Review: Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa

Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa reminds me of a game at my local Mr. Gatti’s that I enjoy every time I visit. Employing over-sized shotgun peripherals and plenty of game to hunt, it gleefully announces “YOU SHOT A COW!” in a hilariously over-the-top accent should your crosshairs come anywhere near a cow rather than the game meant to be taken down. Mastiff has brought their popular Wii shooter over to the OnLive gaming service with nary a hiccup, and I’m happy to say it manages to channel the attitude and aesthetic of my favorite pizza-place arcade shooter. Though it’s leagues better technically speaking, it’s still campy as all get-out, right down to the announcer.

As the title implies, this is a hunting adventure that takes place in over 25 locations throughout Africa. While you make your way through these environments (cliffs, mineshafts, plains, swamps…you name it) there are over 15 big game animals simply cruisin’ for a bruisin’. These include, but are not limited to, scores of wildebeests, muskrats, elephants, and several other large beasts that you, big hunter you, need to take down.

This is your standard “take aim and fire” shooting gallery type adventure, but it’s the little touches that really help make it so entertaining. Even though these environments are fairly tame and quite bland by gaming standards, little things like weather, fire, or even the wind affecting your skill at shooting make things a little more exciting, especially the fact that you can enlist a friend for help should you need it. This is a game I’d really expect to play more on the Wii, however, for more multiplayer action, as aiming with the OnLive stock controller feels a lot more constricting than using a motion controller would be.

As you make your way through each location taking down the game that is required to advance to the next, there are several animals lurking about that you are not to harm, which makes taking down your intended targets more difficult. It’s not especially difficult to discern the game ripe for the taking, as they’ll usually be a different color or possess a singular distinguishing trait, but it is a job at some points to avoid the harmless wildebeests that roam right out in the way of your sights. And when you’re scrambling to lodge a bullet in some hippopotamus’s head, you’ll be cursing those beasts all night long.

You’ll score extra for head shots as well, in addition to more difficult-to-see long shots. In some cases you’ll pick up additional coins for your trouble, popping out of a downed animal’s carcass. Pleasant! You’ll also find hidden totems throughout each level, expertly hidden amongst foliage and other environmental set-pieces. These can score big for you as well and are factored into your end-of-level stats, in which you’re awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal according to your performance. As with most shooters, it’s satisfying to go back and try to top your bests. You’ve also the option to post your scores for everyone to see…or just your friends, so you can taunt them.

You’ll progress from simple tawdry weapons to bigger and better arms, as well, but bizarrely, you are unable to purchase new items. You can only advance through good ol’ unlocking (you may well become a master of unlocking, Jill) and that seemed odd to me, as they could have let players control their level of advancement. Still, I’m not too sure of exactly what I expected from a budget offering and glad the game offered some level of advancement and achievements as it is.

For all its shortcomings and despite its budget roots and some particularly difficult sections (wild rides in a Jeep through the plains) Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa is enjoyable enough, especially if you’re looking for a quick shooter experience that doesn’t take itself too seriously. You won’t find the complexity or nuance of Activision’s Cabela’s series, but that’s not really the goal with this quirky, campy arcade-style romp through Africa. My only real complaint was using the OnLive controller, which isn’t as intuitive or fluid as the original Wii version’s motion-controls. But if its a quick and quirky hunting trip that you’re after, this release should do just fine…just don’t be expecting anything too elaborate.

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