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Wii Zapper on Game and Player

Wii Zapper

Ed Kirchgessner  //  January 2, 2008

Buy it for the game.

ave you ever purchased cereal just to get the free toy that was inside the box? I know I ate a lot of Honeycomb in my day, but those day-glo watches were definitely worth it. Well, that's kind of how I feel about Nintendo's newest hardware peripheral, the Wii Zapper. Despite this light gun's rather ho-hum design, I can't help but love the packed-in software title: Link's Crossbow Training. One can easily overlook the Wii Zapper's shortcomings when this outstanding shooting gallery offers so much for so little – just $20.

Link's Crossbow Training:
as fun as it looks.
The Wii Zapper isn't a peripheral so much as it's an add-on for the Wiimote – click your existing Wiimote and nunchuck into this plastic frame, and you're ready to blast away. The Wii Zapper performs ably enough – point towards your target and pull the trigger. Still, the accessory seems a tad redundant. Considering the system's standard controller layout is more comfortable and perhaps even more precise, it seems a bit silly to charge $20 for a peripheral that's little more than a handicap. I realize that making an entirely separate light gun would go against Nintendo's "Wiimote-centric" design philosophy, but I would have gladly paid twice as much for a gun with built in sights, à la the original Zapper on NES.

With my "Zapper bashing" out of the way, let's get on with the good stuff. More than a simple shooting gallery, Link's Crossbow Training offers a lot of diversity. Whether you feel like engaging goblins in third-person shooter levels or plinking targets in a number of familiar locales from the last Zelda game, Crossbow Training has you covered. The game is broken down into nine chapters, each of which contains three levels. I particularly enjoyed the game's more "standard" target shooting modes in which targets popped out from the scenery – keep hitting consecutive targets and you receive a score multiplier; miss, and you're back to square one. The game's third person levels also handled surprisingly well – one navigates the environments using the nunchuck's thumbstick while attempting to plug every goblin, skeleton, bat or spider they come across. It may sound rather simplistic, but the level of polish in Crossbow Training isn't particularly common within the genre. Persistent leader boards and an entertaining multiplayer mode allows one to challenge their friends for bragging rights. It's a shame that these leader boards aren't online enabled, but that's really just a nitpick.

So the big question: is the Wii Zapper worth $20? Certainly not. Could Link's Crossbow Training sell on its own for $50? It's quite possible. If you're a fan of light gun games or are looking for a new Wii experience that's as easy to pick up and play as Wii Sports, this package is definitely worth a look. Although I'd hoped for more from Nintendo's new light gun, it's hard to be too upset when the Wii's standard controls are so well suited to the task at hand and we're given a great bargain title to boot.

Wii Zapper






NA Release

November 19, 2007


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Zapper is sturdy
  • Great packed-in software


  • It's just a plastic shell
  • Actually handicaps precision

G&P Rating

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