Big Buck Hunter Arcade Xbox One Review

More Loading Than Shooting

If you have been to a bar, arcade, movie theater, pizza restaurant, or local mall sometime over the last few years you have probably seen, played, or noticed a Golden Tee or Buck Hunter arcade machine sitting in the corner. Using a rifle as a controller, Buck Hunter has become one of the most popular arcade cabinets throughout America.  Now, GameMill and Raw Thrills have ported their arcade game to the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Unfortunately, the arcade experience doesn’t translate well in a home environment.


Actual gameplay segments only take a few seconds

The whole gimmick of Buck Hunter is holding a large, plastic shotgun a few inches away from a high def screen, shooting critters Duck Hunt-style, and reloading with a pump-action motion.  For a short burst arcade game, this is pretty entertaining.  This home port, however, relies on the use of the analog stick to aim, right trigger to shoot, and left trigger to reload.  Even after testing different cursor speeds, I never found one that actually worked well enough to pull off quality shots. Honestly, this game would have done way better if it was made for the Wii using a Wii remote. It simply does not work with an analog stick. The “A” button lock on helps but is still difficult to use.

Watch my stream of Big Buck Hunter Arcade below to see how bad the load times are and how inaccurate the control scheme is:

Even if the aiming cursor functioned comfortably, the rest of the game is still littered with flaws. First is the load times. Since each shooting segment is only 10-15 seconds long, the player waits through the loading screen for longer than gameplay.  Needless to say, holding the player back due to this technical limitation is beyond frustrating. Next, there are little details that render this port lower quality such as poor menu navigation (the d-pad doesn’t work and using the analog stick moves the menu cursor awkwardly), the options can only be accessed from the main menu and not mid-game, and the Leaderboard functionality is extremely limited.

One of the biggest highlights of the Buck Hunter games is earning a top spot on the leaderboard. In fact, the developers are throwing a ton of money at their national championship for the winner with the best score. So not having the ability to shift through the leaderboard to find your score, comparing your friends scores, and not being able to view the profiles of the leaders is the biggest missed opportunity. Having a lacking leaderboard for a game solely based around getting a high score is simply unacceptable.

Tallying the score doesn't mean much without a quality leaderboard.

Tallying the score doesn’t mean much without a quality leaderboard.

Big Buck Hunter Arcade tries to create some staying power by throwing in a couple extra mini games and other critters to shoot, but none of it matters if the player has to constantly wait through a painful amount of loading without the bragging rights of the leaderboard.  Instead of paying $20 for this digital download, the player is better off putting a twenty into the Buck Hunter machine at their local bar.

Not As Good As: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Wait For It: Link’s Crossbow Training 2
Also Try: Point Blank

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz


Our Rating - 4.5


Total Score

The arcade experience doesn’t work for home consoles.

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