It's easy to forget just how massive the NES was back in its glory days, but even that system paled in comparison to the near-domination that its Japanese counterpart - the Famicom - enjoyed in its homeland. Simply put, the Nintendo "Family Computer" was the only real game in town if you were a Japanese player, and the massive install base meant that companies were willing to take risks they might have otherwise avoided, purely because the audience was so large.

One such example is the Bandai Hyper Shot, a Famicom light gun shaped like a machine gun. It could be used just like the standard Zapper, but was packed with unique features which set it apart - the most exciting of which was the "Body Vibration System", which delivered a convincing recoil effect - as long as you inserted batteries, of course. The Hyper Shot also included a speaker and directional pad.

Only one game was ever produced which made use of the Hyper Shot's suite of functions. 1989's Space Shadow is a pretty straightforward Operation Wolf clone where you stalk the corridors of a spaceship blasting alien enemies. During play, music is pumped into the Hyper Shot's speaker and squeezing the trigger causes the gun to vibrate. You can also throw grenades using the gun's "B" button.

It would appear that despite its cool appearance, the Hyper Shot wasn't a runaway commercial success - no other games were produced which made use of its features. A North American launch was out of the question; Nintendo of America had changed the design of the Famicom light gun (which was shaped like a realistic revolver) to a space-age laser gun to avoid the issue of children brandishing them in the streets and frighenting strangers; there's no way a controller which looked like a machine gun would have gotten the green light for a western launch. As such, it remains something of an import curiosity.

You can check out the gun in action - as well as footage of Space Shadow - in Game Dave's excellent video below.