Review by ghangiskhan1
"Crossbow Training is a very fun albeit short experience that could've been so much more with more levels and bosses."
Link's Crossbow Training is one of the last things you'd come to expect from Nintendo. These side games, or spin-offs are often occurring in the Mario universe but not so much in the other famous Nintendo franchises with the exception of the ever popular Pokemon series. As fine as a series The Legend of Zelda may be, seeing a game like this is very rare and ultimately this scarce amount of spin offs is a good thing because these kind of games tend to ruin the value of the series itself.
On whether you'd call Link's Crossbow Training an actual game or not, that is up to you and your standards. The game only has 8 levels that are divided into 3 stages each so that totals to an amount of 24, assuming you already knew that unless you are under the age of 8. This is in the Score Challenge mode mind you, so you can always do some multiplayer and practice too. The addition of those two other modes do help the game feel like an actual game, not just a demo showcasing the Wii Zapper that this game is packaged with.
Yes, this game comes with the Wii Zapper and it easily makes it worth buying. It would be a crime if Nintendo retailed just the Zapper for around twenty dollars because the peripheral itself is just a mere plastic shell that you insert the Wii Remote and Nunchuck into. But it's a neat plastic shell at that with its strangely unique Tommy-Gun shape. The only problem is that it's a little hard on the fingers as after about half an hour of play your fingers will start to get sore.
Crossbow Training is actually a lot more fun than you'd think. When I purchased the Zapper and this game, I really had strong doubts. I only expected a few levels and nothing more so I was really surprised when I was greeted with a lot more than I expected. Still, this trip is over way too quickly and after you've completed all 24 levels including the measly 1 boss fight, you are done and there is no incentive to come back unless you want to work on getting better high scores.
To unlock the next level after the one you are currently working on you must get a bronze medal at least. To get a bronze medal you need to score at least 20,000 points on all three stages in a level. After you've got a bronze medal you can shoot for silver and gold medals that require 40,000 and 60,000 points but only a bronze is required in each level to beat the game.
The control is spot on, but really that is no surprise. The Zapper doesn't really add any easy to the control or really take anything away either so it's really a matter of choice judging on whether you bought the set for the Zapper, for Crossbow Training, or for both. If you've played Twilight Princess than expect the controls to control about the same as it would if you were shooting a projectile weapon in T.P. A cursor comes up and when you're ready to shoot you squeeze the trigger and it's as simple as that. In one mode it requires the analog stick and you can hold the Z button to zoom in a bit.
That brings me to the next thing you should know about Crossbow Training, there are three types of gameplay modes. The first one if Target Shooting in which you are obviously shooting targets that come up. In all three of the modes if you hit targets consecutively without missing, you're points will double, triple, etc. which will add up for some massive scores. The second mode is Defender in which it is shown in a third person view and you must defend yourself from various foes. You can't move Link though, you can just circle him around. The third mode is called Ranger and you can actually mode Link around with the analog stick on the Nunchuck as you hunt down enemies. All of the modes deliver different levels of enjoyment but are all really fun to play.
The graphics and sound in Crossbow Training aren't anything to write home about. In fact, the are the exact same as Twilight Princess, a game released a year before it. Nothing has changed except I find it a bit weird that in some levels music from different area play. For example, in the first level the setting is in Ordon Village but the music from Death Mountain plays. I found that a bit strange. The graphics are far from terrible, just now that Metroid Prime 3 and Mario Galaxy are out, they are starting to look very dated.
In the end, Link's Crossbow Training is a very fun albeit short experience. You'll be done with it in a matter of hours, only coming back to work on high scores. Crossbow Training is a great game that could've been better if the game featured way more levels and we all would've loved to see more boss fights.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/04/08
Game Release: Link's Crossbow Training (w/Zapper) (US, 11/19/07)
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