Review by _Spin_Cycle_

"Despite being fun and intuitive, it's still just a tech demo in the end. Wii Zapper/LCT review."

Note: As the Wii Zapper comes with a copy of Link's Crossbow Training, I will be reviewing both the hardware and the game in this review.

There's no doubt about it: Link's Crossbow Training is meant as a hardware demo for the Wii Zapper. Reviewing it like a full game would just be unfair. As such, I've loosened up the tension on the game by including a Wii Zapper review as well. I think the ability to look past huge criticisms and minor details in this game is essential to reviewing it. Personally, the game is a lot of fun, but if you're looking for more than target practice, you may not spend much time with this software. Still, it's nice that Nintendo included a game with the Zapper's packaging to begin with, and especially such a high-quality one.

Hardware - Wii Zapper Review
Is it really worth the $19.99 retail price? Does it feel comfortable? Does the darned thing work?! Ask no more.

DESIGN: 8/10
Since entering this new generation, Nintendo has picked up a few tricks from Apple on how to market correctly. Product design is no exception. The Wii Zapper is a sleek and sexy design which looks great on-shelf at your local game retailer. In fact, it may look good enough to buy. That's the point...Nintendo's product design, from the packaging to the product has increased dramatically in value since DS Lite's launch. This is not to be overlooked.

The best part about the Zapper is the fact that it stores both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuck inside it. It features a slot underneath the Zapper for you to place unnecessary cords, which makes playing truly feel "wireless." It really is fulfilling to know that you can simply pick up yourZapper, walk to the other side of the room, power on the Wii, and play wirelessly from that distance. It's a treat. There are problems with the design, however. My biggest complaint is that the whole piece of hardware feels like it's constraining your arms and hands. When you hold it the way you're "supposed" to hold it, your shoulders are kind of "shrugged," and it can get uncomfortable to find a good position to play in.

USAGE: 8/10
I really enjoy the way the Zapper plays. It's a lot of fun, and it feels good when you shoot things. The trigger button feels very nice in the hands, and except for the few design flaws I pointed out, the thing actually makes accuracy better. Note that I haven't played Umbrella Chronicles or any other Zapper-based games besides Link's Crossbow Training, so I can't say for sure in other games. However, for LCT, I certainly enjoy using the Wii Zapper. There are some moments when it just feels awkward to use...probably because I'm not quite used to it yet. It feels very heavy and hard to move around in the middle of gameplay sometimes. However, these exceptions are only in few numbers.

Zapper Overall Score: 8/10

Now then, on with LCT's review.

Link's Crossbow Training Review
This was the most ridiculous idea I had ever heard of. I admit, when I first saw some screens, I thought Nintendo had lost their mind. However, it's a nice pack-in reward for getting a Zapper, and a hell of a lot of fun to play. Since the graphical style and music are practically the same as Twilight Princess, with a few original track exceptions, I'll skip those portions.

The whole game revolves around nine stages. Each stage contains three smaller levels. Each level will give you a challenge or mission to accomplish, but the real point of the game is to rack up enough points to move to the next stage. For example, the first level of each stage is a "target practice" mission. Basically, you just shoot the targets that appear in front of you. Shooting targets in the middle will gain you 30 points, but the edges will only gain you 10. For each consecutive hit you pull off, your multiplier will increase by one point. In other words, you want to hit as many consecutive targets as possible to attain the highest scores. You can then earn medals (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum) depending on your score, although they don't unlock anything. Add to this formula a "theme" based on a town or dungeon from Twilight Princess and some music from the same game, and you've got Link's Crossbow Training. In later levels, you'll actually be able to turn around in circles as Link and shoot opponents in an "over-the-shoulder"-style camera angle (a la Resident Evil 4), and eventually be able to walk around freely with your analog stick on the Nunchuck. Later in the game, you'll even fight two boss battles, which are actually quite epic.

The Zapper really does increase the value of the game, I think. It's quite fun and self-fulfilling to take out an opponent using a physical, tangible object. The game does get repetitive, however, and a bit boring eventually. Also, when playing in "Score Attack," which is a game mode where you play all three levels of a stage consecutively to gain the highest score, if you make a mistake in one of the levels, you cannot re-do it. This makes me a bit upset, seeing as in other campaign-style Nintendo games, i.e. Mario Kart, you're allowed to re-do a race in a four-part Grand Prix if you didn't do well.

LCT is a lot of fun, but only for a certain amount of time. Then, you may find yourself heading to a store to pick up Umbrella Chronicles.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/26/07

Game Release: Link's Crossbow Training (w/Zapper) (US, 11/19/07)

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