It’s a testament to success of the NES-era Duck Hunt that 25 years later, games like Remington Great American Bird Hunt are still aping its simple formula. Bird Hunt consists namely of 12 hunting tournaments. At the start of each, you’re mysteriously transported to a bland vista, ranging from tranquil ponds to open fields to Unabomber-style shacks. A bird will eventually fly across the vista, and when it does, the object is to point at the bird and pull the trigger on the Wii remote. After each kill, a faceless announcer says obvious things like “Great shot, buddy!” and “You can’t miss!”
Shoot the right kind of bird to earn points. Shoot the wrong kind of bird, and lose points. For example, when hunting ducks, it’s okay to shoot ducks, but not bluejays. (The game makes this distinction of what you can and can’t shoot at the start of each level.) From a distance, it’s very easy to shoot the wrong kind of bird. Sometimes you have to wait for it to fly closer so you can get a better look at it. Sometimes waiting for a bird to fly closer can take a long time.
Things get a bit more complicated later. Birds appear in flocks—shoot them all and earn a “Flock Bonus.” Birds also start flying in crazy patterns. Sometimes they actually land on the ground. Shoot them while they’re on the ground, and lose points.
This sounds dull because it is. Don’t be surprised if you wind up pushing your multiplier higher not because you care about shooting birds, but because you want to see how many variations of “Great shot, buddy!” the voiceover actor had to record.
RGABH doesn’t improve on the Duck Hunt formula in any remarkable way. Surely the act of hunting has got to be more interesting than this pedestrian cursor chase. At best, Bird Hunt might have captured a bit of the essence of the sport. At worst, it might have turned into a crude Larry The Cable Guy-type joke. Unfortunately, this undercooked offering does neither.