Review by james_corck
"It's a Zelda shooter...Yay?"
When we first heard that Nintendo was finally making a light gun peripheral we were excited. Nintendo's last attempt at a light gun game was the Super Scope 6, and sadly that one doesn't work anymore because of the flat TV screens. So the Wii Zapper looked good, and decent on screen, but like almost anything Nintendo does it happened to be somewhat of a poisoned cake.
Certainly the game plays great with the Wii Zapper and the controls are simple. But the first problem is trying to put the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk inside the plastic gun base of the Zapper. Assemble the controllers inside that piece of plastic can be an impossible mission and gets more frustrating when you have to roll the cable inside a especial compartment. But once you get over it the controls are spot on. It aims without problem while the B button serves for everything: shooting, confirming, etc... The game is divided in ten chapter, which surely can give you some fun and replay value, with different gameplay mechanics spread across them. Some chapters are just plain shooters where you just have to aim and shoot; others are more interactive and require you to move Link across the stage with the Nunchuk's analogstick while you keep shooting enemies; and other stages will have you riding Link's horse while shooting targets like a rail shooter or defeating giant bosses with either movement implied or stuck in one place. There's no life bar, so when you receive damage you just lose points and not life. That's good since you will never die, but bad if you want to get the highest score.
One aspect that doesn't work so well though is the multiplayer. You just need one Wii Zapper, and it basically consists in each player play the same level to see who gets the highest score. Couldn't they just make a gameplay mode in which both players with different Zappers (or just the controllers) try to shoot as many targets as possible? So the Multiplayer feels a bit odd and you will find yourself playing it alone better than in company.
There's no doubt about the fact that Link's crossbow training is a very good looking shooter. It uses the engine of Twilight Princess, with all it's shading effects, lights and transparencies, with moments quite beautiful like the part where you have to shoot down snow wolves. The music is very good too, remixing tunes from the Twilight Princess game, while your Wii Remote reproduces the "clack" that your crossbow makes every time you shoot.
You can safely finish this game in 2 hours, that's if you just want to unlock the different chapters and move on. But for those who are completists and like challenges you can try get high scores and achieve medals. There are different medals that go from bronze to platinum and these add a good replay value, but you won't get any kind of extra as a reward for them, which is a shame.
All and all, this game feels exactly like what it is: A test to see how good the Wii Zapper is, and the results are just weird. Some parts very well (like when you just shoot to the screen and that's it) but when you are told to move around the controller feels a bit uncomfortable, uneasy, and soon enough you will get rid of the Wii Zapper peripheral and just play with the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk alone. Which is a bad thing since Nintendo didn't planned it that way! If you are a fan of Zelda, you can buy, it certainly is worth it only for 20 US Dollars, but if you are not interested in Zelda and, most importantly, light gun based games, you can let this one pass.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/18/08
Game Release: Link's Crossbow Training (w/Zapper) (EU, 12/07/07)
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