If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, like we did, then it’s highly likely that you’ve played Duck Hunt on the NES. There was just something so great about pulling out that zapper gun and shooting ducks and clay pigeons from afar. Seeing the arrival of the Duck Hunt duo in Super Smash Bros. gave me this glimmer of hope that we’d we a new arcade shooter on the Wii U. Instead, we were treated to Duck Hunt on the Virtual Console, utilizing the Wii controller as a gun. So, how does it compare to the original? Let’s take a look!
For starters, it’s the same game as the original. There’s nothing new added and nothing taken away. You have your standard three game modes: one duck, two ducks, and clay pigeons. The differences come down to the use of controllers… which makes for a completely different play style. In the NES version, one uses the NES Zapper Gun to shoot targets on screen. This works based on light box detection, where the screen goes black aside from a white box for a split second every time you fire the zapper gun. From there, the game detects whether or not you’ve hit said box. Your ability to actually hit targets comes down to skill… or sitting too close to the TV to possibly miss.
Like I said previously, the Wii controller is used to play this on the VC, which means you’re going to need the sensor bar. To fire the gun, you press B. You’ll quickly notice how boring it is to play this way. I suppose one could hook up the remote into one of those gun contraptions for a more realistic effect… but sadly, I do not own one of these.
There is one major flaw, I find, in the VC version: It has cross-hair aiming that appears on screen. So, you always know where you’re aiming. It makes the game ridiculously easy. Normally, I’m awful at the clay pigeon rounds. It’s so hard to miss anything in the VC version that i was dumbfounded when I did.
For $5, it’s not terrible, but it will leaving you yearning for a Zapper Gun and original game cartridge. If you don’t have an older TV lying around, this is the next best solution for playing those light gun games you’re missing out on. But, if you’ve got the original lying around like I do, stick with that.