Mega Man 6 Review

Mega Man 6

When any franchise reaches its sixth entry, things can start to feel more than a little redundant. This is especially true when a series reaches that number as quickly as Mega Man did. Mega Man 6 is not a bad game by any means, but to say it’s a predictable one is an understatement. It delivers a solid NES experience – often dubbed the last worthwhile game in the NES library – but it is exactly the experience you’d expect.

Mega Man 6 follows the same structure of its five predecessors: There are eight Robot Masters in as many selectable stages. Mega Man needs to defeat them, gain their powers and use them against each other, then he can move onto the castle for the final battle. Capcom was definitely working under the concept of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” on this one.

It is true that there isn’t much broken with Mega Man’s core structure, but the previous entries all tried to add their own spin to the mix to some degree: 2 expanded everything the original started. 3 introduced Rush and Proto Man. 4 added the charged shots and a second castle. Even 5 had some smaller but no less creative twists to its level designs. Mega Man 6 attempts two innovations of its own, but their inclusions don’t do much to prevent it from being the most straightforward title in the series.

The first, and most prominent, of these attempts are the new Rush Adaptors. In the past three entries, Mega Man could call his dog Rush to aid him by turning into a jet or submarine or by giving Mega Man a boost in his jumps. In Mega Man 6, Rush instead fuses with Mega Man with two new abilities.

Mega Man 6The first sees Rush combine with Mega Man to create a jetpack that gives the Blue Bomber short bursts of flight, while the second gives Mega Man extra strength, being able to take out objects and enemies much easier, though in a much closer range.

These two Rush Adaptors are actually pretty neat at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that they ultimately make the Robot Master abilities superfluous. The Mega Buster of Mega Man 4 already diminished much of the usefulness in the Robot Master powers, but here they are an outright afterthought between the Mega Buster and the Rush transformations. Capcom strongly reinforced this by making every Robot Master ability copied and pasted from Mega Man 2 (that damn Leaf Shield is recycled yet again). As cool as the Rush Adaptors are at first, you can’t help but wonder why they weren’t just made into Robot Master abilities.

Mega Man 6’s other innovation is that many stages include branching paths. There are now multiple ways to reach the boss at the end of each stage, with some paths being more difficult but bearing better rewards (like more extra lives and those ever-precious E Tanks), while others are easier but give less. It’s a fun concept that isn’t always used to its fullest, but it adds a nice twist to otherwise straightforward level designs.

Mega Man 6Level design is one of the areas where Mega Man 6 falls short of its predecessors. There is nothing innately wrong with the stages, as they provide the usual Mega Man fun. But there is also nothing remarkable about them either. Mega Man 5 kept things fresh with inventive stage designs that introduced fun and creative gameplay ideas, but 6 seems to be running on empty in this regard (save for one segment in Centaur Man’s stage, where Mega Man must utilizes a body of water suspended above his head to make it through some treacherous platforming). The level design is solid enough, but it lacks the wow factor of the previous titles.

Those seeking a challenge will be happy to find that 6 has upped the difficulty from Mega Man 5, though it’s never quite as hard as the first four games. And if you’re curious about the story, Mega Man 6 basically rehashes the same plot of the past two games.

An international robot tournament is being held for the first time, hosted by the mysterious Mr. X. But the eight finalists in the tournament then get corrupted by Mr. X, who uses them to “begin taking over the world.” Mr. X claims to have been manipulating Dr. Wily from the very beginning, but given the history of the series, the truth about Dr. Wily and Mr. X shouldn’t come as a shock to any player.

The Mega Man games were never about plot, but there was a charm to their simplicity. But here the story almost seems tongue-in-cheek, like it’s more or less laughing at itself and the series. Whereas the previous storylines felt a bit earnest even in their predictability, the plot of Mega Man 6 just comes off as laughable.

The visuals are still crisp and vibrant. The graphics hadn’t changed much from the last couple of games, but they proved that even with the SNES and Genesis on the market, the NES still had some life left in it. On the downside, the character designs are among the most forgettable in the series, with the lineup of Robot Masters feeling close to bottom of the barrel. Given the “international robot tournament” setup of the story, the game has some fun with various exotic locations in its stages, though some of the Robot Masters unfortunately come off as stereotypes (need I bring up Tomahawk Man?). The music, while good, is similarly unremarkable. There’s never been a bad soundtrack in the core Mega Man series, but if one were to compare them against each other, the soundtrack to 6 might be at the bottom of the list.

When taking the whole game into account, Mega Man 6 is fun. It gave Mega Man one last hurrah on the NES by letting him do what he does best. It’s just a shame that the Blue Bomber’s final game on the platform lacked the depth and ambition needed to send him off in the style e deserved.



Mega Man 5 Review

Mega Man 5

Of all the games in the classic Mega Man series, the fifth entry is the easiest. Some may cry foul about Mega Man 5’s relatively easy challenge, given that Mega Man and extreme difficulty tend to go hand in hand. But Mega Man 5 didn’t signal a dumbing down of the series. Later entries would go back to their brutally difficult ways. Mega Man 5’s more accessible and welcoming approach simply makes it a unique title in the series.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that Mega Man 5 uses the same basic setup as its predecessors: The game starts with eight selectable stages, each one headlined with a different Robot Master. Mega Man gains new powers upon defeating each boss, with certain Robot Master abilities working particularly well against others. Once all eight stages are cleared, Mega Man moves onto the linear stages in the castle levels.

So Mega Man 5 isn’t exactly a reinvention of the series. But it does have some creative ideas of its own in regards to stage design, some of which have notable effects on the gameplay itself.

Mega Man 5The two most prominent examples are Star Man and Gravity Man’s stages, whose concepts may have served as inspirations to Super Mario Galaxy. Star Man’s level throws Mega Man into an outer space setting, which means the Blue Bomber can defy gravity and jump higher than ever, making for some unique platforming. Gravity Man’s stage will continuously send Mega Man walking upside down on the ceiling and back again, and falling upward becomes a whole new hazard.

The other levels also introduce their own fresh ideas to the series (the jetski section of Wave Man’s stage is another highlight), which helps keep things fresh and exciting.

One downside to Mega Man 5 is that the Mega Buster – Mega Man’s standard weapon – still feels a bit overpowered, as you’ll probably rely more on charging Mega Man’s arm canon than using the Robot Master powers (save for in the boss battles). This is a bit of a shame, as some of the Robot Master abilities here are pretty cool, such as Gravity Man’s Gravity Hold, which lifts enemies off the screen. There are still some powers that are recycled from Mega Man 2 (“Wood Man’s Leaf Shield can’t be reskinned enough!” could have been the series’ tagline by this point), but overall they’re more fun than those found in Mega Man 4, even if they rarely need to come into play.

Mega Man’s dog Rush still keeps his jump-boosting coil and jet abilities, but his submarine transformation has been left behind. Mega Man also gains the Super Arrow, which not only hurts enemies, but can also be ridden as a moving platform. Additionally, a secret power can be unlocked that summons the robot bird Beat to attack enemies and destroy hazards.

In terms of story, Mega Man 5 more or less recycles 4’s plot, but gives extra attention to fan-favorite Proto Man.

Proto Man has gone bad it seems, and he’s sent eight Robot Masters of his own to wreak havoc on the world. It wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that Proto Man is being framed, and of course there’s only one culprit who can be behind it all.

It’s another incredibly simplistic story, but it once again extends the adventure to a second castle. It’s in the castle stages where the game’s difficulty picks up a bit, but it never becomes as punishing as Mega Mans 3 or 4.

Mega Man 5The game also retains the lively sprites and vibrant graphics of the series’ other NES entries, and the character designs are an overall step up from Mega Man 4 – even if there’s no single Robot Master as remarkably awesome as Skull Man. The music is still catchy, though unfortunately it isn’t nearly as memorable as those of Mega Man’s more popular titles.

In the end, Mega Man 5 may not match the heights of the series’ heralded second and third entries, but it adds enough fun and creative twists to the gameplay and level design to make it consistently fun and engaging (because seriously, Gravity Man’s stage!). Its easier difficulty also makes it a welcoming starting point for newcomers to the iconic series, and a nice reprieve for veterans of the Blue Bomber.



Mega Man 4 Review

Mega Man 4

Mega Man 4 is often seen as a turning point in the series. Mega Mans 2 and 3 are hailed as classics to this day, while Mega Man 4 is often seen as the black sheep of the bunch. The next few sequels would similarly be less-fondly remembered, as Mega Man 4 didn’t give gamers much incentive to stick with the on-going NES sequels with the then-new SNES and Genesis on the market.

Mega Man 4 is a better game than its reputation might suggest. It retains much of the fun gameplay and sharp level design of its predecessors, and it even adds a good dose of narrative to the equation. But Mega Man 4 does have its faults – primarily in its lack of creativity and a gameplay change that fans still debate today – that prevent it from reaching the heights of the series’ finer entries.

The aforementioned gameplay change is Mega Man’s new Mega Buster, which allowed the Blue Bomber to charge his arm canon to shoot a more powerful blast. The charged shot made Mega Man stronger than ever, but it also came at a price, as it relegated the Robot Master abilities to little more than window dressing.

Mega Man still gains new powers from the Robot Masters he defeats, and like before their powers are effective against one another in an elaborate game of rock-paper-scissors. In the previous Mega Man games, the Robot Master abilities also found use in the stages themselves, but in Mega Man 4 they are useful almost exclusively in boss battles (some of which feel unfairly difficult without the correct power), as the new Mega Buster subverts them in the overall gameplay.

The Mega Buster was Mega Man 4’s thing. It’s understandable that Capcom would want to play it up. But they seemed to get a better hang of balancing it with Mega Man’s other powers in subsequent games. Mega Man 4 is so enthusiastic about its new toy that everything else in its toybox becomes an afterthought. Most of the Robot Master abilities even feel recycled from the previous games.

Similarly, Mega Man’s robot dog Rush doesn’t gain any additional moves, sticking to the same three he had in Mega Man 3 (with the Rush Jet strangely feeling clunkier to control than it did in its debut). The Mega Buster was at the front and center of Mega Man 4. On its own that’s not such a bad thing, but it feels like Capcom emphasized it at the expense of being creative elsewhere.

Mega Man 4That’s not to say that Mega Man 4 isn’t fun, however. This is still Mega Man, and you’d be hard pressed to find an entry in the core Mega Man series that wasn’t great to play. The run, jump and shoot simplicity of Mega Man is left intact, complimented by some great level designs that build on their gimmicks as you progress through them. Dive Man’s stage, for example, tests players’ underwater jumping abilities, only to test them further once the water levels fluctuate.

The stage design remains challenging, and will push even Mega Man veterans to their limits. At its best it’s on par with Mega Man 3’s difficulty, at its worst it can feel a bit frustrating. In short, if you’re new to Mega Man, you might not want to start with 4.

One of Mega Man 4’s highlights is its added narrative. Yes, it’s a simple plot, but Mega Man 4 presents its story in some fun ways. An opening cinematic explains the fall of Dr. Wily and the rise of a new villain, Dr. Cossack, giving the game a more fleshed-out setup. There’s even a fun (though entirely foreseeable) plot twist! Again, it’s nothing spectacular, but it gives Mega Man 4 a charm of its own.

The plot twist also means that Mega Man 4 gets a second castle segment. After Mega Man defeats the eight Robot Masters, he moves onto Dr. Cossack’s castle. Then, after besting that castle, Mega Man moves onto another castle! This extends 4’s length almost to that of Mega Man 3. Though Mega Man 3’s twist of additional selectable stages may be more fun, you have to give Mega Man 4 credit for including a twist of its own.

Mega Man 4Visually, the game looks similar to Mega Man 3, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. The graphics remain bright and colorful, though the character designs have taken a notable step down, with most of the Robot Masters’ designs feeling less inspired than those in the previous games (with the considerable exception of Skull Man, who remains one of Mega Man’s coolest foes ever). The soundtrack is still a highlight, though its tunes aren’t quite as memorable as those in the previous games.

Overall, the appeal of Mega Man 4 largely depends on if you’re looking at it for its own merits, or stacked up against the other entries in the iconic series. On its own, Mega Man 4 is a NES title that has aged well, boasts some great level design, and provides a satisfying adventure. But Mega Man 4 also lacks the inventiveness, balance and variety of Mega Man’s better titles.



Mega Man 3 Review

Mega Man 3

It’s not easy being the third entry in a popular series, no matter the medium. If the immediate sequel manages to live up to or surpass the original, then the threequel has an even steeper hill to climb. Mega Man 2 was the game that made Mega Man a bona fide video game icon, so Mega Man 3 had a lot expectations to meet in 1990. Thankfully, Mega Man 3 was up for the challenge, and is a sequel that is almost on par with the series’ sublime second entry.

Mega Man 3Mega Man 3 uses the same groundwork as the first two installments: Mega Man runs, jumps and shoots his way through eight selectable stages, gains a new power from defeating each Robot Master at the end of those stages (with each Robot Master’s power being particularly effective against another), and finally makes his way to a series of stages in Dr. Wily’s fortress.

The setup may sound very familiar, but Mega Man 3 brought some clever gameplay innovations and twists to the game’s progression to make it anything but a cookie cutter sequel.

The most simple such innovation is Mega Man’s new slide move. The slide allows Mega Man to make his way through small spaces as well as avoid a good deal of enemy attacks. It’s a seemingly basic mechanic that becomes an incredibly useful tool throughout the game.

Mega Man 3Mega Man 3 introduced two vital character additions to the franchise: Rush, Mega Man’s robotic canine, and Proto Man, the Blue Bomber’s morally ambiguous older brother.

Rush replaces the non-combat powers from Mega Man 2, and gains new abilities and transformations throughout the game, including a spring to give Mega Man a boost in his jump, a jet to fly over large gaps, and a submarine to maneuver in water.

Proto Man serves as a recurring mini-boss throughout the game. Although Mega Man 3 still has a simplistic story like the previous titles in the series, Proto Man’s presence was a good attempt at adding a new layer to the series’ narrative.Mega Man 3

Aside from new characters, Mega Man 3’s biggest innovation to the series was the twist that occurred after defeating the eight Robot Masters. In the two previous titles, Mega Man would automatically progress to Dr. Wily’s fortress after defeating the eight standard stages. But in Mega Man 3, after besting the Robot Masters, four of the stages must be completed again, with new, more challenging level designs.

During Mega Man’s first run through these stages, some areas might be closed off or out of Mega Man’s reach, but they become accessible during Mega Man’s return visits. Some areas see more enemies and traps pop up the second time around. And, in a brilliant little twist, all eight of Mega Man 2’s Robot Masters return, in spirit, as the boss fights of these revisited levels.

The four altered stages not only add a fun spin to the Mega Man formula, but also extend Mega Man 3’s total playtime, making it the lengthiest of the NES Mega Man titles.

Mega Man 3Mega Man 3  continues the series’ tradition of top notch presentation. The graphics are some of the most colorful on the NES, and the character designs give the game a great sense of personality. The music is on par with the second game’s as one of the NES’ best soundtracks.

The only notable drawback in Mega Man 3’s presentation is that it suffers from slowdowns a lot more than Mega Man 2 did. Mega Man 3’s stages are often filled with enemies and obstacles, and you may find that the game slows down considerably in more hectic moments. It may not be a big deal on its own, but with the extreme precision of Mega Man 3’s platforming, the slowdowns can lead to accidental game overs.

The game follows suite with the series’ trademark difficulty. Mega Man 3 is a very hard game, and although it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, there are a few instances that are so difficult they teeter on frustrating. Mega Man 2 was a hard game, but its challenge was never aggravating. Mega Man 3 seems tailor-made for those who mastered Mega Man 2, as those who aren’t Mega Man experts will have their patience tested.

But these are ultimately minor issues in an otherwise stellar game. Mega Man 3 continues what Mega Man 2 achieved with terrific level design, polished gameplay and a fantastic presentation, and did it all while introducing some wonderful new tricks of its own. Mega Man 3 remains one of the Blue Bomber’s finest, and a must-have for anyone who enjoys gaming in its purest form.



Mega Man 2 Review

Mega Man 2

Although Capcom’s 1987 classic “Mega Man” introduced the world to the titular Blue Bomber, it was with the series’ second entry in 1989 that Mega Man became a superstar. Playing it again today, it’s not hard to see why. Mega Man 2 is still an incredible achievement in gaming even today.

From the moment you first boot up the game, and the screen scrolls upward to reveal Mega Man (without his helmet!) standing atop a skyscraper, ready to take on the world, you know you’re in for a treat.

The overall setup of the game remains similar to the first game: You play as Mega Man, a good-natured robot out to save the world from the evil Dr. Wily and his band of Robot Masters. Players select the order they want to tackle the game’s stages, and at the end of each, Mega Man comes face-to-face with one of the Robot Masters. Each Robot Master grants Mega Man a new power upon defeat and, in an elaborate game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, each Robot Master’s ability is particularly useful against another.Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 is a game that excels at virtually everything it sets out to do. It takes the foundation of the first game in the series, and expands and refines it in every regard. The original game’s six Robot Masters has been upped to eight, which remained the series’ standard from that point onward. It included new items like the rare, energy-refilling E Tanks to the mix. Mega Man gained some non-combat powers that were needed to reach every nook and cranny of the stages. And the Robot Master abilities introduced here were so well thought out that Capcom resorted to recycling most of them in subsequent games (just how many derivatives of Wood Man’s Leaf Shield have we seen over the years?).

Simply put, Mega Man 2 became the standard for the long-running series. You won’t find many sequels that so perfectly defined their franchise.

Mega Man 2Mega Man 2 retains much of the first game’s difficulty, but here it’s better balanced and more accessible. Healing items appear more frequently than they did in its predecessor, and the level design feels more fair. Mega Man 2 even features two difficulty modes, with Normal Mode giving Mega Man twice as much power against Robot Masters, and Hard Mode keeping the bosses at max difficulty. The tweaked difficulty curve ensures that Mega Man 2 remains a very challenging game, but a more welcoming one than its predecessor.

Mega Man 2 includes the gameplay of the series in its purest form. Mega Man wouldn’t get his sliding ability until the next entry, but here his simple mechanics of running, jumping and shooting were utilized to their very best thanks to the clever and varied level design. The Robot Master abilities were also well implemented. As fun as it was that later entries allowed Mega Man to charge his Mega Buster, it also largely overpowered Mega Man, leaving the Robot Master powers feeling downplayed. But here they were used to their fullest.

The game remains visually appealing thanks to some colorful graphics and creative character designs, though the game does suffer from some notable slowdowns when too much is going on onscreen. There are also some instances of “NES flickers” on the edges of the screen. But overall the game’s presentation is still impressive.Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 also boasts what is arguably the greatest soundtrack in the entire NES library. Mega Man 2’s soundtrack, despite its technical limitations, managed to capture so much character and so much energy that it still goes toe-to-toe with the great scores in gaming. The theme music of Dr. Wily’s Castle is still one of the most iconic pieces of video game music for a reason.


Mega Man 2 succeeds in not only improving on its predecessor’s blueprints in virtually every way – from gameplay to level design to music to difficulty, and everything in between – but in being one of the best sidescrollers and NES titles ever made. Video games have come a long way since Mega Man 2 was first released in 1989. But in so many ways, Mega Man 2 is still one of the all-time greats.



Mega Man Review

Mega Man

When it comes to third party titles on Nintendo consoles, few have had the impact of Capcom’s Mega Man. Back in its day, Mega Man was as synonymous with the NES as Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda. Although it was Capcom’s first console exclusive title, it proved to be a successful debut. Mega Man spawned countless sequels, and its hero remains one of gaming’s most beloved characters. While the original Mega Man is not without its problems (which its two immediate sequels touched up), it remains a great game to play even today.

Mega Man was renowned for its non-linear structure, allowing players to choose between six different stages in whatever order they saw fit. At the end of each stage is a boss fight against a “Robot Master,” with each one giving Mega Man a new weapon upon defeat. Another unique aspect of the game was its rock-paper-scissors-like structure, with each Robot Master’s given weapon working especially effective against another one.

Mega ManPlayers take the role of the titular Mega Man, a young robot boy trying to save the world from the nefarious Dr. Wily, who corrupted the six Robot Masters created by Dr. Light and repurposed them for his evil schemes. It’s the kind of simple but honest-to-goodness setup of many games of the time that adds to the game’s charm, even if plot was rarely present in the game itself.

Mega Man’s gameplay remains tight and intricate. Mega Man can jump like Mario, but he must use his “Mega Buster” arm canon, or one of the Robot Masters’ weapons, to defeat enemies. The weapon-based gameplay added a new spin on the platforming gameplay, and it gives the Mega Man series a sense of uniqueness among other retro platformers.

Also of note is that this is the only Mega Man title with a scoring system, as Mega Man is awarded points for defeating enemies, picking up items and completing levels. It doesn’t add a whole lot to the experience, but those who want to beat their personal high scores may find reason to revisit the game numerous times.

The level design was some of the most difficult of its age, and the game arguably remains the most challenging entry in the series. The game is fun, but some players may find the difficulty close to unfair, as some of the stages’ challenges require such precision in their platforming they teeter on unforgiving. The bosses (and even some standard enemies) can take Mega Man down in a few quick hits, and replenishing items and extra lives seldom appear. The entire Mega Man series is known for its steep difficulty, but the original is the one that may be off-putting to some players for the sheer level of its challenge.

One retrospective drawback to the original game is knowing how the sequels improved on the formula, leaving some aspects of the original to feel less fleshed out. The sequels would add sliding moves, charged blasts, and even sidekicks to the mix. The original, by comparison, feels stripped down and straightforward. A fault only in hindsight perhaps, but the comparison to its sequels is inescapable by this point.Mega Man

Visually, the game is one of the more approachable NES titles to revisit. The colors and characters are simple, of course. But the game has a distinct, fun look about it, and the great character designs add to its retro charm. The music remains one of the better NES soundtracks. It may not reach the same heights as some later entries, but Mega Man’s soundtrack is still one of the most iconic in the NES library.

Mega Man remains a classic of the medium. Its sequels may have bettered it, with the two following installments still being considered the ‘definitive’ entries in the series, but the original Mega Man remains, in its own right, an absolute blast.


Super Mario Bros. 2 Review


Today, Super Mario Bros. 2 is often seen as a “black sheep” in the Mario series, neither as revolutionary as its predecessor nor as excellent as its successor. But truth be told, if Super Mario Bros. 2 is a lesser entry in the Mario canon, then let that speak to the overall quality of the series. Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a great game.

It’s true, the game we know as Super Mario Bros. 2 is just the Japan-only Nintendo title Doki Doki Panic retooled with Mario characters in it. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the game was among the best platformers of its era, not to mention the impact it had on the Mario universe.

Birdos, Bob-ombs, Shy Guys, many elements that are common place in Mario games today got their start here. This even includes the attributes of the main characters.

Players have the option of selecting four characters: Mario is well-rounded, Luigi has the highest jumping and descends slower, Peach can temporarily float in the air, and Toad lifts objects the fastest and throws them farthest.

The gameplay is unique among Mario games in that jumping on enemies doesn’t defeat them. Instead, you can jump on an enemy’s head and lift them up, and then toss them at other enemies. Additionally, vegetables are abundant in the ground, and can similarly be plucked and tossed at foes. It’s a fun gameplay hook that still stands out in the Mario series.

One downside is that the usual Mario power-ups are nowhere to be found (aside from an occasional Starman). Instead, players gain extra health by finding mushrooms in warp zones (temporary bonus rooms accessed through hidden doors). It’s just a shame the added bonuses found in warp zones don’t continue through subsequent levels, as it could have added an interesting RPG element to the Mario formula. But it works for the game at hand.

Super Mario Bros. 2Mario and company will of course venture to various themed worlds, each with a handful of stages and ending with memorable boss fights (boss fights which, I must admit, are more varied than those in the more popular Super Mario Bros. 3). It’s not as expansive as Mario’s later ventures, but it provides the same sense of fun.

The graphics are colorful 8-bit sprites, but not as detailed as those found in Mario 3. The music is a highlight, featuring some iconic pieces from the NES era that are still remembered and remixed today.

Super Mario Bros. 2 has a whole lot going for it, and it has aged more elegantly than the brunt of NES titles. Yes, it’s shaky origins mean it deviates from many loved elements of the Mario series (no Fire Flowers), and some might even say it feels slower when compared to other entries in the series, but Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a blast to play. Whether you’re firing up the old NES or playing it through the Wii U Virtual Console, Super Mario Bros. 2 proves that being a black sheep doesn’t have to be a bad thing.



Duck Hunt Review

Duck Hunt

Back in the day, Duck Hunt was one of the most prolific games on the NES. It gave gamers a simple task: Shoot ducks with the NES Zapper (a gun peripheral that came packaged with the game), or risk being mocked and laughed at by your dog. The simplicity of the game made an impact on the NES’ appeal, and Duck Hunt was so iconic with the console that it soon became bundled with Super Mario Bros.

Now that you can play Duck Hunt on Wii U, you can see how age has effected the game in both positive and negative ways.


On the plus side, the game is still fun. The NES Zapper is replaced with a Wii Remote this time around, with the motion control probably making the game more intuitive than ever (though some targeting blips still occur).

There are three game modes: Game A has you shooting at one duck at a time, Game B has two ducks flying on screen at once, and Game C shifts the game to shooting clay pigeons (two of which are on screen at once), with the clay flying from the foreground to the background, becoming harder to hit as they shrink in the distance.

All three game modes involve ten targets per round, with the player given three shots to hit every on-screen target. Hit the right number of targets per round and you can move on, miss the required number and it’s game over. Hit all ten targets to get bonus points.

All three game modes serve as fun little mini-games, and the simplicity of it provides retro charm. On the downside, all three modes put together don’t pack a whole lot of depth, which may effect the game’s replay value.Duck Hunt

The thing is, Nintendo has excelled at mini-game collections for years now, and regrettably, compared to even one of the mini-games of Nintendo Land, Duck Hunt feels shallow. It might seem unfair to compare an NES launch game with one from the Wii U, given the incredible leap in technology. But the sad fact is that while Duck Hunt may still be fun, it no longer feels as addictive as it once did. The simplistic gameplay is still charming, but the overall package doesn’t hold up quite so well on its own.

Duck Hunt is definitely worth a look on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but you may find it becomes more complimentary to the rest of your Wii U and Virtual Console library than a gaming experience in itself. It may not be the go-to game on your Wii U menu, but it is a fun little deviation between meatier games.