2, Issue 6
December 16, 1999
ACT Labs GS
Creator: ACT Labs
Average Price: $89.99
Ill say this right off the top. I consider myself a hardcore
gamer and Im pretty set in my ways. As an FPS gamer, I use
a keyboard and a mouse. Show me a new controller and Ill
show you the door. What could be simpler?
do play other games. Ill use a wheel for a racing game,
and Ill use a stick for a flight simulator. Get me in an
arcade and Ill even use a gun. Get that shocked look off
your face. Thus Im not totally opposed to using other controllers
depending on the game. So naturally I was curious when I was handed
the GS gun system from Act Labs.
them guns (35k)
comes with two guns, a base, and a little hand-held controller
I call the phaser as it looks just like the little
stun/kill weapon they use in Star Trek: The Next-Generation.
Straight out of the box the gun looks cool, in a futuristic sorta
fashion. I immediately held it up to the mirror and did my Blade
Runner impression. Oh yeah. We bad.
like me, you hate reading manuals. A new toy is meant to be played
with! A cable plugs the base of the system into a regular game
port and theres another cable that is used as a VGA pass-through.
I felt a little leery about using a pass-through to my monitor,
but what the hey. It worked. There are three hand-held controllers
with the system, but oddly enough, theres only two ports
on the base to plug these controllers in. I was baffled by this
at the time, but in retrospect, I suppose I do only have 2 hands.
plugged in and the software installed from the CD, nothing worked.
I couldnt even get Windows to recognize it. Beaten before
I even started, I decided to read the manual. First quirk: you
must remove all game controllers from your control panel for the
GS to be recognized. Says it in black and white. Second bit of
advice came from an email from my sexy bud at Act Labs, Eugene:
download all the latest of everything. Which isnt as simple
as it first sounded. Drivers for the GS needed to be downloaded,
as well as for each game that I wanted to play with it. Fortunately
(or unfortunately), the list of games that supports the GS is
kinda small right now. I downloaded the Glitterstream mod for
Quake II and the bundled game, Top Shot. For those
of you living up Aunt Beatrices butt for the last 3 years,
Quake II is a top notch FPS game, and Top Shot is a type
of arcade shooter, not far displaced from the inevitable Duck
Hunt. Glitterstream also has a mod for Half-Life, and if
I can ever get my youngest to tell me what hes done with
my original CD, I may get around to trying it one day.
taste of a working gun came through the calibration feature in
the control panel. A funny feeling came over me as a shot bullet
holes into my Windows desktop. Like, yeah, this feels good. The
gun is damn accurate, even when I pulled the gun back as far away
from my monitor as the cables allowed. Made me almost want to
figure out how to use the gun to navigate Windows instead of the
is a fairly forgettable game. You sit back and fire shots at ducks,
or skeets, or pop-up bad guys, or what-have-you. I played it for
all of 10 minutes. Just long enough to know that the gun was working.