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15 Reviews

Link's Crossbow Training

Review: With direct-feed gameplay footage, too!

Thank God Nintendo didn't opt to make another Wii Play-style package of over-emphasised simplicity. We must admit we're a little tired of those.

Nintendo said that Link's Crossbow Training would show off the capabilities of the Wii Zapper in the same way that Wii Play does the Wii Remote. We'd say that under-sells it somewhat. LCT isn't exactly a 40-hour adventure, but the inclusion of some actual nice-looking environments and music straight from Twilight Princess means it feels much more like a full-fat game, which is great considering the £20 price tag on the Wii Zapper package.

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And there's a fair bit more to it than just a simple target-shooting game, which is all we were expecting. The game is, at it's core, a score attack game in which you complete a series of levels to rack up a score high enough for bronze, silver and gold medals.

There are several levels, each one comprising of three different challenges in three totally different environments. You play each challenge in order and your combined score from the three challenges is totalled and a medal, if you hit the required target score, is awarded for that level.

What's great is the variety of scenarios for each of the challenges, and the different gameplay mechanics this throws up. The most traditional mechanic is the one in which you play in first person, with the camera fixed on a pre-set path, and you need only concentrate on shooting the targets that appear on screen.

These mission swoop through the environments, like Kakariko Village or Zora's Domain, stopping at certain points to give you time to shoot before moving on to another area.

Things get a little more interesting when your view is pulled to a third-person view behind Link. In this mode, you are given more control over your view of the action.

One scenario fixes Link to a stationary point, and allows you to look around in any direction you like, as enemies charge at you from all angles. Pointing the Remote at the edge of the screen moves the camera in that direction. It works well enough.

A radar at the bottom of the screen helps identify where the enemies are coming from as you try frantically to ward off the swarms. You can also shoot special power-ups in these missions that enhance your bow with rapid-fire powers, so you can shred through crowds by just holding your finger on the trigger, the Remote vibrating violently. It's pretty satisfying.

The most interesting gameplay scenario though, is one that gives you full control of Link's movement via the analogue stick, which is attached to the back of the Wii Zapper. It works just like the Wii's FPS games - the analogue stick controls forwards, backwards and strafing movement, while your look moves when you point towards the edge of the screen.

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These missions pan out like search-and-find missions, in which you have to find and kill as many of a certain type of enemy within a pretty strict time limit. Again, a radar helps you out. It's great - you find yourself wandering around the dessert hunting the little bastard goblins that fire arrows back at you, or in a dark and spooky Lost Woods, where you seek out those giant spiders, who'll attack you if you get too close.

You can easily blast your way through all the missions in the game in a single sitting. But it's really all about the score challenge, and with cheeky bonuses hiding in various parts of scenery, and combo bonuses added for each consecutive hit, getting those target scores for the gold medals is bloody tough going.

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