The Konami Laser Scope: WHY!?

This is the Konami Laser Scope for the NES.  It’s also probably the single worst peripheral I’ve ever encountered.  It’s designed as an alternative to the rather good NES Zapper everyone is familiar with  when they’ve played Duck Hunt.  The idea is you plug this in, and you get a little laser sight via the HUD, sound piped in via earphones and you shout “fire!” to get it to emulate pulling the trigger and shoot the target.  The artwork and advertising makes this look super fun / mega awesome.  I even remeb=mber the adverts from back in the day and really wanting one!  But this is 2016 and I’ve tried it  I give you the glorious Konami Laser Scope…

Except, of course, it’s rubbish.  I’ll quickly pass over the things it gets right:

  1. The Laser sight:  It projects a little red crosshair on to the blue eyepiece.  This is accurate and does indeed help with aiming and picking a target on the screen.  Top marks.
  2. The Sound / earphones work:  It’s kind of immersive, you could wear earphones but, I guess, in the mid 80’s this was less of a thing.
  3. It works:  Technically, it does what it’s supposed to.  You aim, you shout, it fires.  BUT….

This brings us on to the things wrong with it…

  1. It’s NOT Standalone:  For this thing to work AT ALL you have to have a NES Zapper plugged in to port 1 and this thing plugged in to port 2.  Yes, you have to plug in a BETTER controller to use this, WORSE, controller.
  2. It’s Uncomfortable: hard plastic, minimal adjustment and seemingly designed for the smallest of all children, wearing this feels like a mild form of medieveil torture.
  3. It’s a Stupid Idea:  You have to move your head around to aim.  Sounds cool right?  Actually it’s slower than pointing a Zapper and it’s uncomfortable / painfull.
  4. The Chord is really short:  Play this on a bigger than 24″ TV?  then you’ll be moving you head a lot as the cable is so short you’re only a few feet from the TV!
  5. It’s Hyper sensitive:  You are supposed to shout “fire” to trigger a shot.  In reality breathing near the mic triggers the shot.  A seagul outside can trigger the shot.  it’s terrible.
  6. It’s simply not as good as the included Zapperyou already have to have to use this thing.  You aim slower (unless you neck is superhuman) and you go cross eyed from loking at the crosshair in the HUD vs the TV screen in the distance.

So,  a very interesting pickup (was part of a bundle when I found a NES to buy). but not something I want to use ever again.



About Alec Dunn (LegoYoda)

Alec is an IT Architect focused around large private / hybrid cloud design and automation. He's also a big fan of the 'arcade' culture and games of yesteryear and loves taking things apart to see how they all work.
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