(DivX video link at end of post; watch the new video here)
A follow-up to my previous The House of the Dead: Overkill videos, this time focusing on the two affordable current-generation last-generation games that handle aiming calibration properly: Ghost Squad and The House of the Dead 2&3 Return. The video is a series of quick gameplay cuts trying to get the point across: with the appropriate gun+game combo, everything works “great”, not perfectly, but sometimes better than I expect. The footage says a lot, but there’s more I want to add.
Let’s remind ourselves that this is 2006 tech running on 2007 software helped by a  3rd-generation hunk of plastic. Makes you wonder, have Sony Move or Microsoft Kinect given any indication they can perform at a level that competes with the pointer in the “Wii Menu” that’s worked since Wii’s launch? The only major obstacles I had here were maintaining a centered firing position (especially on a stool, shoulders unconsciously sag when I get tired and stuff) and compensating for some [invisible!] pointer/cursor lag (how apparent is it, just by watching the footage?).
As an accessory manufacturer, if you know what the product can really do, and you know what the software can really do, you might do a better job of selling plastic guns by focusing on the RIGHT reasons (decently accurate target practice simulations), instead of having to sucker people into getting it for less worthy reasons (barely functional props that help advertise barely functional Wii Play: Shooting Range derivatives).
Otherwise, like the countless other Wii gun/rifle products, these props exist for cosmetic make-believe purposes rather than attempting to enhance the experience through actual gameplay functionality enhancement (it really is disgusting: we have prosthetics PRETENDING to be useful “light guns”, and lots of software PRETENDING to be decent “shooting” games? when neither work, they develop bad reputations with consumers and simultaneously end up wasting shelf space at retailers – good job, game makers). Look at all the company/press/user “demonstration” web videos for these gun accessories: they do a fine job showing us the “gun” isn’t very useful nor interesting — and that’s scary, to see there’s hardly anyone [immediately visible] out there with a good-enough understading of the products. IT’S 2011 – HOW CAN THIS BE?
Seriously, CTA Digital and other providers often show they have some sense in designing their gun accessories, but their marketing staff have almost NO CLUE how to use them. Press releases and retail boxes will mention: “Works with the following games: RE4…” – HOLY CROW, MAYBE IT DOES WORK, kind of like how I could use two spoons to hold my Wii Remote to play Super Monkey Ball (barf). The thing is, if you’re familiar with the games, you realize the accessories generally bring more harm than fun – unless it’s something like Ghost Squad – but it’s sad that these companies simply can’t tell the difference. Same is true for the the opposite case: “For added effect, a sniper scope and front barrel stand attaches to the rifle for pure cosmetic appeal, not for actual gaming accuracy.” – BUT I USE THE SCOPE for actual gaming accuracy, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the video. As indicated, most (not all) current-gen shooters are inferior products that don’t achieve this kind of accuracy, while the Zapper-clone companies don’t do all of their homework.
There are no more worthy target practice simulators coming out for Wii or any platform. Even the small-scale WiiWare shooters are a total loss in this regard. I am out of luck, confirmed. The games industry proves it knows how to kill itself better than anyone else can.
An extended version of the video is also available, showing slightly longer scenes and “mistakes”.
Wii Sniper Rifle Montage, 2 Videos (DivX)
Hey U – Give Me Real Controls
Wii Cursor Lag Demonstration, 3 60fps Videos (DivX)
REAL LIFE Ghost Squad, 3 Videos (DivX)