Link's Crossbow Training

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2007-12-01


Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: November 20, 2007 Also On: None

Nintendo is known for many innovative controllers. The original NES, its d-pad and two buttons; the SNES and its triggers; Nintendo 64 and its analog stick; GameCube and its pressure sensitive triggers; Wii and its motion sensing remote shaped controller. Now Nintendo has released a peripheral add-on to the Wii Remote that you encase it in along with the nunchuk to create more precise control in shooters.

Known as the Wii Zapper, Nintendo hopes light gun shooters like House of the Dead, Time Crisis and the like will call Wii home. Sega has already announced a House of the Dead for Wii. Link's Crossbow Training is a free game that comes packed with the Wii Zapper. Much like Wii Sports, also a pack-in title, this is a collection of what amount to more or less tech demos that show off the capabilities of the Zapper.

The Wii Zapper is shaped like a Tommy Gun. It can be comfortably held with either your left or right hand. One hand holds the Wii Zapper, while the other is used to press the trigger. The C and Z buttons on the nunchuk are exposed and can be pressed for use in games like Medal of Honor Heroes 2 and Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles. In Link's Crossbow Training, the Z button is used to zoom, the B button fires and holding B creates a rocket blast.

Even though this is a free game, you will be amazed at how much replay value you will get out of Link's Crossbow Training. I would go so far as to say it is the Wii's Duck Hunt equivalent. Beating each of the nine levels with three stages within each (a total of 27 different stages to play through) may seem like a lot, but it will take you a maximum of two hours to complete all of them. The real length will come from replaying it to improve your score or to play with friends. Awards are given for score going from Bronze (20,000), Silver (40,000), Gold (60,000) and Platinum (80,000).

The game makes great use of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and its graphics engine, characters and locations. Most of the stages in Link's Crossbow Training are areas from within Twilight Princess like Ordon Village, Kakariko and the Goron Mines. Many of the characters in the game come from the Zelda universe, although a few I have never seen before. Skullatula, the Gorons and Wolfos. There are also reappearing bosses from Twilight Princess like Stallord.

Most of the game plays shooting targets or enemies. You build up points by stringing together shots without missing. These combos can build up quickly to twenty plus and will greatly increase your score. It is possible to score well over 30,000 in each stage and I have finished with over 100,000 at the end of a level, which is comprised of three stages. Your level score is what counts towards the medal that you receive and the high score, so you can do mediocre in one stage and excel in another to finish strong.

When it comes to shooters on Wii, Crossbow Training is probably the most playable with friends. A multiplayer mode allows you to take turns with your friends, passing around the Wii Zapper taking turns on stages that players select. You can play with between two and four players and it will keep track of who is leading with the most wins. Another way to play is to take turns trying to beat each other's top scores in the single-player.

Link's Crossbow Training is an enjoyable party game with friends. By yourself, you may only find it entertaining to beat your top score once you complete the game. The graphics are well done because Nintendo took the Twilight Princess engine to make this game. For $19.99 you get a game and the Wii Zapper. I would say it is a very reasonable deal and adds considerably to games like Medal of Honor Heroes 2. Link's Crossbow Training is the Wii Sports of 2007.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Reviewed by Kyle Bell