SEGA’s Mission: Impossible Arcade

My arcade travels still bring me to my favorites – the rhythm games and fighting games – but along with those, two other staple genres continue to pop up in current arcades: the driving and light gun games. For the latter, I’ve spent some time on GemuBaka looking over Elevator Action Invasion and Time Crisis 5, but my recent trip to Round One afforded me some time on SEGA’s Mission: Impossible.

SEGA released this game back in 2019, and its big hook was in its XL deluxe cabinet. This massive cabinet stationed two setups with 55-inch screens, so players could join up in teams of two to tackle the missions. A more standard size of cabinet is now available that drops two of the players, and this was the setup I was able to play at the arcade location.

Players can choose between three different missions, and each features three segments to create nine stages overall. The scenarios feature armies of humanoid robots, and the action is controlled with mounted dual pistol controllers that players can fire simultaneously in short, powerful bursts, or take more accurate shots with a single pistol to avoid having to reload sooner.

Ultimately, Mission: Impossible is a sort of marriage between SEGA’s Confidential Mission and Namco’s Time Crisis. It’s more prevalent in the four-player version, but the game is a race to the finish compared to the opposing team, resulting in a time attack approach.

Not only does targeting and finishing off enemies as fast as possible work into the race, but there are also occasional mini-games that change up the gameplay.

I tried one of the game’s three missions and overall had a fun time with my experience. The first mission takes place on a train, and you get a variety of scenarios that take place inside the train cabins and on top of the train. In this mission, the game does a good job of cycling out different types of robots, along with shooting down drones, projectiles and vehicles.

Admittedly, most of the mini games I have seen revolve around tapping on your start button as fast as possible, but others did present themselves, such as firing a special weapon when two crosshairs match up.


I think the dual pistol setup is really well done. It feels great in your hands, and you can hold down the triggers for it to automatically fire in burst to save your hands some stress. The guns reload either when you ease off the triggers momentarily, or if you exhaust 16 bullets, you’ll have to go through a short reload animation.

I read in an online interview that the pistol setup was chosen because light gun games with gun peripherals with designs such as having cords sticking out the cabinet take tons of abuse in arcades. The idea is that the setup used in Mission: Impossible would result in less wear and tear the arcade operators would have to deal with. I think that’s brilliant, and while I can’t speak to whether or not these guns actually hold up over time, it’s nice there is a developer thought process going into thinking about the arcade operator.

When I think about light gun games being in arcade these days, I think about my discussions with Doc Mack at Galloping Ghost Arcade and the absolute beatings these games take. Galloping Ghost Arcade at one time had a Metal Gear Solid Arcade cabinet, but the cabinet took so much abuse, it came to the point where the arcade could not make repairs or get replacement parts on its own and it couldn’t get support from Konami itself to figure out the repairs. This resulted in the cabinet unfortunately being pulled from the arcade floor.

I’ve also heard stories about people pulling the light gun wires straight out of the cabinet on Silent Hill: The Arcade, with the person then tossing the gun behind the cabinet. The location also has cabinets such as the arcade version of Left 4 Dead, which is controlled with a navigation controller (think the Nintendo Wii’s nunchuk controller), and it would probably blow your mind to know the number of times someone has pulled on the controller so hard it rips the wire from the machine.

All in all, Mission: Impossible controlled very well and I got nice force feedback using the dual pistols. The game also looked and sounded great, so I have no complaints overall about the game’s presentation.

When I play light gun games in arcades, my main concern is in how “cheap” the game administers hits to the player. I sort of went over this in my Elevator Action Invasion thoughts, where it seemed impossible for at least one player to deliver damage to the bosses without taking a hit. In my first time playing, I thought Mission: Impossible was quite fair in the first set of missions, only requiring two continues to make it through three stages. Harking back to SEGA’s games such as Virtua Cop, Mission: Impossible uses markers to highlight the enemy that is the biggest threat currently on the screen, and this gives you the knowledge you need to try and avoid taking damage. The first full mission ends with a boss fight against a helicopter, and I felt there was plenty of time to hit the weak points needed before it attacked the player.

Even when playing solo, the game awards rankings in multiple areas including time, teamwork and shooting destructible items. These award points, and players are ranked in the amount of time they take to complete the stages, so there is a good amount of feedback to receive based on your performance.

However, even when you are playing on a two-player setup, the game constantly refers to the other team, even though there is no link to offer the extra players. This team is seemingly automated by a CPU, so there is some incentive provided by the game to be quick about things. The problem is, playing solo gave me no real concept of what exactly happens to the team that is left behind or if there are any gameplay advantages to being in the lead. It seems like a really interesting mechanic, but it’s hard to tell if it would just boil down to bragging rights and bonus points or if there is a genuine perk to besting the other team.

But, judging from the price and size of the four-player XL deluxe cabinet, I’m very doubtful I will ever see one in person.

Still, I had fun with my limited time on SEGA’s Mission: Impossible. Even though it looks different and has a modern design, when you are playing the game, you can see the classic SEGA light gun game designs in place, and, as I said, there is an air of Confidential Mission to it. Given the recent string of light gun games featured on GemuBaka, I don’t think I could put it above Time Crisis 5, but it’s definitely better than Elevator Action Invasion. As with most light gun games, I get the feeling you’ll get more mileage out of playing Mission: Impossible with a teammate. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on coming across a four-player cabinet, but, if you have experience playing this in multiplayer, let me know how that went in the comments!

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature, GemuBaka Review


Arcade enthusiast and game collector. Affiliate Twitch retro streamer and games archive writer at Gemubaka ( For business only: gemubaka at gmail


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