|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Mid Carolina Media||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Detn8||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Branden Barrett
Sometimes there are games out there that really need to be recreated on other systems. How many people asked for another Ocarina of Time, but with a unique presentation and stronger visuals? How about a remake of the classic Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation 3? Though it may seem unorthodox for developers to waste time on remakes or ports, some games are so good that they transcend the systems, Super Mario 64, which has made an appearance on the Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, and the Wii Virtual Console. Unfortunately, there are also games that are best left to deteriorate on the platform they originated on. Well, I had the misfortune of unearthing a culprit of this, and it goes by the name of Ultimate Duck Hunting.
Originally released on the PC back in May of 2006, Ultimate Duck Hunting promised, and I quote, "the most realistic duck-hunting game ever made." A bold claim, but at the time, they were right. Aside from the refreshing classic Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, no other bird hunting shooter had ever been released. And who could possibly forget Duck Hunt? Combined with the Zapper, it was one of the most unique gaming experiences back in the eighties. With a tight control scheme, simplistic visuals, and another mode of play, Duck Hunt was a sign of things to come in the realm of motion sensing. Of course, the dog was so annoying that you wanted to strangle it, but that all added to the charm. Ultimate Duck Hunting tries to bring the fun of the original NES title to the next generation consoles, but falls short. Not so much because of the presentation, but from just about everything else.
The first thing you will notice right off the bat about Ultimate Duck Hunting are the visuals. When the title was released a year and a half ago on the PC it already looked quite dated, and unfortunately, no improvements have been made. From the textureless ground and motionless sky to the cardboard cut-out trees, the title looks like it could've been done on the Dreamcast. The environments are quite uninspired as well, leaving as much to the imagination as being in a desolate field in southern Mississippi. Speaking of which, there are six other potential havens to lurk in, from the South Dakota bog to the mountains of northern Virginia. I'm not sure why they picked these particular locations, but then again I'm no hunting connoisseur. Lastly, there is the audio or lack thereof. Aside from the barking of your dog, quacking of ducks, and pop from your gun, there really isn't anything notable to speak of. Sound exciting so far?
As you begin your wonderful journey through the barren swamps of the Mideast, you will notice that you have a companion. Yes, as said earlier, a dog accompanies your trek through the marsh, offering its assistance in helping you nab those ducks. One positive that can be mentioned right off the bat is that this dog is actually useful (unlike the one from Duck Hunt). As you start the single player mode, you will have to sit through a training session in which you throw newspapers to your dog in order to train it. The process is extremely boring, but fortunately, only lasts for a few minutes. Now wouldn't it be wonderful if all dogs could be trained that quickly? Your next job will be to setup camp in the open wilderness and prepare to do just what the title suggests: hunt ducks . . . "ultimately."