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edit The Nintendo Zapper™
I was recently asked to review the NES classic, Duck Hunt. Like any person who is desperate for attention, I immediately set out to oblige this request in the hopes that someone, somewhere, would love me. Midway through the review, I realized that there is absolutely nothing to talk about. Duck Hunt is gaming in it's primal form. No backstory, setup, or plot. Just you, some ducks, a dog that laughs at you when you fail, and a plastic gun. Hell, the game wouldn't even be noteworthy if it weren't for the fact that you were actually given a real...ummmm...fake gun to shoot the ducks. That's when inspiration struck. I would review the Nintendo Zapper! That epic piece of gaming hardware lost in the annals of time, which gave 8 year old boys the world over the chance to sling some digital lead at pixelated bad guys and animals alike!
edit The Zapper in it's many forms
Like most every other human on the planet, I'm not too familiar with any other NES game besides Duck Hunt that used the Zapper. I vaguely recall playing Wild Gunman in my youth, but that's as far as my knowledge on the Zapper goes. In the course of my much needed research, I discovered something amazing; the Zapper actually came in three very distinct versions. I had the crappy light and dark grey one pictured at the top of this review but not by choice. My asshole neighbor who got everything he ever asked for had sold it to me for $10 after he got the orange and white one.Ooohhh, look at me.... I get everything I want. I'm too good for the grey Zapper. It sucks. I'll only use the orange one from now on. Fuck him.
Anyways, as you can tell by my repressed hatred for my neighbor, I was fully aware of the existance of both the grey and orange versions of the Zapper. What caught me off guard was the version that was available only in Japan. The "Revolver" which is pictured to the right, is complete and total awesomeness. There is no other way to describe it. Just look at it. You could fight crime with that thing. And I would have. I would have my own comic series, action figures, movie franchise, and would be living a life of luxory right now instead of writing articles for Uncyclopedia.
Unfortunately for those of us who didn't grow up in Japan, you could never have one of these. There is a message here for all you kids, life isn't fair. Great Grandpa sacrificed his life to defeat the Japanese in WWII and what do we get as a thank you for his service? That's right. The shitty Grey Zapper that looks like something straight out of Tron. Fuck you Japan.
edit The Games
There were actually a total of 16 games released for the Nintendo that could use the Zapper in some fashion. Instead of actually listing all 16 games, I decided to list the ones that didn't suck. That list is as follows;
That's right, every other game for the Zapper sucked horribly. To be perfectly fair, I only played 11 of the 16 total titles, but I had seen enough to know I had seen enough. The only other game that nearly made my list of tolerable Zapper games was the semi-popular Wild Gunman. It's a completely terrible game, but it was featured in Back to the Future 2 and that fact alone made it worth noting.
As far as Duck Hunt goes, I pretty much covered the whole premise of the game in my opening paragraph. You're given three bullets per round and your dog jumps into the bushes and scares up two ducks per round. If you miss both ducks, your dog will mock and ridicule you unmercifully. There was also an alternate mode which allowed the player to shoot Clay Pigeons but it didn't satisy my thirst for blood like mindless slaughtering of ducks did.
I learned two things while revisiting Duck Hunt. First, the Zapper does not work on a plasma TV. I have no idea why, I'm not a fucking scientist. Second, after taking my console to my unemployed friends house, and hooking it up to his crappy 20" Sanyo TV, I discovered that standing directly in front of the screen and pointing the Zapper directly at the middle of the screen will cause the game to glitch and you will never miss. That's right, I cheated at Duck Hunt. Don't you judge me.
edit My Final Shot
While I didn't neccesarilly enjoy most of the games that utilized the Zapper, I still think it was a brilliant idea. Nintendo has made a career out of presenting unique peripherals, from the Power Glove, to the Power Mat, their unique take on ways to expand gaming have produced many a memorable moment for gamers the world over. I'm going to give the Zapper 3 Ducks out of five, mainly for the nostalgia factor. Sure, the Zapper only worked right 30% of the time which made you feel like a failure, but who doesn't recall getting together with friends to play Duck Hunt? I certainly do. To my neighbor Fred who sold me my first Zapper; I still have it and it still works. So fuck you and your shitty orange one.