Review by scarlet_puppy

"Wow, this game is grea- hold on! What do you mean it's over already?"

This was one of two games that I got for my birthday, the other being Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When I saw this game, I thought, ‘A shooting peripheral for the Wii? About time they came out with one!' So then I put in the game, inserted the Wii remote into the Wii Zapper, and started playing. But is it any good?

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics in this game are more or less the same as in Twilight Princess. Many of the backgrounds and characters from the game are used in this game, and they look exactly the same as they did before. The biggest flaw as far as graphics are concerned is that the targets have some noticeable edges to them. Overall, the graphics in this game look very nice, but I can't rate it higher than eight because there haven't been any graphical improvements since Twilight Princess.

Sound: 8/10
Just like with the graphics, the music in this game has been recycled from Twilight Princess. Although I very much liked the music, it seems a bit lazy that they couldn't have come up with something original. The sound effects are scarce, rarely amounting to more than a sound for shooting arrows and an enemy dying, but the sound effects that are there are well done. Like with Twilight Princess, there are no voices to speak of, but then a shooting game doesn't really need one.

Gameplay: 8/10
This game is effectively a tech demo with the intention of showing off the capabilities of the Wii Zapper. In that sense, this game has done what it intended to do, since it makes a very good use of the Wii Zapper, and also acts as a good tutorial on how to use it properly.

Since this game comes bundled with the Wii Zapper, I suppose I should mention some information about said Zapper. Basically, it looks a bit like a plastic gun, and when you insert the Wii Remote and Nunchuck inside of it, the Zapper cleverly manages to keep both of them held there. It is very easy to do, and allows you to get on with the game as quickly as possible.

The game itself has been designed to be very simple to play, meaning that many people can play this game, even if they do not regularly play video games. This, in my opinion, was exactly the right way to go about things. You simply point at the screen and press B to shoot an arrow. You can also do a more powerful shot by holding down B, and in some levels you need to use the control stick on the Nunchuck to move around. Finally, on some levels, if you shoot a green enemy, you switch to automatic mode, where you can shoot arrows rapid fire. That's it. No switching through various different bows, no locking on targets, or anything of that calibre. This makes sure that the game doesn't get too complicated.

This game consists of nine different levels, each of which consists of three stages. Although it is not always the case, the first stage usually involves shooting targets in some way, the second various enemies such as skeletons and the third is one where you must move around and kill all of the enemies. However, it is not all as ‘cut and paste' as this. There are also various different and humorous challenges, such as shooting fruit in the air, a game of shooting the right targets but not the wrong ones and a game involving cow skulls thrown through the air. All of this is done using backgrounds and characters from Twilight Princess, which will definitely feel like a nice touch for anyone who has played the game.

The object of the game is to get as high a score as possible, and if you score high enough you pass the level and can move onto the next one. The higher the medal, the more points you need. You need 20,000 for a bronze medal, 40,000 of silver etc. When you first play this seems really hard, but with a little practice, you will find it much easier when you discover that with each enemy you hit consecutively (i.e. without missing any shots) you get a multiplier which increases the score dramatically. The difficulty of this game is just right. It's not far too easy, but at the same time it isn't really frustrating.

However, like most games, there are some flaws to contend with. The first is that there are simply not enough levels. You have nine levels, each with three stages, meaning that there are a total of 27 stages. That may seem like a lot, but at the end of the day I couldn't help but think that it was a bit limited.

Another noticeable flaw is that the game doesn't have any secrets or Easter eggs to unlock. Essentially, all that this game has in terms of depth is getting a better medal than you got before. I know that this is just meant to be a tech demo, but how hard would it have been to put in some extra things to unlock? Finally, there simply aren't enough modes. There are three in total: practice, multiplayer and score attack. I realise that a game of this calibre doesn't need many modes, but three just seems like too few. It would have added to the fun factor a lot.

But as it stands, Link's Crossbow Training is still very fun to play. With the simplicity of the game, the ideal amount of challenge within the game and the charm of the Wii Zapper, this game is definitely entertaining, if a little shallow.

Replay Value: 3/10
This is where the real problems with the game arise. You can easily complete all nine levels within 2-3 hours, 4 if you aren't very good at shooting games. After that, all that you have left to do is to try and get better medals on all of the levels. I don't think many people would not want to have to repeatedly play the levels just for some medals, and even if you do it doesn't take all that long at all, perhaps an extra 2 or 3 hours. The lack of modes and depth doesn't help matters either. Overall, this is a very short game indeed.

Pros:
The Wii Zapper is a cool peripheral.
Graphics look great.
Well done sound effects.
Uses backgrounds and characters from Twilight Princess.
Simple and easy to play.
Works well as a tech demo.
Not too easy or too hard.
Very fun to play.
Interesting and varied challenges.

Cons:
Really short.
And I mean really, really short.
No depth.
Could use more levels.
Not enough modes.
Very little original music.

Buy, rent or avoid: Under normal circumstances, I would say that this game is worth a rental, but not worth buying, due to how short it is. However, this game is different. Since it is only $20, and it comes bundled with the Wii Zapper, and there will undoubtedly be many more, potentially great, games which will utilise the peripheral, I would say that this game is worth buying because it is a good and fun way to learn how to use the Wii Zapper.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/08

Game Release: Link's Crossbow Training (w/Zapper) (EU, 12/07/07)


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