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Duck Hunt review for the Wii U, does this classic stand the test of time

Updated on September 3, 2015

My Video Review


Title Duck Hunt

Made by: Nintendo

Year made: 1984

console NES (note wii u version I am reviewing though)

Duck Hunt belongs to Nintendo. All pictures are either from the NES or Wii U version of the game which I have captured myself.

If you were a gamer kid growing up in the 80’s chances are you owned an NES. And that NES usually came with Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt bundle in with an accessory called the Zapper. Now the Zapper is and was a light gun that allowed you to shoot things on the TV. In this case ducks and clay pigeons. However the march of technology marched forward and 30 years later the NES light gun games are now useless. All playing Duck Hunt on a flat screen TV is going to do is get you laughed at by an annoying dog. Well Nintendo finally decided to do an enhance port on their Wii U virtual console. I am doing a review talking about said port.

Poor dog you maimed him you made him laugh his ass off

All playing NES duck hunt on an HDTV will do is get you laughed at.
All playing NES duck hunt on an HDTV will do is get you laughed at.

Shoot enough ducks in order to progress


Well there is no story in Duck Hunt although the objective of the game is to get a high score and progress through various rounds. To do this you must shoot a required number of ducks per round. The ducks icons at the bottom will turn red every time one is shot, at the end the numbers are tally if the red number is over the blue line you win, if not well you get a game over screen with a dog laughing at you.


The game was design around the same time the original Super Mario Bros was made. Because of this the game graphics are primitive but like Super Mario Bros there is some charm. Yeah the dog is laughably limited animated and there is only 2 screens one for the duck hunt, and the other for clay pigeons but they do have detail. Grass is seen and you do have some realistic for the time plants. Also the clay shooting does have some 3d rending to it I guess has you see the clay pigeons get smaller in the back ground, again for the day this was jaw dropping. We were used to circles that look like squares.

I should mention a few changes to this game though. First off there is a cursor props on Nintendo for making this cursor look 8-bit and having it fit decently in the game. 2nd off there is no flash when you pull the trigger. This takes the most getting use to for those of us use to a flash when we pull the trigger to shot the ducks. But more on why that was taken out later.

Clay Shooting graphics were impressive


The sound is pretty simple there are only a few musical chimes and no background music. You get ducks quacking and a blasting sound whenever you shoot has well has a whistling and a thud sound of the ducks has you hit them. In clay shooting the pigeons have a weird whirring sound made, I thought I was shooting at UFO’s when I was a young kid not at clay pigeons.

I should also note that the wii remote speaker is used in this enhance port and I like what Nintendo did. When you pull down the B button trigger like the zapper you hear a sound of the Zapper spring coming from the remote and there is a bit of a vibration from the controller that one would feel has the spring came and went. Does it replace the zapper feel, no of course not different shape not to mention the zapper trigger had more give to it and more flex back then the wii remote. But I give Nintendo an A for the effort of at least trying to capture the experience of the zapper with the remote.


First off because I hear a lot of people who don’t know there is a difference, complaining about the need for the cursor let me tell you the wii remote and the NES zapper are two different pieces of tech. From what I hear inside the zapper is a censor that detects light coming from the TV and takes a picture of it when you pull the trigger. Hence the reason the screen flashes for a split second when you press the trigger, this flash lets the gun know where the ducks are on screen, if the gun senses the white box generated by the ducks in that flash then it counts has a kill. Some times because the flash is longer you can still see the box around the ducks in the original game that I am talking about. Because new tv’s process that flash differently then what the zapper is designed to pick up (either due to lag or due to different resolution) it makes the zapper not able to work on new TV

Wii remotes on the other hand use inferred sensors that are generated by the sensor bar in front to tell where it is pointing. Because of this there is always a need for a cursor on screen. To remove the cursor is to play the game bind folded. Fortunately I did find (after I made by video review) that there is a way to limit the cursors visibility if you want a harder experience and feel more like a light gun. By pressing the control pad you hide the sensor until you fire then it appears for a few seconds to give you an idea where you’re aiming and allow you to adjust your shot. Anyway the cursor is a necessary evil.

Has far has the gameplay I have already describe what you need to do to advance, after that there is a single duck and two duck option. Single duck has one duck at a time, however the duck in later stages is faster and smarter than the two duck counterparts. Two ducks gives you 2 targets (and you only get 3 shots) to shoot at and again they get faster and smarter has the stages progress but not quite has smart has the single duck. Also if you have a friend in single duck they can control the duck making it harder or easier for the player with the zapper to shoot the duck.

Clay Shooting makes it a little harder by having the pigeons go faster than the duck and also make them smaller and harder to hit. This one always drove me nuts back in the day but now thanks to the cursor the game is quite a bit easier now that you can tell where your shooting at. Still only two pigeons appear at a time

You still can't shoot the dog in Duck hunt for the Wii U

But there is always photoshop
But there is always photoshop
4 stars for Duck Hunt for the Wii U

After 30 years I finally got that giggling bastard.

Final Recommendation.

Yeah Duck Hunt is kind of a hard one for me to rate and recommend. There is a lot of charm in the graphics; the kid in me just remembers the days of playing this with my friends back in the 80’s and early 90’s. That said when you compare it to games like Links Crossbow training a light gun game made for the Wii Zapper (a useless paper weight in my opinion) you just see the age and slow pace. I am glad they made it for the VC but it doesn’t’ hold up and it’s hard for me to recommend for 5 dollars. That said I still encourage a buy, maybe Nintendo will put other NES and SNES light guns up for sale on the VC, and I would love to try gumshoe or Hoegans ally for a spin.

Also one last complaint you still can’t shoot the dog in this version for laughing at you. Oh well there is always photoshop and video editors if you want to plug the giggling bastard a good one.


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