Shovelware is being played out on all three systems but none more than on the Wii. Staying away from most of the throw away games that come out on the system, I have a pretty high set of standards for game presentation and Ultimate Duck Hunting seems to violate every one of them. To say this game is ugly would really be an understatement. Brown backgrounds with different shades of green make up most of the menu and navigation systems. During the game you’ll wonder if hunters really keep a GPS system on hand or if the developers threw it in because no one could find a downed duck in the water.
I’ve never experienced a game with such a shallow existence. Season mode allows you to pick from a half a dozen locations to hunt, tasking you with shooting enough birds to score high and maybe earn some extra attribute points for your dog. Quick play allows you to pick from half a dozen locations to hunt, tasking you with shooting enough birds to score high. Co-op play allows you to pick from half a dozen locations to hunt, tasking you with shooting enough birds to score higher than your friend. If this paragraph is starting to sound repetitive that’s because the game is exactly that. Season mode offers no real incentive for playing, your dog might get a little smarter but when you’re having to down four or five ducks in a single round just to get a couple points you’ll start wonder if it’s even worth it. No real goals are outlined before heading out on the hunt and it took me a few times to realize taking down more than one duck at a time is necessary.
When a round starts you place your decoys out into the water. Only being able to place the decoys in the front means the back is completely useless. After randomly placing the plastic ducks, the player is placed inside the hunting box. You can leave the box to point your dogs in the direction of a target but shooting has been disabled. On the reverse, you can not bark out commands from the box. A round will end when your dog has picked up all the ducks.
The most frustrating and unacceptable part of this game have to be the way it’s controlled. Wii mote gestures and alterative commands are turned on at the same time so expect to send the dog in the wrong direction after almost every duck. You can use the d-pad while holding Z button to send him out, back, left and right but I experience oversensitivity. All of this is frustrating enough but it becomes unplayable when you factor in how poorly designed the dog was. Gaining attribute points by downing several ducks will award you with points that you can use to increase the intelligence, endurance and other traits a hunter will normally train a dog with. I suggest endurance should be the first thing you increase, having to issue the out command four times so that he picks up the duck, then 4 times in is a huge pain.
There are several reasons not to play this game, and I’m straining to find a single reason to want to play this game. Cabela may not put out the best hunting games on the market but they put this game to shame from start up. If you’re really into duck hunting you’ll find it more fun to drag your bum out of bed at five in the morning than put this game in your Wii.