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Lik Sang PC Super Bio Gun

In the Box

The Lik Sang PC Super Bio Gun (where do they get these names?) includes the gun, an interface box, and a VGA pass-through cable. No CD or documentation (aside from some directions in Chinese on the box) is included.

Fit and Finish

The PC Bio gun was my favorite of the three, at least from a construction and a style standpoint. The gun is big, which is great for big retrogamer hands. It's solid feeling, with good weight.


Buttons All Over the Thing!

The buttons all click decisively, and it's got an amazing number of controls on it for a light gun: the trigger, two side buttons (one a "start" button and the other a right-mouse button), a "rapid fire" switch, and a gamepad-style "D-pad" that acts as the directional arrows on the keyboard.

About the only criticisms I have of the design and "style" is the fact that it should be black or silver instead of a sickly cream-gray color, and the gun is PS/2 only.

Testing Results

Things went downhill as soon as I tried using the gun, and discovered that the gun only works in Windows 9x. Don't ask me why, as it doesn't use any drivers at all, but it completely refused to work in Windows XP.

Plugging the gun in was tedious, at least compared to the other guns. You have to turn off your computer, then unplug your mouse and keyboard, plug them into the control box, plug the two PS/2 plugs from the control box into your computer, plug in the supplied VGA cable to the control box and your video card, plug the monitor cable into the control box, and finally plug the gun itself into the control box and power up the computer again. This is not something I'd want to do every time I wanted to use a light gun.


The Dreaded PS/2 Control Box

After I hooked the gun up to a Windows 98 machine things improved, if only a little bit. I was surprised to find that the gun has a "rumble" feature: basically, the gun vibrates when you pull the trigger. It's not as realistic as the "thump" you'd get if it used a good solenoid, but it's better than nothing.

There are some questionable design decisions that only became apparent once the gun was working, such as the control box "mode" switch. The control box has a 3-way switch: position "A" gives you your regular mouse and keyboard function. "B" is light gun only — the keyboard and mouse are disabled. "C" allows the keyboard and the light gun to work together.

These "modes" create all sorts of problems. First, there really should be no need for these sorts of "modes" in the first place, requiring you to keep the control box handy. I suppose it's a limitation of the PS/2 interface of the gun. Also, only in position "B" does the D-pad on the light gun work at all — if you switch to the "C" position the D-pad is deactivated in favor of the keyboard.


Closeup of the D-Pad

The D-pad is of questionable use, anyway, especially since the pad is oriented so that the "Up" direction on the pad is towards the left (towards the front of the gun if you're looking at the side of the gun).

Accuracy of the gun was the worst of all three — you could hold the gun steady and pull the trigger three times, and your shots would appear in three different spots on the screen. The accuracy didn't improve with different resolutions or refresh rates, either.

One of the worst problems with the Bio gun, however, was evident even when the gun wasn't in use. The control box features one of the worst video pass-throughs I've ever seen: at resolutions above 640x480, there was very noticeable distortion and ghosting of the video signal visible onscreen, to the point that it was almost painful to try and read the screen. You wouldn't want to leave the Bio gun hooked up to your desktop PC.

Conclusions

In the end, about all the Bio Gun had going for it was its good looks, as all it needs is a good paint job and it would look like it came straight from the arcades. If only it worked as well as it looked.

Lik Sang PC Super Bio Gun Home Page

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