Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Wii Zapper and Link's Crossbow Training

It's another great week for owners of the Nintendo Wii system, as the Wii Zapper has been released with the game Link's Crossbow Training. For $25 at my local Gamestop, I got one after work yesterday, and immediately took it home to give it a try.

The Wii remote acts as the barrrel and trigger of the gun, and just behind it sits the nunchuck controller, with the wire between the two conveniently tucked away within the zapper itself. Although it's made of plastic, it's heavier and sturdier than one might think, giving the whole package the kind of weight one associates with a gun.

Link's Crossbow Training is a nice little set of shooting games that comes with the zapper, and it offers a lot of variety. Each level consists of three challenges and at the end of the three a score is tallied. Bronze medals are awarded at 20000 points, with silver and gold following at 40000 and 60000 respectively. The game starts with three levels unlocked with the others opening up when bronze medals are achieved in the first three.

Some shooting is stationary, with targets appearing. Others have Link moving left and right as he's encircled by enemies. The best challenges have Link moving through an area shooting at enemies with a third-person view. I've only played through the first four levels so far, and it's a lot of fun, with a few power-ups like a rapid-fire crossbow available at times.

The game uses locations and enemies from the Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess, which reminds me that I need to go back and finish that game some time. It's a great pack-in game for the Wii Zapper and a great addition to my Wii collection.

I really wanted the Wii Zapper for Medal of Honor Heroes 2, though, as that game is also compatable with it, and man does the Zapper kick ass with this game. In the review I had read before buying it, the reviewers stated that hardcore gamers would probably prefer playing Medal of Honor Heroes 2 without the zapper, but in the online mode I found it made a big difference for the better in terms of my personal performance.

I played online deathmatch with the Wii Zapper and the Thompson machine gun and was doing much better than I had with just the Wii remote and nunchuck. The weight of the Wii Zapper combined with the rumble feature of the Wii remote to really make it feel like a machine gun. It was just a blast.

I also tried the Wii Zapper with Medal of Honor Heroes 2's arcade mode, which plays like a classic arcade light gun rail shooter, a genre of gaming I had never found all that much fun before, and again I was having a blast. Once I got the rhythm down for shooting and reloading, that is.

I'm loving the Wii Zapper and recommend it just for Link's Crossbow Training alone. With Medal of Honor Heroes 2, though, as an indication, I can clearly see this controller holder getting a lot more use as more games come out for it in the future. Well done, Nintendo.

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