Duck Hunt Review
“Duck Hunt” was a launch title for the North American release of the Nintendo Entertainment System and was one of the ‘pack in’ games in both the initial launch of the console (with “Gyromite”) and later combined with “Super Mario Bros.” on one game cartridge. For the sake of this review, and to not taint an otherwise good game, I will be focusing on the original issue of “Duck Hunt” that was on its own cartridge.
“Duck Hunt” is an extremely important game when one looks at the history of video games and their representation of traditional American values. The game, a love letter to the 2nd Amendment, hopefully told a generation of children that it was not only okay to own firearms but that hunting is a fun and enjoyable sport. It saddens me that in today’s gaming culture, hunting games are mainly relegated to dingy bars and more or less viewed as a niche genre of gaming. “Duck Hunt” brought the thrills of duck hunting into the living room of millions of Americans. Imagine something like that happening in 2015. Unlikely. Especially with the liberal leadership we have to suffer these days. Even if one of the game companies was radical enough to propose a heavily promoted hunting game as a launch title, they would likely not include a firearm shaped controller with the default console configuration. Nintendo’s own “Zapper” controller was originally issued in a benign gray coloration, which matched the console itself, but was ‘updated’ to a horrific bright orange color after numerous complaints from gun grabbers got a federal law passed to dictate the color of “toy firearms”.
Prior to the release of “Duck Hunt” the video game world was relatively thin on hunting themed video games, and Nintendo really broke new ground for the genre with its release. The game is relatively simple in concept. The player, using the light gun, shoots their television screen at a series of duck shaped sprites. If the player hits the ducks, they get points and can only miss so many ducks before the game is over. The skill level ramps up quickly so only the best shots can survive into the later rounds of the game. The game also comes packed with a “B” mode, set at a shooting range with the player practicing by shooting at clay pigeons. The graphics are outstanding for a launch title on a system from 1985 and the Zapper controls are about as good as one would expect from a light gun.
One disturbing complaint while researching this game on the world wide web were multiple children complaining that you could not shoot your companion hunting dog. Studies have proven that killing animals is an early sign of a serial killer. I can’t help but feel if one were to track down these kids, one would find a large percentage of them have escalated to killing humans. It is pretty humorous when liberals complain about this game being violent because it involves firearms when there was a class of gamer that wanted to senselessly murder a pixelated dog for laughing at them; and us 2A folks are the unhinged ones? Right.
There was a minor boom of hunting games in the late 2000s, but rampant restrictions on firearms and our personal freedoms have made their number pale in comparison to more conventional sports games. Thankfully, Duck Dynasty received a game for the current generation of game consoles. However, I feel Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot by not making a reboot of “Duck Hunt” for the Wii U. I’m sure they could even get Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson to endorse the game. With a strong Christian thinker like Robertson behind the product nothing could go wrong and it could have really boosted the lackluster sales of Nintendo’s newest console. Oh well, one can dream. All in all, I recommend “Duck Hunt” as it is a terrific, family friendly game that pretty much everyone can enjoy.