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Wii Zapper (including Link's Crossbow Training) Review

Does it kick like a mule or smell like a wet donkey?

We'll admit that some members of ONM were a bit dubious about the whole Wii Zapper thing. After all, it's really just a plastic shell that forces you to hold the Remote and Nunchuk in a certain position. It doesn't exactly offer anything different.

The thing is though, it actually does. It adds a new level of immersion. It may seem like a silly thing, but when you're pointing with a gun instead of just the Remote, you do genuinely feel like you're shooting your enemies instead of simply pointing at the ones you want to fall over.

This is made clear in the free game provided, Link's Crossbow Training. Much like Wii Play was designed to help you get used to the Wii Remote's functions, Crossbow Training provides 27 simple mini-games to help you get used to the Zapper.

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Well, we say 27 but there are really only three main types of challenge, with increasing levels of control. Firstly, there are on-rails target practices which simply have you concentrating on shooting. At first these are straightforward, with you taking out targets before moving on to a different part of the stage, but they eventually get slightly more complex, such as the level where you have to ride Epona over the Bridge Of Eldin while taking out enemies.

Then there are the Defender stages where you have the ability to turn 360˚ to shoot enemies approaching from all angles, which are alright but nothing to write home about.

Finally, and our personal favourite, are the free-roaming stages. Here you have a set time to run around (using the analogue stick on the Nunchuk to move) and shoot all the enemies in that level.

It's simple and enjoyable enough, and fans of Twilight Princess will love revisiting their favourite areas and encountering various familiar Zelda characters. One minute you're gunning down Keese, the next you're shooting out targets held by Gorons or dispatching hordes of Moblins. Graphically it meets the same high standards too, which is little surprise considering it's running off exactly the same engine.

High score addicts will also fall in love with this game, as the combo system (your score multiplies every time you shoot a target without missing), combined with loads of breakable objects in the background - one of which contains a yellow rupee worth loads of points - means you'll constantly be trying to better your score.

More Please!

That said, it is just a simple free game and you shouldn't expect any more depth than simple high score challenges. It can be frustrating because it's so enjoyable you're left wanting more. We want to play a full game with the same controls as the 'run and gun' levels (get on it Nintendo).

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The Zapper is a fun peripheral that genuinely does get you more involved in the game. It's comfortable to hold and pressing the trigger is satisfying, and when you use it with certain games, such as Ghost Squad, you do really feel like you're getting the arcade experience. There's probably not enough depth here to justify shelling out £20 for the Zelda game alone. Your purchase should come down to how likely it is that you're going to buy more Wii Zapper-compatible games in the future. If arcade shooters are your thing, then grab this when Ghost Squad comes out and you're onto a winner.


4 comments so far...
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  1. Nico-Tine Sunday 27th Jan 2008 at 17:27

    :arrow: This game is gd and will last long 4 ppl who want to beat high scores, its a lot like wii sports gd with friends and picked up once in a while.

  2. SpinachPuffs Monday 18th Feb 2008 at 00:52

    Can anyone actually find a place that sells the Zapper?
    The only shop I've seen is Argos - and they're always sold out!

  3. cal494 Saturday 28th Mar 2009 at 15:33

    This game is ok but can get very boring very quickly!!! :?

  4. Everegreen Sunday 2nd May 2010 at 18:56

    i do really like this game, especially the free-roming stages, but it is far-tooo short. :(:(

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