Ever since the Wii was announced I’ve been dreaming of playing an arcade style shooter from my couch. The system was begging for a game where all you did was point and shoot. Of course it didn’t take developers long to get games out in this style. With games like Ghost Squad or RE: Umbrella Chronicles, the Wii has given us plenty of opportunities to shoot stuff on screen, and I thought I was set. I got my games, I got my Wii, and all I needed now was the classic arcade style gun. Imagine my disappointment when I first laid eyes on the Wii Zapper, Nintendo’s official Wii shooting peripheral.
“No, no, no. This is all wrong,” I said to myself. Don’t get me wrong, the Zapper works well for some games, but half the fun of playing games like Virtua Cop in the arcades was picking up those big pink and blue guns and blasting away at the screen while pretending you look cool. There is no looking cool with the Zapper. Thankfully, one company seemed to be paying attention, and brought gamers what they needed. Along came Nyko, with their version of the Wii Zapper, the Nyko Perfect Shot. Unlike Nintendo, who designed their piece of plastic that holds a Wii Remote around the idea of not looking anything like a gun, Nyko has thrown caution to the win and designed a Wii Remote holder that actually looks and feels like a gun. For this, I wholeheartedly applaud them.
The Perfect Shot is no more than a piece of plastic with some electronics inside. The Wii remote fits snugly into the top part where it plugs easily into a jack shaped like the nunchucks plug. Nyko could have kept the gun at this since most arcade shooters don’t require you to use a joystick at all, but they didn’t. In a stroke of genius the put the nunchuck plug on the bottom of the Perfect Shot’s grip. For those wondering, it seems to work even better than the Zapper does because you aren’t forced to hold one hand behind the other and move both together while playing. It also makes playing First Person Shooters with the Perfect Shot far easier than with a Zapper, though I wouldn’t really do it with either on any regular basis. The only other noticeable feature is an orange plastic piece on the front that clicks up to keep the Wii Remote’s front end in. I’m not really sure why it is there since the Wii Remote is pretty firmly locked in, but luckily it doesn’t seem to cause any trouble when playing
As for playing with the Perfect Shot, I have to say that it is, well, perfect. The minute I plugged in Ghost Squad and started shooting with the gun, I remembered why I used to love going to the arcades and pumping quarters into the shooter machines in the first place. The weight of the Perfect Shot is also fantastic, which was something I was worried about when I first laid my eyes on it. Even more impressive is the satisfying feeling that comes with pulling the trigger to shoot. The Wii Remote’s B button doesn’t really click like those old arcade guns did and just never gave me the same feeling because of it. With the Perfect Shot though, it all clicks back in an incredibly satisfying way. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really think it was going to matter playing with or without the Perfect Shot, but now that I have used it, going back to just the Wii Remote or the Zapper seems almost impossible.
After spending many hours with the Perfect Shot, I really only have two complaints. The first is that the buttons on top of the Wii Remote are harder to get to thanks to the gun-like design of the Perfect Shot. If you need to press the “1″ button, you have to raise your other hand to push it. But it is very obvious that the Perfect Shot wasn’t really designed for doing anything other than shooting at the screen, and you probably wouldn’t be picking it up to do anything else with it anyway. The second is that you have to remove the wrist strap from the bottom of the Wii Remote in order to insert it into the Perfect Shot. While I can’t really see a better way of doing it, as a person who loses small objects like wrist straps very easily, this is kind of annoying.
Also of note is that no other peripheral really shows how well aligned you need to be with the screen to get perfect aiming. When I first started playing I was standing up and was thus higher than my television. This didn’t work so well, but once I sat down I was aiming like a champ. Not really the Perfect Shot’s fault, but something I hadn’t realized until I was forced to aim like I was using a real gun.
If you’re a lover of classic arcade shooters than you’re probably going to want to pick this up immediately. It just makes the entire gaming experience more enjoyable and closer to actually playing in a real arcade. With more and more arcade style shooters being released for the Wii every week, and at only $15 bucks a gun, I suggest you get two then call up your old buddy who you always went to the arcade with, strike your best two-man Charlie’s Angels pose and start blasting away!