â€œYou get what you pay forâ€ is a saying that often rings true. Just look at McDonald’s faeces filled 59p hamburgers, or those rubbish Â£9.99 PlayStation 2 games. When Nintendo does a budget game though, they still apply the same polish as they would on a full price effort – see Endless Ocean for proof. Here, your nineteen pounds and ninety nine pence get you a decent slice of crossbow action and a piece of gun-shaped plastic to wave around. And some cardboard. Woo!
If you weren’t already aware, the Wii Zapper itself isn’t a standalone light-gun – it’s merely a holster for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to clip into. Rather than using the B trigger on the reverse of the Wii Remote there’s a wider trigger built into the device, while underneath the arm-rest there’s a compartment to tie up and hide the nunchuk cable. It’s satisfying and light to hold but it does induce arm ache after a while.
Link’s Crossbow Training features 26 levels in total, split into nine missions each with three rounds. Some are on rails with Link either on the back of his horse Epona, sailing downstream in a canoe or with the camera whizzing around automatically. Others see our hero in green stuck on the spot with enemies attacking from all 360 degrees. The most involving of all though give you full control of Link via the analogue stick and play like a third-person shooter. These levels are small and linear and include a set number of enemies to find and kill before the time runs out. There are also a few boss battles, with the last boss being less predictable than you might originally think.
Things start off easy with a slow and simple target shoot in Link’s village, but quickly move on to a high speed chase through Hyrule castle on horse back, a battle with enemies that can dig underground and a shoot-out in a graveyard against hordes of hard-to-hit bats. Most of the environments from Twilight Princess have been used, along with their corresponding background music. There’s a really satisfying â€˜thunk’ noise when an arrow hits its target too, and you can knotch up some impressive score multipliers by hitting consecutive targets in a row.
Our first play through was something of a breeze – 41 minutes according to the handy reminder on the Wii menu. It wasn’t until our second play through though that we started to pick up on some of the hidden nuances, such as receiving extra points for knocking off an innocuous scarecow’s head. It’s the little tricks like these that you need to learn and discover to gain the illusive gold medals – the main draw to return to the target range. It’s also doubtful that you’ll find all the enemies on the free-roaming levels on your first attempt and once you throw a four-player mode into the equation you get a game that’s a bit longer lasting than it initially seems.
Why does Link need crossbow training anyway? He’s managed to defeat Ganon and save Hyrule countless times in the past.