Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Game of the Day - Terminator 2

T2 is simply my favorite cross-hair shooter.  The arcade game had a mounted gun, but I play it with a trackball and the gameplay is (quoting Arnold) awesome!

I hadn't made T2 a Game of the Day before because I thought it was too common and popular, but when you look at the data, it's not as known and widespread as I thought.  Besides, if I help ONE new guy discover T2, then this post is worth it.  The game has no peer in its era. (info on how I figure out how well-know a game is can be found here)

The is a first-person slowly scrolling shooter that stops for long periods of times on scenes, then continues on to the next scene, slowly scrolling towards the right as you shoot.  There are two buttons to use, shot and missile/special.  As mentioned before I use a trackball for aiming and it works so well it feels like the game was designed for it.  Of course if you don't have a trackball or gun, you can use the MAME setup to use the joystick for aiming your cross-hair.

The scenes are FILLED with action and things to blast.  Mostly, there are the endoskeletons (terminators).  But there are also Hunter-Killer ships, orbs and other crap.  There are also great power-ups everywhere.  Some come flying at you, many are in crates in the foreground that you have to blast open.  One of the power-ups is a coolant for your main gun.  This is important because your gun overheats and stops firing.  In fact, as you hold down the button for machine gun action, the gun's power slowly reduces.  As the power reduces, the speed at which the gun repeats slows down and you are able to blast less enemies.  Either find some coolant or try not to fire for a few seconds to cool the gun off.  Another power-up is a nuke/smart bomb that blows up everything on the screen when you shoot the bomb.

The other gauge is your energy gauge.  As you take hits, it decreases (although you can find ways to increase it).  If it runs out, you are terminated.

Additionally, there are many scenes that have allies (humans) help you fight in the foreground - don't shoot them, they'll crab at you and you will have some points deducted from your score (maybe it's worth it)!

All the details aside, what makes the game so great is the phenomenal graphics (unmatched and way ahead of their time) and the constant action that is so well connected to the awesome movie of the same name.  The graphics are great in their detail of the enemies and the landscape, but also in emulating the Heads-Up-Display/overlay that the movie used so effectively to show how the Terminator analyzed his surroundings.  The sound is also a huge standout.  The constant fire of your machine gun is the best I've heard and the high pitched whine when you launch a missile adds to the realism.

If you haven't tried T2, you must, it's a moral imperative.  If you haven't played in a while, crank it up and remember how much fun it is.


  1. Hey Zach, I tried this the other day after seeing it on your listing of top 1st person shooters. Question, a lot of these 1st person shooters played better with 2 people, do you (or have you heard of others) use a second trackball for this?

  2. Revolution X (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXrcMvdNX-4)

    is basically a peer to T2 the arcade game. I like T2 better though.

  3. I've used a 2nd trackball for the 2nd player. In fact, I have a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackball that I can setup as the 2nd one. I haven't seen a MAME cab with TWO built-in trackballs, although I'm sure someone has one.

    I've played and enjoyed Revolution X, but I agree it's not as good as T2.