The Game for Today!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Duck Hunt - Nintendo's Zapper Classic

The game for today is the old home video arcade game classic… Duck Hunt. Originally developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game console in 1984, the game utilized the NFS Zapper to shoot ducks on screen for points. Duck Hunt was one of the two original “pack-in titles” for the first release of the game system - the other game was Gyromite.

Duck Hunt was not often reviewed due to the mid 1980’s release date. Even today, most critics have not reviewed Duck Hunt. Despite the lack of reviews, several user groups have rated the game positively.

Despite the games lack of acceptance with critics, the characters in Duck Hunt have gone on to appear in several other video games. The dog has appeared in Barker Bill’s Trick Shooting and can be shot in the “Balloon Saloon” game. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, a trophy can be unlocked displaying the ducks. Finally, the WarioWare, Inc. series feature several microgames based on Duck Hunt.

In addition to the characters appearing in other games, Duck Hunt has weaved its way through Pop culture including film, television, music, and the Internet.

Its film credits include Boyz N the Hood and the short film titled Duck Hunted.

On television, it has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and the Drawn Together cartoon series.

The original music was composed by Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka, who has also scored several other Nintendo games. The music was what you would expect for 1980’s video game music (awful by today’s standards), but it is still considered a classic. The game soundtrack is featured in the “Classic Games Medley” on the Video Games Live tour in 2005. Duck Hunt game effects and portions of the sound track were also used in at least one music video…

After Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of Harry Whittington, Duck Hunt made a return to online Internet games with Whittington replacing the dog and/or the ducks.


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