When it comes to the NeoGeo, you generally have a choice between two types of games, fighters or shooters. The two were the bread and butter of the system, but one thing the shooter genre had an advantage in was how much variety was available in shooting down soldiers and ships. Side scrolling, top down, vertical were choices for all gun lovers, with an even more unusual faux-light gun target range set up being available with the likes of Nam-1975, a terrifyingly accurate rendition of the horrors of that one particular war…
Nam-1975 was an early NeoGeo arcade shooter, placing the player’s back at the forefront of the screen, to take on the freely wandering enemies. The player can stand and shoot, manoeuvring a cursor to gun down, torch or explode the series of soldiers, copters and tank as they please, or move left and right, cartwheeling away from the bullets and bombs that fly into the screen.
It’s a tricky formula to work with, never feeling like an entirely fluid experience, but its fun in the same way similar games such as Wild Guns and Sin & Punishment are, making the game more about precise aiming than rapid fire running n gunning.
The Vietnam setting isn’t quite as wild as later NeoGeo shooters, such as Metal Slug or Shock Troopers, but when you save a hostage to have her temporarily fight by your side, or take on laser spewing robots, you may wonder just what really happened back in Nam.