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Review #033: Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition Bundle (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed By: John B. Published By: Planet Entertainment Category: Sports, Simulation, Action, Lifestyle Release Date: 11.06.18



Download Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

Purchase Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition (Regular) here.

Purchase Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition (Bundle) here.


It’s not often I get a physical copy of a game to review, so when our beloved EiC got a copy of Cabela’s The Hunt: Championship Edition, it was pretty cool. The box comes with a copy of the game and a peripheral to turn the Joy-Cons into a shotgun, so visions of my brother and I fighting over the light gun and a copy of Duck Hunt as kids flashed through my mind. Unfortunately the experience fell a bit short of that.


Hunting Big Game

Cabela’s The Hunt is a hunting simulator, and so that’s pretty much what the action is centered around. The game menu hub is based around a Cabela’s store, where you can buy new weapons and accessories for your hunter avatar. I chose the old man and named him Mr. Oldman. I felt very clever. There are three main game modes, Seasonal Hunt, Free Hunt, and Shooting Gallery. Seasonal Hunt is the closest there is to a story mode; it sees you travel to different locations and hunt certain targets to unlock new equipment and the next area. Free Hunt allows you to return to any unlocked area and explore it freely. The Shooting Gallery is just what the name says; targets pop up, and you shoot them.



The mechanics of the game are solid enough, for the most part, but a little stiff. Aiming can be done both with the thumbsticks and the Switch’s motion controls, and they’re both enabled by default. I’d recommend turning one or the other off, as they often interfere with each other unless you hold the controller perfectly still. Using the peripheral with your Joy-Con to create a light gun is a little cumbersome. The motion control aiming is more sluggish than using the Joy-Con’s thumbstick to look around. There is also a pretty noticeable input lag when using a controller wirelessly, so I’d also recommend plugging your controller in or playing undocked with connected Joy-Cons.


You have your choice of four types of weapons; rifles, shotguns, sidearms, and bows. They’re useful in different situations, according to the game, but frankly, the only one that played differently was the bow. You have to hold the fire button to keep an arrow drawn, but even then, anything but a headshot is a waste of time. You can move around on foot, in stealth mode, or on an ATV to cover more ground quickly. The walking and sneaking speeds are painfully slow, and the ATV controls can be pretty janky, especially if you try to go over an obstacle.



Presentation

Cabela’s The Hunt just looks old. The graphics look slightly sharper than PS2-era visuals, but that’s about where the level of detail ends. They actually look a little better in the Switch’s undocked mode, but not by much. The backgrounds and character models are more pixelated than you would expect for a game released in 2018 that wasn’t specifically trying to evoke another era of gaming. The music is a mix of country and rock’n’roll that isn’t bad, but the lack of track variety becomes apparent pretty quickly. There’s no music when hunting, just loud and sometimes annoying sounds of the forest. I ended up never wanting to shoot the deer, only whatever loud bird was caw-caw-cawing in my ear for fifteen solid minutes.


One For the Trophy Room?

Unfortunately, I walked away from this game disappointed with the overall experience. The gameplay was slow and the control schemes were often jerky and inaccurate. Filling up the game’s trophy room brought me no sense of accomplishment and the gameplay had no real variety. I suppose the game pretty fairly mirrors an actual hunting experience, but I’m no hunter, I’m a gamer. And this game lacks the things gamers look for.


Final Score: 3/10


Download Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

Purchase Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition (Regular) here.

Purchase Cabela's The Hunt: Championship Edition (Bundle) here.


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