We've all been there: A stupid innocent person pops
up in the middle of firefight to scream, "Don't shoot me." Either it's a sad
testament to the blatant stupidity of the average person, or a cheap gameplay mechanic
designed to make a game more difficult. For whatever reason, it seems that designers of
light gun games have a tough time finding a way around this. The question here is: Why not
make a sequel to Rescue Mission?
Yes, there are still innocent people. Thankfully, they're more intelligent than the
average moron. They're soldiers trapped behind enemy lines with only their clothes and a
handcart to get them out on the ground. They also have you sitting in front of your
screen, Sega's all-powerful Light Phaser in hand.
As they make their way across the tracks, the opposing force heads into action, making any
attempt to prevent escape. You're apparently above them in a helicopter since you can
follow these unfortunate men on their way to the exit. You'll need to stop enemies from
firing missiles (desperate, aren't they?), laying mines on the track, and flipping
switches before your fellow soldiers take a path they're not going to be interested in.
This is all a unique change of pace from the usual light gun game, and it's a blast to
boot. While the first few stages seems rather mundane and slow paced, it doesn't take long
for Rescue Mission to pick up. If you fall behind, the pressure mounts as the poor guy
you're trying to save stops to save someone else. That's when things become the most
interesting (and enjoyable), and if you need to plow through the first few minute
challenges to get there, so be it.
The backdrops are clean, and there's no excuse for missing something that kills the
escapee. Flicker and slowdown are never an issue regardless of how many sprites the
console is pushing. Each one stands out, and if you hit one of the imprisoned, it's your
fault. Bullets are easy to identify. It's not the greatest graphical package; just one
that's functional like it needs to be.
For such a tense situation, the music is awfully upbeat. It's completely inappropriate,
even if the game is rather lighthearted. There are a few sound effects here that are used
simply to confirm you've hit something (or you've failed miserably). The rest don't do
anything to enhance the game, yet it would seem barren without them.
After a while, you have to wonder why the enemy keeps trying so hard to stop just a few
hostages. At some point, after 300 or so of their troops have been slaughtered, you would
think they would back off. Better yet, why are they so content to shoot the one escaping,
and not the one shooting them? Strangely, this all seems logical while you're playing.
That's a sign you're hooked, and that's the best compliment you can give to a game this