21 January 2010
Yeah, Duck Hunt.
If you bought a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the early 1980s these are the first two things you did – you played Mario, then you got frustrated because the game was remarkably difficult so you eventually grabbed the little plastic gun that came with your system and played Duck Hunt.
The concept of the game was, and still is, incredibly simple. You shoot ducks or you shoot skeet with a little plastic gun that clicks worse than a Guitar Hero controller. You would get three bullets at each level and after you had made your virtual kill a happy hunting dog would jump into the high grass and retrieve your trophy.
If you missed, this same dog would laugh at you and no matter how many times you tried to do it in the past you would pull the plastic trigger dozens of time while aiming the device straight at the smart-assed dog.
What’s impressive about this title, however, is that in all the years that have followed it no game has replicated the Duck Hunt shooting experience with a similar type of plastic gun. Yes, the first person shooter market is bigger than ever. But my mom and my girlfriend could play Duck Hunt and I don’t think either one of them would last two seconds in a Call of Duty multiplayer game on Xbox Live.
In later years the Sega Genesis would release it’s own plastic gun title known as Mad Dog McCree, but it flopped and if you remember the title it’s probably because you remember how bad it was. The Super Nintendo also took a shot at the genre with a mini-plastic bazooka, but that was quickly forgotten.
But I have never and I will never forget Duck Hunt.