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Duck Hunt (1985)      

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Details (Nintendo NES) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Comments:
Nintendo
Shooter
Nintendo

Yes
Eng
NES-DH
Cartridge
USA, Europe, Japan

Compatibl with Light Gun
Nintendo NES  NR






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Reviews


Unknown

Added: 29 Mar 2012

"DANGER! Hyperbole Ahead"

Whatís this? Do my eyes deceive me or can it truly be that someone is actually reading my review for Duck Hunt? How can it be that you should possibly require a review for this game!? I mean, youíve only had thirteen or so years to have played it even if it wasnít packed with your system sometime in the Ď80s. Come on, it costs 16 cents nowadays - there are used game shops for this sort of thing. Okay, okay - I suppose you can stick around. Donít worry, Iíll think of something halfway interesting to say. Itíll be all right . . . really. Would I lie to you?

Donít answer that.

The Adventure Begins!

From the moment that you press down on those aging springs and lock that smooth grey cartridge into the box-like depths of your faithful Nintendo Entertainment System, youíll surely recognize that you are now Playing With Power. Actually thereís a fairly good chance that you wonít see much of anything except for a blue screen. Have you been blowing on the cartridgeís contacts again? Okay, thatís easy enough to remedy - dab the contacts with a q-tip doused in rubbing alcohol . . . what? Now you see a blinking blue screen? Fine. Open up your system deck with a 3.8mm security bit and install a new 72 pin connector, because youíre going to greet the dawn of 8-bit gaming as we know it even if it kills you! Assuming you can surmount the outlandishly cruel design of the western-style NES, you will at last arrive at the title screen of our chosen game. And so . . . ON WITH THE REVIEW!

The hunt commences in a small thicket beneath a clear blue sky, its charm completed by a lone tree and - wonder of wonders - a bush! This never-changing sceneís graphics are incredibly simple yet respectable; theyíre easily recognizable and it wasnít so long ago that we had to interpret exactly what we were looking at in video games, so basic sprites are nothing to scoff at. Your trusty hound sniffs at the ground before leaping into the thicket with a series of barks, flushing out the ducks either one at a time or in pairs depending on your selected mode. As one of the ducks takes flight, your ears are filled with the sound of flapping wings and innocent quacks as it aimlessly flies across the screen before . . .
BANG!

. . . being cruelly shot down by your Zapper. With a shocked expression on its face, the cartoonish fowl tumbles to the ground before landing with a thud, your dog proudly popping up from the grass with quarry in hand to the accompaniment of a happy ditty. Remember this, you trigger-happy lunatic - you have only three shots; miss thrice or wait too long and screen will turn red as the formerly doomed bird soars away to sweet, sweet freedom. Allow such an escape to slip through and manís so-called best friend will instead pop up to mock your pathetic ineptness with his annoying chuckle that everyone loves to hate.

No, you cannot shoot the dog. Thereís surely no one in the entire world who would ever so much as dream of such a thoroughly reprehensible act, but I thought Iíd let you know. If on the other hand you do wish to be a sociopath, please proceed to my Chiller review. Youíll probably enjoy it, freak.

It appears that weíve passed the halfway point; considering everything youíve just absorbed I think you deserve a break, so go ahead and let your mind wander through this paragraph. Donít worry, I wonít say anything even marginally important. Filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler filler. Filler!

Having pored over my tattered manual while you were gone, I regret to report that I couldnít find anything resembling a story within its pages, but itís fairly obvious what this game is all about; in short, Duck Hunt is actually a clever allegory for Nintendoís wonder console revolution - the ďducksĒ actually represent Atari, who unsuspectingly continue to flap about in plain sight of oncoming disaster before being sent crashing down to earth by the Crash of 1983, only to have the Big N scoop up the remains of the video game industry. Sure, you could also claim that it is a game about hunting ducks, but such a literal interpretation is staggering in its lack of insight.

There are ten ducks awaiting wanton slaughter in each round; each round demands a quota which begins at six and gradually rises as you progress to higher rounds, so not only do the ducks become faster as time passes but you are required to bag an increasingly large number of them or itís GAME OVER. Eventually this requirement rises to all ten, so you canít miss a single one or the Nintendo shall devour your soul. But wait, thereís more! A second player can use the controller to control a duckís flight path and attempt to elude your grim harvest of death. In reality this feature often translates into one dirty cheat of a player shooting while also using the controller, but itís a nice thought. Of course, anyone perceptive enough to figure out the controller trick has surely also noticed that itís rather easy to hit things when youíre sitting a half-inch away from the screen, but who would do that?

For those who canít bring themselves to shoot helpless creatures, even digital ones, you may instead direct yourself to the Clay Shoot, in which you unleash your unbridled wrath on simple discs of clay in the midst of an expansive green valley. Two tiny clay pigeons are launched into the horizon, quickly shrinking from view unless you can bring them down with your usual three shots. This mode is different enough to be worth playing and actually harder than the other two, proving that even inanimate objects are craftier than your web-footed prey.

Not exactly the most intricate of concepts, Duck Hunt is nonetheless charming in its simplicity, harkening back to a gentler age when all one needed to have fun was a basic workable idea, the execution of that idea, and a healthy dose of heavily sanitized violence. Sure, thereís no actual reason to keep playing, as the rounds only increase in speed yet remain otherwise unchanged, but thereís little or no reasoning behind a lot of things Ė this review, for instance. But letís end this charade Ė youíve already played this game! Everyone has! Protest all you want, but I refuse to believe that you actually wanted to learn about the wonders of Duck Hunt and have only stayed this long out of a sense of horrified fascination.

But enough talk! Dig your old cartridge out from the closet or get thineself to the nearest Gamestop! Even better, write Nintendo a polite but firm letter informing them of your demand for a superlative sequel depicted in glorious cell-shaded polygons complete with the dogís winsome laughter in thunderous surround sound. Thatís right - pass the buckshot, Iím ready for Duck Hunt 2.



Reviewer's Score: 7/10, Originally Posted: 07/09/03, Updated 07/09/03
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History


This title was first added on 12th January 2006
This title was most recently updated on 29th March 2012


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