The Wii Zapper is out and so are compatible games. But which is the best? Link's Crossbow Training is a bonus game that comes with the Wii Zapper, in the same way that Wii Sports comes with the Wii, so you have no choice but to add the little green elf's first shooter to your game collection. But is it better than Capcom's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles? VideoGamer.com's Versus series pits the two Wii Zapper compatible games head to head and finds out which has the quickest trigger finger.

GRAPHICS

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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

For a third party game on the Wii, Umbrella Chronicles looks like a game from the future, with cool lighting effects, destructible environments and nice scenery. Disappointingly and strangely, it doesn't look as good as Resident Evil 4. But it will certainly impress Wii owners who have had their eyes burnt by some of the rubbish out on the console. Umbrella Chronicles retreads familiar settings from Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, so there won't be many surprises in terms of what you'll be looking at as you slowly travel along the game's rails. But that doesn't stop the game's looks from being a solid, decent effort. Try shooting that light out. You never know what secret it might hold.

Link's Crossbow Training

Crossbow training uses the same engine as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and as such is a pretty impressive looking game. Again, it's an on-rails shooter to a degree, so you don't get to fully take in many of the environments, but certain stages do allow you to free-aim to some degree. Sadly the visuals are hurt somewhat by what looks like some kind of blur filter that gives everything an extremely soft appearance. There's also far less cohesiveness to the settings than in Umbrella Chronicles, with each level often being seemingly unrelated to the last as there's no story tying them together.

Verdict:

Umbrella Chronicles' graphics zero in on Link's forehead and takes the little green elf out with a deadly accurate head shot.

SOUND

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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

While UC's sound effects are good (the ever satisfying brain explosion whenever you relieve a zombie of its head is reassuringly in place) the game is let down by the forgettable music. For a game that's supposed to be about horror and suspense, the soundtrack does little to make you feel uncomfortable or scared. In fact, we barely noticed it. What you have in effect is an action blaster game where you are never worried about what's coming round the corner rather than a heart-stopping shock-a-thon, which is what Resident Evil is all about. A musical missed opportunity then.

Link's Crossbow Training

The Zelda series has always had great music and Twilight Princess was no exception, and therefore Link's Crossbow Training has great music too. Fans of Twilight Princess will appreciate it the most, but newcomers to the franchise will find its mix of casual and intense melodies a great fit for the on-screen action. Other than that it's pretty typical stuff for the genre, with nothing special to set it apart.

Verdict:

Link cocks his crossbow, steadies his trigger finger and lets fly a bolt that pierces Umbrella Chronicles straight through the heart.

GAMEPLAY

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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

UC is good, no-brainer fun. It won't blow you away, nor will it disappoint you. It's best played in short, casual bursts (it's hard work on the wrist) because it can get repetitive after extended play, but don't let that put you off. The big problem however is with targeting accurately - the Wii Remote, the Wii Zapper (the game plays better with the Wii Remote) and indeed the Wii itself aren't built for precision targeting, so don't expect GunCon-style shooting. It can be a bit frustrating at times because of this. Still though, if you don't expect a revolution, when it doesn't come you won't be disappointed.

Link's Crossbow Training

As a pure target shooter Link's Crossbow Training actually works OK, even if it's not as fun as a real light-gun game. Problems arise when you're asked to move the camera as well as aim - something that makes for extreme annoyance. It's a more extreme level of control than what's found in Umbrella Chronicles' slight camera control and doesn't work nearly as well. Gameplay is far more basic than what's seen in Umbrella Chronicles, with the game featuring none of the alternative attacks such as grenades and knife slashes.

Verdict:

Umbrella Chronicles releases a pin, chucks a grenade and smiles as Link's body parts fly through the air.

MULTIPLAYER

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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

While the screen can get a bit busy at times while playing two-player co-op, it's still good fun. Certainly it's no worse an experience than playing on your own. You don't both use the same set-up either, so one could be using a Wii Remote on its own, while the other is playing using a Wii Remote and Nunchuck strapped to a Wii Zapper. Again, sound zombie action for quick bursts rather than a weekend-long session. Perfect for post-pub gaming.

Link's Crossbow Training

Not much to talk about here as Crossbow Training is a single-player game only. What you do get is a 'take it in turns' game mode for up to four players, where you can see who is the best shot in Hyrule. Sadly there's no co-operative or direct head-to-head game modes on offer.

Verdict:

With Link collapsed on the ground and rapidly losing blood, Umbrella Chronicles casually walks towards his helpless victim and head stomps him into oblivion. Nice.

FINAL SCORE

If you've got a Wii Zapper you'll automatically have Link's Crossbow Training. But that doesn't make it the best on the rails shooter available on the console. Unfortunately compared with Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Nintendo's brave green elf ducks for cover. The funniest thing? Both games are better played without the Wii Zapper, so there's no need to get Crossbow Training at all. Umbrella Chronicles isn't perfect, but it wins this battle hands down.