You don’t see a lot of games in the light gun genre on the PS3 or 360. Time Crisis 4 is the only notable one for Sony’s console, and correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t even think of any on the 360. That might change once Natal drops and Sony figures out their motion sensing controller, but for now the Wii is king of rail shooters. The Wii remote’s pointer ability has sparked a revival of the light gun genre on the console, and with it we’ve seen a plethora of gun shells released for the remote. At present you can get anything from Komodo’s fierce looking Buckshot shotgun to any number of cheaper shells like the Sharpshooter, but it all started with Nintendo’s Zapper.
I remember seeing a prototype for the Wii Zapper way back at E3 06. The pistol design was reminiscent of the old NES Zapper, but also sleek, simplistic and stylish—everything Nintendo was pushing for their then-new console. It had its own control stick, but also appeared to digitally remap the B-button control to its own separate trigger. It was essentially a gun-shaped Nunchuk.
So where the hell did the real Wii Zapper come from? The final design arrived in late 07 with Link’s Crossbow Training, and abandoned all previous features of the prototype. A clunky, plastic shell that looked roughly like a Tommy gun, The Wii Zapper is little more than an awkward cradle for the Wii remote and Nunchuk. Its design favors a two-handed grip; a strange choice for the pistol oriented, point-and-shoot gameplay in lightgun games. Its trigger is purely mechanical, a mechanism designed to press against the remote’s B button whenever the Zapper’s trigger is pulled. It’s springy, unresponsive and just plain cheap-feeling.
The common consensus among gamers is that lightgun games are more comfortable and easier to play with just the plain old Wii remote—the Zapper can actually make playing more difficult than its needs to be! As they did with the Classic Controller Grip, Nyko was quick to offer a better alternative with the Perfect Shot. This gun shell used the same mechanical trigger principle as the Wii Zapper but did a much better job of it, and for a time was widely preferred by gamers. Now there’s an even better option.
Nyko’s Action Pak takes the basic principle of the Perfect Shot and refines it. Including a Nyko Wand and the Pistol Grip, the Action Pak finally puts some electronics into a Wii gun shell.
Remember the Trans-Port tech I talked about in my Wand review
? It’s a technology built into Nyko’s new peripherals that lets them talk to the Wand digitally, and the Pistol Grip is one of the first controllers to use it. The Pistol Grip doesn’t have any mechanical triggers to push down on the B button like the Zapper or even the Perfect Shot—when you pull the Pistol Grip’s trigger, the command transfers right through to the wand electronically. The Pistol Grip also has a button on the back that’s shaped like a gun’s ring hammer; this one corresponds to the Wand’s A button. Since the A button is usually mapped to reloading in lightgun games, flicking the Pistol Grip’s hammer back to reload adds an extra touch of authenticity.
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