reviews\ Jun 19, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Ultimate Duck Hunting - PC - Review

Ultimate Duck Hunting is a great way to pass the summer months waiting until the fall for some waterfowl hunting. The game is divided into five stages, selecting among six real waterfowl preserves in North America. You also choose your accessories (shotgun, decoys, camo, and dog). Rather than just be a blast-and-dash hunting game, UDH incorporates some dog retrieving techniques that are unique to the genre.

As you progress through the game, and your faithful hunting companion starts gathering the fallen birds, you can earn points to spend on additional training for you dog. Once your dog is proficiently trained it certainly makes your hunting experience much more enjoyable.

Visually the game does not look all that wonderful. With the current graphic powerhouses on the market it could be pretty disappointing to some. With that being said, it will run on any Windows platform and just about any Windows-compatible PC. The sound quality was pretty good. In fact, when I was playing and using some of the duck calls, it had my yellow lab looking for ducks in my closet.

Though Multiplayer is available it is very difficult to find a game at any given moment to play. If you know somebody who has the game, you can also play on a LAN. For those who don’t, I can only recommend going online to some message boards to set up some competition. You can do this from the official Website. Though you do not need to go online to enjoy the game, it does provide for some added enjoyment to test your skills.

I hate to gripe but I cannot let this go without putting in a couple of cents. Only three shells in a gun is legal for duck hunting. Any water fowler knows that if a shotgun has a capacity of more than 3 shells, a plug is needed. C’mon guys, even Nintendo, a Japanese game maker, got this right in their first version of duck hunting for their first-generation console. Also I have never seen, let alone heard of a double barrel shotgun that can shoot five shells before reloading. Last, but not least, when you hunt ducks you call them in and then pop up, aim and shoot. You do not stand looking down the barrel and expect the birds to get close enough to shoot. Regardless on how much you blast on the call. In the game you can only pop up once then you stay standing for the remainder of the hunt. That is just not how you do it people! For a game that took almost two years to make you would think that they might have done a little research.

Avid duck hunters are certainly the target audience and this game may please them, but to those fly-by-night hunting gamers looking for a more rounded hunting game with other game species to peruse may be a bit disappointed. This would make a great game for the older generation hunters looking for a game that is easy to play on their PC. Good gift for Grandpa!

Review Scoring Details for Ultimate Duck Hunting

Gameplay: 7.0
You will be blasting birds in no time. The user interface is quite easy. I found the dog training tutorial kind of pointless, but I did like that you could improve your dogs abilities as you gain experience in the game.

Graphics: 6.0
The graphics are a dated to say the least. Some camera angles could have been better especially when you are hunkered down in your blind waiting for the ducks to get close. This does not affect all blinds, but it does not go unnoticed in a couple of locations. I want to look outside the blind, not at the back of it.

Sound: 7
Pretty basic sounds, though the duck calls were very realistic. My yellow lab was looking for birds around the house when I was playing. Talk about teasing!

Difficulty: Easy
Though you can keep trying to get better scores, the game plays quite easily.

Concept: 7.0
There may be many hunting games out there, but not too many offer any wing shooting. I like the idea of playing Multiplayer but was disappointed in not finding any games. Working with dog retrieving is a refreshing feature to the genre.

Multiplayer: N/A
Though MP is supported no games were found at time of review

Overall: 6.5
Though the game can be fun at first, I just don’t see much replayability here despite the multiplayer option.

Above Average

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