With a modern day hunting coat of paint, Remington Great American Bird Hunt is probably as close as Wii owners can come to playing a new version of the NES classic, Duck Hunt.
Using nothing but simple game design and the Wii remote’s IR pointer, the goal of the game is to blast the crap out of defenseless birds with accurate shots. The single player outing will have players participating in tournaments that consist of five different stages. Each stage usually revolves around one of two gameplay objectives: time based or accuracy based. Unlike other blaster style games on Wii, like Chicken Blaster, this game rewards high scores with accuracy over quantity.
In order to achieve the highest score possible, the player must chain together hits without missing; the higher the combo, the more points will be awarded. Additionally, the simple gameplay is spiced up a little bit with some power ups. Hunter vision makes seeing targets easier and slows down bird movement, extra ammo allows the player to shoot more without reloading, and different guns can be unlocked if certain bonus birds are shot. The hunter vision and extra ammo definitely make the game easier, but the extra guns do not distinguish themselves from one another. If the game did not announce the type of gun the player is using, I would not have known that I was using a different gun as they all shoot the same.
The gameplay really couldn’t be anymore straightforward and simple, but there are a few flaws that are quite noticeable. Besides using guns that do not perform differently, it can sometimes be hard to tell which bird is an illegal bird. If an illegal bird is shot, the player’s combo will be ruined and points will be subtracted. Like all the rifles in the game, sometimes birds look too much alike. Part of this has to do with the game’s graphical qualities but also seems to suffer from a hardware standpoint. Without a larger HDTV, it can be quite difficult to see distance birds. This problem also stems from the lack of environments. Each of the game’s five different stages will repeat continuously throughout the game. Making matters even more mundane is the absence of any dynamic content within each level. It would have been cool to shoot bonus objects in the background too…in fact, it would have been cool if the environments were even animated. Instead, the player must look at the same static backgrounds throughout the game.
Play control is as simple as can be; just point at the screen and squeeze the B button trigger, A to use a power up, and the d-pad to manually reload. The Wii Zapper is also compatible with this game but doesn’t really add any excitement to the overall presentation. It was basically included so the developers could put the little “capability with Wii Zapper” icon on the game’s box art.
Because the single player mode is so straightforward and simple, it will seem like the game is repeating itself as early as the second tournament. However, the most entertaining aspect of this game could come from the multiplayer mode. Up to four players can simultaneously compete in a “fastest draw” style shooting gallery. And if you do not have enough Wii remotes, you can rotate turns using one controller at a time.
The graphics, environments and even the birds themselves might lack detail, but the most annoy aspect of this game comes from the game’s terrible announcer. With just about every successful shot, this announcer will shout something at the player. After you hear the phrase “extreme chain” for the fifth time, you will want to turn down the volume on the TV and try firing up the iPod instead. The game’s hick country music loops repeatedly about every 20 seconds too.
Remington Great American Bird Hunt is a bit of a stretch with a $30 price point. Even though this game supports more of an old school Duck Hunt feeling, I still can’t help but think of the countless other IR shooter games there on the Wii, like Wii Play, Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, Dead Space, and even House of the Dead. But instead of being an on rails shooter, this game is more like a skeet shoot – a very plain skeet shoot. With the complete lack of any type of polish or gameplay options, Remington Great American Bird Hunt fails to generate even the slightest bit of excitement. You will just shoot at birds, using the same gun, in the same levels, while listening to the repeating announcer and short looping music. If you have grown tired of shooting Mii’s in Wii Play, then perhaps you might want to consider this game…if you see it in the bargain bin for $10.
Worse Than: The mini game in Wii Play
Better Than: Chicken Blaster
Also Try: Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles
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