where you have unlimited credits.

I Can't Aim Well With Just One Hand Though!

If you are having trouble holding the gun with one hand, the good news is you're ahead of the game. The trick to beat any light-gun title is to hold the gun with both hands and you will notice an increase in your accuracy. One handed shooters are only mimicking what they see in the game or in a movie. Treat it like a real weapon, that's the real trick.

The Final Boss Cannot Be Beaten, Why?

The end boss or enemy is not unbeatable, they all have a basic pattern that they use, normally. Watch their shooting pattern and when they run or reload, then take advantage of those times by quickly emptying the clip into them. Also look for barrels or other objects that can explode and cause damage to be done against the boss. The end boss will probably take you on a run and chase stage. Just avoid damage during these areas until he is finished and decides to actually fight you.

I Beat the Game. Is There a Reason to Continue Playing?

If you finished the game, try it on a harder setting. Chances are you will see and face new enemies. Light-Gun games are loaded with secrets and bonus games once you beat them once. You will get a message on-screen if you have unlocked a new mode or feature.

What Light-Gun Games are Available?

While there are several games out there, telling anyone which is the best is like telling you what to eat. So instead here is the list of the top games and the companies that make them. Keep in mind there are a few games on this list that are hard to find now and may require a bid on Ebay or a shop that deals in hard to find titles.

  • Time Crises 2: Namco
  • Time Crises 3: Namco
  • Time Crises Crisis Zone: Namco
  • Ninja Assault: Namco
  • Vampire Nights: Namco
  • Dino Stalker: Capcom
  • Resident Evil Dead Aim: Capcom
  • ENDGAME: Empire

Please note, the above recommendations are only from my experience, and I am not a PS2 game specialist, so your mileage may vary with each title. Just consider the list a pointer in the right direction, and keep on practicing gun-slinger!