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Just as it's not the same playing a trackball game with a mouse, playing a shooting game without a light gun just isn't right. There's nothing quite like stepping back, taking aim, and blowing some alien away with a well placed shot.

Unlike with other arcade controllers, there are only limited light gun choices available for MAME use. This roundup will look at the three MAME-compatible light guns I've found so far: the Act-Labs PC USB Light Gun, the Lik Sang PC Super Bio Gun, and the Lik Sang PC Virtual Gun.

The guns were tested using MAME .76 on both a Viewsonic 17" monitor and a Wells Gardner D9200 27" arcade monitor, under both Windows 98 and Windows XP Home. The test resolutions were 640x480 and below (depending on the MAME game being run), and all tests were done at the recommended 60 Hz.

Each of these light guns is a unique controller from a PC-hardware standpoint: none of the guns requires any special drivers, as each simply emulates a mouse. Pull the trigger, and the computer registers a left-mouse click where you were pointing. It doesn't get much easier than that, so let's take a look at the lineup of contenders for "best MAME light gun."

The Guns

ACT-Labs PC USB Light Gun

The most well known PC light gun also turns out to be the most accurate. But can you live with its shortcomings?

Lik Sang PC Super Bio Gun

A big honkin' gun that features rumble, rapid-fire, and even a D-pad on the side of the gun. But it has one fatal flaw, as well as a bunch of little ones.

Lik Sang PC Virtual Gun

The most realistic-looking of the three, it features a unique foot pedal for reloads. But how's the performance?


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