Nick DeMarco

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: ‘Cannon Spike’ mixes Capcom characters for run and gun fun on Sega Dreamcast

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: ‘Cannon Spike’ mixes Capcom characters for run and gun fun on Sega Dreamcast
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Like the Sega Saturn, the Sega Dreamcast debuted with great promise but was once again throttled by poor timing and not enough market to avoid getting nearly blown out of the water by the PlayStation 2. However, there are still some amazing games for this console so, finishing off our month of Sega games here on Turn to Channel 3, we look at one that may have flown under the radar for gamers at the time, but certainly shouldn’t have when you really stop to think about it.

Today, we take a shot at “Cannon Spike” on the Dreamcast!

“Cannon Spike” (Sega Dreamcast)


“Cannon Spike,” for the unaware, is a run and gun game in the style of “Smash TV” and “Commando,” just to name a few, but it focuses more on boss fights in comparison to its contemporaries. “Cannon Spike” is an adrenaline rush, and the soundtrack not only fits that theme, but also grabs you by the collar and shakes you to life.

There are no lyrics, but there doesn’t need to be, just music that keeps your blood pumping as you make your way through hordes of enemies and powerful bosses. This may seem simplistic to many, but not every developer can create a great soundtrack to go with a solid run and gun game.


While there are moments where the polygon goblins come calling with some boxy looking graphics, for the most part, what you see here are some pretty smooth graphics that are rendered well, from characters that look awesome to levels and bosses that appear dangerous as ever.

“Cannon Spike” may not have tons of bright colors, which wouldn’t fit the gritty, sometimes ominous aspects of the game anyway, but they definitely showcase the action-packed adventure you’re in.


What makes “Cannon Spike” such a blast to play is that you are literally playing Capcom’s answer to an all-star lineup “Contra.” Don’t believe me? One look at the roster of playable characters and you’ll see Arthur from “Ghosts ‘n Goblins,” Cammy from “Super Street Fighter II” and, yes, even the Blue Bomber, Mega Man. How awesome is that?

The premise of “Cannon Spike” is simple, but when you add these names, along with bosses that test that itchy trigger finger, you have a formula that works for both novice and experienced gamers within this genre of gaming.


If there’s still a question of how superb “Cannon Spike” is, consider this. Right now, at this very moment, as you read these words, just the disc of this game – no manual, no case – is selling for a cool $100. Add those other items and you’ve got a $160-$220 game on your hands. I think the only questions you need to ask yourself are why your friends haven’t gotten you this game for your birthday and why there has never been a sequel? It is most deserving of one.

Well, that does it for me. Join me next month as we look at games on what was once dubbed the “Cadillac of Consoles,” SNK’s Neo Geo!

Until then, take care and, remember, there’s never a bad time to yell “Sega!” like in those classic commercials and game on!

Tune in to NEPA Scene’s gaming column, Turn to Channel 3, every Thursday for new perspectives on retro gaming as well as fresh twists on the classics. All ratings for Turn to Channel 3 are based on a scale of 1-10.