Product Type: Nintendo game controllers
Newest Review: ... intervening years and feels even better than before. Other games of note that can use the Wii Zapper are Dead Space: Extraction (on this ... more
A good edition to anyone's collection of Wii accessories
Nintendo Wii Zapper
Member Name: KennyG5000
Nintendo Wii Zapper
Advantages: Brings a new level of immersion to tired old shooters
Disadvantages: Occasional awkward access to the controls on the Remote compromise the fun
So the Wii Zapper is one of the many, many peripherals you can purchase to enhance your experience of the great Nintendo Wii. The particular version I got contained the rather nifty Zelda game, 'Link's Crossbow Training', which I'll come to in a bit. The Zapper itself for those that don't know, is a 'gun' accessory (although it could be a controller for anything the particular game is geared towards). It differs from many of the non-Nintendo gun controllers out there in that it is a two handed affair, usefully allowing you to attach the Wii Nunchuck to the back of the Zapper, which in turn allows you access to a lot more controls than purely pointing a gun at the screen. This means that for any game that is not an on-rail shooter and you are required to look up, down, left, right and move yourself as well as point the gun at the screen, the Wii Zapper is going to be your best bet. Games that I have used that utilize this to full effect are the excellent Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, the not so spectacular Modern Warfare: Call of Duty Reflex Edition, and more recently the very cool GoldenEye Wii edition.
There are not loads of games that require this extra functionality but, to be honest, these are by far the best of the 'shooter' games on the Wii; it adds an extra level of realism to be able to move about and look any way you like (before hopefully annihilating your opponents with a good old fashioned torrent of lead!). I personally couldn't imagine playing the new GoldenEye reboot with the classic controller; it's much more immersive to be sneaking around as Bond, gun trained on the screen. Also as an aside, the motion sensing on GoldenEye feels much more calibrated and responsive than the earlier CoD Modern Warfare game, obviously the technology has been refined in the intervening years and feels even better than before.
Other games of note that can use the Wii Zapper are Dead Space: Extraction (on this you could get by with a gun that doesn't require the Nunchuck but would miss out on some rather cool extra features), House of Dead: Overkill (this is just a point and shoot, but a notable mention as it's a lot of fun!), and the bundled 'Link's Crossbow Training'. In fact this last title is very much a contender for the best use of the Zapper. As usual, when Nintendo do there own games, they're usually built with a lot more care than some of the more dubious third party developers, and Crossbow Training is no exception. This is a classily made game, it feature many varieties of gameplay (including a truly enjoyable one where you can romp freely around with your crossbow picking off strange little goblin people with your trusty crossbow) and generally this game is a great party piece, with lots of lastability (mainly by levelling up and trying to beat your personal best scores). It's all well put together and certainly not a throwaway when bundled with the Zapper.
There are some limitations with the Zapper however. It's ergonomic and comfortable to hold but looks rather generic and uninspiring when trying to immerse yourself in the universe your game occupies. Also, simply because it has to house both the Wii nunchuck and the remote your arms can begin wear if you are playing for a good length of time. A more niggling issue is the fact that, due to the design of the Wii remote itself, it has to be housed at the front of the Zapper, and thus you have to access all of its buttons and control pad via your thumb when gripping the zapper. This makes for a rather clumsy and awkward system, and can be infuriating trying to hit the right button with your thumb whilst focusing on the screen (for example trying to launch a grenade at the right time can be the difference between success and failure if you accidently hit the wrong button). And to really nitpick, the trigger action isn't terribly convincing, it is not spring loaded or firm in action which would have been a lot more satisfying; it is simply a loose piece of plastic that depresses the B button on the back of the Remote.
Still, those are all minor niggles that are not really going to spoil the fun to be had whilst using this peripheral; it really is my favourite of the many accessories you can pick up for your Wii. With the right game, nothing is more satisfying, and you could do a lot worse than use this in conjunction with the excellent (and now budget!) Wii reboot of the classic N64's Goldeneye; all in all, great fun.
Summary: A well thought out and satisfying peripheral, only thing lacking is perhaps a laser sight!
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