Duck Hunt (NES) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 05.08.2004

Review for Duck Hunt on NES

As the arguments of violent games being banned rages on in our generation, we take a look at a classic shooting title. That going by the logic of many people should have caused hundreds of thousands of people to run outside and shoot the many flying ducks they spotted, while their butch Boxer and its ravenous jaw of teeth waited below, ready to devour the prey...

Funnily enough this didn't happen, at least to our knowledge anyway, we suspect their may be some twisted individuals out there who take this game to far, but that is beyond the scope of this text. What isn't however is a review of this classic NES title and its many high and low points. The fact that we have already exceed 100 words, means we have blown are writing expectations out of the water, until we realise, we haven't actually started talking about the game yet, something we probably should have done. Compensating for this, we promise the very finest Duck Hunt you're ever likely to read, fair enough? Good, so down to business. The gist of this game as you may well be aware is too shoot ducks from the sky, this is done via the Zapper peripheral released by Nintendo for the NES, and something that remained largely unused by any other games.

Screenshot for Duck Hunt on NES

There is more though, the game does in fact include three modes! The basic shooting of a duck mode, the more complex shooting of two ducks at once! As well the final Clay Pigeon shooting mode, that is slightly trickier, and not the mode you're likely going to start off playing with. When you begin, the ducks will move quite slowly on the screen, and you are allowed to miss them a few times, with your limited ammo. However as you progress through the levels, the difficulty increases, as does the speed of the Ducks. The amount of misses you are allowed though, decreases, until you reach the point where the difficulty sticks at a set level, and you are left to play endlessly until you fail a level. Which can only be 'achieved' my not shooting enough ducks in time. All of this to help you work up to that all important high score, that you can boast about on internet forums for hours to come.

Screenshot for Duck Hunt on NES

Now as the reviewer we come across a problem, it seems we have described the game in its entirety, yet we have barely struck the five hundred word mark. Now this just will not do, we think you readers deserve more, so will persevere and delve deeper into one of the simplest games of all time, just because we know you want to read about it. Well we have already covered the default duck shooting mode, but what about that Clay Pigeon mode? We know you were intrigued when we mentioned it, so let us elaborate. Although there are no actual changes in the gameplay, what this mode does, is change the background image (a real shock that was), as well as what your shooting at. It seems the RSPCA got involved in development at this point, and begged Nintendo to include a mode that doesn't involve killing hundreds of poor helpless animals, rather you can now 'kill' clay disks! These are significantly smaller than the ducks you are used to, and as they fly through the air, they get smaller and fade into the distance, making it doubly important to dispose of them quickly. The same rules apply as before and once again that is the extent of what can be said about the mode.

Screenshot for Duck Hunt on NES

Now let's break down the graphical side of things a little further too. What we have here is a very good example, of what can now be achieved with twenty minutes in paint. The ducks have one animation; flying, the dog has two; running and laughing, and that's that. The background never changes no matter how many hours you play for, nor does the grass (the only other thing on screen). Well that didn't last very long did it? How about sounds then, yes that will take up some space! Well to start off, there are some excellent beeps throughout, truly they are quite astonishing, and the developers really must be given a pat on the back for them, well done guys! Other than that, you have the shoot sound, the laughing sound from the dog, oh and the fanfare type noise when you complete a level too! The variety is absolutely immense.

Now just when you thought you were at the end of the review, you are forced to think again. To help prolong the gaming experience of this title, we have come up with some new ways to play for you. First off, long distance shooting, now this is limited due to the length of wires, but with some extension cables, really tests the hardware to its limits! If you haven't already figures out how this works, you just stand as far as you can from the TV screen, and fire away! Really helps to improve your hand eye co-ordination. Next up is the free style 'eXtreme' shooting, this can involve all sorts of weird and wacky ways of playing, such as with your eyes shut, with you back to TV, into a mirror hoping to get the reflection right, all sorts! The key to this, is variety, don't let a this game escape your imagination abilities.

Screenshot for Duck Hunt on NES

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


The thing about this game is can't really be rated with normal methods. Get a mate over to help you with some of our eXtreme gameplay techniques, and you will have a hell of a lot of fun, just don't expect to achieve that for very long...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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