Review by SMBSuperShowFan

"A Nice Little Tech Demo"

Link's Crossbow Training

A couple years ago Shigeru Miyamoto, famed mastermind behind the Mario franchise, and many other of our beloved childhood games that still live on today, had a brilliant concept for a new Zelda game. Link gets sucked into a time warp and ends up in a technologically advanced future with robots and guns similar to that of “The Terminator” franchise. How far did Miyamoto's new concept get? Well by the looks of it, not very far at all. The only idea or concept that seems to have stuck was that Link would be using a weapon that shoots, but even so this is drastically different from what he would've used had he gone to the future. Instead though, we get Link's Crossbow Training, while it'd be a laugh riot to call it a sequel to Twilight Princess this little game takes place in the same Twilight Princess period, so perhaps I guess you could call it a companion piece or a spin off. Something I must stress from the beginning though is that this is NOT a full blown game. This game is bundled with Wii Zapper and retails for about twenty dollars, and can be bought used for roughly five dollars. This game's sole purpose is to show off the “tech”(I use the term tech loosely) of the Wii Zapper.

Link's Crossbow Training obviously isn't your typical Zelda adventure. It's not an adventure at all, there is no plot structure, no reason for what you're doing. The game is constructed of nine levels, each featuring three stages. All of the levels are constructed the same. The first stage is a target practice in which your task is to shoot targets. The second stage is the Defender stage in which is in the third person view, but you're stationary in one spot and enemies will come at you and try to attack you and it's up to you to. . .that's right, defend yourself. The third and final stage of the level is called Ranger, which is also in the third person point of view, but this time you're allowed to move around. These typically have you killing a certain amount of enemies in the allotted time limit. However in the final two levels' Ranger stage is a boss fight. When it comes to controls there's really nothing much to it. You just point the Zapper(or remote if you didn't get the Zapper) at the screen to aim and press B to shoot. You can zoom with the Z button, and during stages in which you're free to roam you use the analog stick to move. It all works well, as it should since they're so simple.

For each level you can earn medals depending on how well you perform in the stage. There are four types of medals to earn, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. To earn a Bronze medal you must score a total score of at least 20,000 in all three stages of the level. To earn a silver medal you must score a combined score of 40,000. To earn the Gold medal you must earn a combined score of 60,000. Finally, to earn the coveted Platinum medal your combined score must be at least 80,000. Each target an enemy is worth different amount of points. For example hitting a target will net you ten points, while hitting it in the bulls eye will net you thirty points. A golden target will award you fifty points, and 150 if you hit the bulls eye. The amount of points you get from enemies will vary. Each target or enemy that you hit consecutively you're awarded a score bonus, each hit adds x1 to your multiplier, which makes your aim essential in getting all the platinum medals.

The graphics and music is very similar to that of Twilight Princess, largely thanks to running off of the same engine. And I'm sure most, if not all, of the soundtrack was borrowed from Twilight Princess. This isn't really a problem though because Twilight Princess had an amazing soundtrack and it's graphics were great even for being a port of a Gamecube game. Despite being such a simple game the levels are very detailed and the backgrounds are great looking, sure they're not as vast as what you'd see in Twilight Princess but for this small little tech demo it's pretty impressive. If you can find Link's Crossbow Training for a low price I'd recommend it. Completing the whole game will not be that hard, and it won't take you long at all but the experience that it does offer is a pretty good one considering its circumstances. Even if you only play it for a little bit you can pick it up again down the line for a nice trip down memory lane.

Link's Crossbow Training gets a seven out of ten. It offers very little content compared to other light gun oriented games such as Resident Evil The Umbrella Chronicles or House of the Dead, but for it's cheap price and free if you buy the Zapper it's hard not to like this game at all. It's a nice trip back to the Twilight Princess world and I honestly wouldn't mind seeing this concept explored further in maybe a full game. Maybe Nintendo could try making another one for Wiiware and add a story to it?

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/08/09

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

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