nintendo wii - wii zapper - link’s crossbow training

I gave myself an early Christmas present last week when I walked into the local Future Shop and emerged with the Wii Zapper and Medal of Honor Heroes 2. If you’re not familiar, the Wii Zapper is one of the latest peripherals to be released for Nintendo’s motion sensitive gaming machine. Unlike the guitar that comes with Guitar Hero III, there really are no functional or electronic parts in the Wii Zapper.

Instead, it’s basically a cleverly-designed plastic shell that holds your Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment in a particular kind of way, resulting in a handheld that resembles a glossy white Tommy gun. It’s like you’re straight out of a gangster movie, only your killing machine looks like a toy (because it is). Packaged in with the $30 Wii Zapper is Link’s Crossbow Training, a target practice game that introduces you to using the Wii Zapper. The mini-games found within are pretty basic, but they’re quite fun just for the novelty factor. You do grow tired of Link’s Crossbow Training rather quickly and that’s why I invested in Medal of Honor Heroes 2 as well.

The interesting thing about MOH: Heroes 2 is that it has two main game modes. The first is your regular “campaign” mode, taking you through a first-person shooter (FPS) adventure filled with guns, bombs, and running for cover. The second is called “arcade” mode and it’s an on-rails shooter with a similar gameplay mechanic as Time Crisis, Lethal Enforcers, or Virtua Cop. You hold down on the control stuck to crouch and give the entire Wii Zapper a shake/jerk in order to reload. I know, the controls sound cheesy — as do most Wii games — but the involvement is what makes it fun. In campaign mode, you can thrust the Zapper forward to perform a melee attack.

Many people say that the Nintendo Wii is a family-oriented machine and only the kids will like playing it. They say that the system is just filled with boring mini-games and there is not adult-oriented content. With the Wii Zapper and Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (as well as Ghost Squad, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, and Manhunt 2), I think it’s clear that there is more violent and “mature” content available for the Wii. It doesn’t get more family-oriented than allowing young male gamers participate in 32-player online deathmatches. I’d probably get schooled by a 12-year-old.