Let’s (Kinda Sorta) Play “Sonic Fury”

Ok, it’s more like let’s watch “Sonic Fury.” But here nor there, folks.

On a Sonic Fury-Like Alternate Universe…

Back in 2015, an excited writer named Allison Venezio wrote a piece for a certain retro blog. She talked at length about a game. It wasn’t much of a game – you put the tape in a VCR and connected a “console” (the console’s maker called it a “base unit”) to your VCR. You took aim at targets, and your actions (or inactions) didn’t effect the outcome. It wasn’t much of a game.

That game, however, contained decent visuals. It tried so hard. And the only reason it contained those decent visuals was because those visuals came from an actual feature film.

That game, you ask? Action Max’s Blue Thunder. The writer? This one! It was my first Retroist article, and I am proud that so many articles later (this is my 127th), I’m still with Retroist, cranking out the best of the best in rare weirdness and Chicago music.

It’s an awesome ride, which doesn’t quite describe what you’re about to read and watch…

Highway To the Sonic Fury – er, Danger Zone!

Welcome to the friendly skies of Chroma Key, where your final training exercises are being held. This training is your ticket into Sonic Fury, which is probably Top Gun Lite.

Joining you on your final training exercise is Alabam (“True” Fact: the last “a” was left off so Worlds of Wonder wouldn’t get sued by the state of Alabama), and these two enthusiastic pilots:

Your friendly neighborhood Native American pilot, “Chief,” and that old hot dog…”Trucker.”

I bet he did that for the kids.

You’re nickname for the mission is Ace, this is a nicknames-only mission, and it should be a cut-and-dry final training session…

Yeah, movies never wrap up that fast, why should Worlds of Wonder dare to be different?

Friends, let’s grab our light guns and take to the friendly skies of Chroma Key to complete our training for “Sonic Fury,” aka “Not A Top Gun Ripoff Squadron.”

The best part?  I’ll be joining you for the ride!

That’s right, my happy face is confined to the lower corner of the screen, covering up the flashing “target” placement area.

Oh, and apparently I’ve lost my mind.

And whenever you’re ready, click play and join in on the mutual torturing, littered with drones, me giggling, and the feel of a company that really thought they had something big going on here.

Sonic Fury

PREPARE FOR ACTION!

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

Related Watchings/Readings

I covered one of the other Action Max games on my blog for my Halloween article, if you’re still feeling brave after your training mission for Sonic Fury!

The Halloween I Spent Rescuing Pops Ghostly – Published October 31, 2017 on Allison’s Written Words. Your supposed to save the Ghostly family from evil lurking in their friendly haunted house. I’m still convinced it was those two child “actors” that needed more saving!

I also wrote a two-part piece on my original Allison’s Written Words blog  about the system in general. It pretty much covers what every other piece on the Action Max has already said.

Action Max: The Rise and (Quick) Fall of a Video Game System

Part 1 – November 26, 2013 / Part 2 – December 27, 2013 (Don’t ask why it took a month between parts)

Lazer Tag

Yes! I Think Lazer Tag Is Still Relevant!

I am not certain about your thinking back in the day. But for myself I not only drank the Kool-Aid that was the idea of Lazer Tag as game. I also believed it was going to be THE ultimate sport of the future as well.

[Via] Mr. Classic Ads 1980s

For myself I was lucky enough to actually get my hands on a Lazer Tag game kit back in the day. That was of course the basic set a Player would need. You received the StarLyte – which was the weapon of choice in the year 3010.
Lazer Tag

Then of course you had the StarSensor, which was rather important. How else would you know you had received enough hits to be out of the game?
lazer-tag-starsensor

Last but not least you had the StarBelt. While it is true its main purpose was to keep that sensor firmly in place. It at the same time offered the opportunity for a Player of Lazer Tag to cut a sporting figure. Making a fashion statement in 3010 was just as important back in 1986. That was when the game was released by Worlds of Wonder at the very same time as Entertech’s Photon laser tag system.
lazer-tag-starbelt

Now to be absolutely honest. Lazer Tag in 3010 looks a little like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome mixed with Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone!

[Via] My Box of Old VHS Tapes

Now most of you are well aware from the Diary Podcast that I work at an arcade. The Arkadia Retrocade. Which is how last night – thanks to the generosity of a friend, I had access to the game once again.
lazer-tag-vic-instructions

Naturally I found myself suiting up once again to play some Lazer Tag. Visions of the sport of the future filled my head as I slipped on the StarVest and StarHelmet.
lazer-tag-arcade

Because of how many people were in the arcade…as well as being old. I chose to just look the part instead of running through the arcade. Maybe tonight though we can get a game going?
lazer-tag-vic-is-ready-for-action

Now to help you get those images out of your brain. Check out this promotional video for Lazer Tag

[Via] Public John

Action Max

The closest I ever got to an Action Max video game console was the closest I got to a lot of toys: the commercial. I never saw an Action Max in person. Maybe I saw one in Toys R Us. Maybe not. But I definitely saw this commercial many, many times.

Action Max was brought to us by Worlds of Wonder, the same company that produced Lazer Tag, Teddy Ruxpin, and the Stuff-It Binder. It was a video game console in the truest sense of the word. The games it ran were actual VHS video that had to be played on your VHS deck.
SONY DSC
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Because the games were actual VHS videos, they never changed and had limited replayability. Still, the commercial made them look cool. I was especially interested in the Pops Ghostly game.

As I understand it, there weren’t a whole lot of these games, and they were all shooters. But like all things Worlds of Wonder, it was great in theory even if it wasn’t that great in practice.