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The Shoot for PS3 Move was a fun way to break up all time with more worthy role playing games and kept me coming back to improve my score. Great fun, but perhaps too brief an experience if point chasing isn't your bag.
I've never been a fan of light gun games, deeming them the experience too lightweight, due to their arcade origins that focus on action rather than narrative. Unusually though, I found myself drawn to The Shoot after playing the demo. This curiosity stemmed as much from a lack of software for my Move controller as a genuine desire to explore the genre, but The Shoot surprised me.
The Shoot is played in a movie set rather than just a shooting gallery - an excitable director ready to cut your playtime should you take too many hits, but why we need him isn't really clear. Rather than focusing on the perfect take, the emphasis throughout is on fun and high scores. Whilst this might be seen as too easy, it means there's something here for both casual players and those who will repeat play for high scores.
The Shoot provides five very different scenarios to blast your way through from the Wild West to 1940's Rocket-men. In each the targets are made of wood making the game potentially family friendly - if it weren't for the bonuses you get from "head shots". The abstraction provided by making them of chipboard felt irrelevant with a narrator aimed at mature audiences.
The shooting felt extremely precise and satisfying, with a methodical sweep of the screen enabling me to chain hits together.
High scores are achieved for chaining hits together and whilst I didn't struggle to complete the stages, I had to work to get anywhere on the online leader boards. Chaining hits also gives you one of three temporary upgrades: an ability to slow time, destruction of all onscreen targets and an automatic fire mode. These are triggered in different ways and whilst spinning yourself 360 degrees to slow time is fun, triggering the "smart bomb" is all too easy to do, removing its strategic impact.
The wooden cut-outs may be your main quarry, you can also destroy environmental objects such as TNT barrels and these will keep your score multiplier going and are fun to splinter. Occasionally, destroying something will trigger a chain reaction and finding these and the hidden objects within each level were also fun to find.
The last element in play are the quick draw moments that ask you to put the Move controller by your side before taking the quickest shot. I'm not sure whether I was doing anything wrong, but these seemed too easy, breaking my flow rather than adding variety.
Even the Dressup Gamer needs to take the occasional break and this was a casually rewarding game.
From a technical point of view, the shooting felt extremely precise and satisfying, with a methodical sweep of the screen enabling me to chain hits together. Despite the obvious difference between the Move controller and holding a gun, I could still picture myself as a cowboy, a gangster or perhaps just someone having fun at the shooting gallery.
Once you've played through each scenario, you can play them again in score attack mode. Here those scenes are broken down into smaller chunks and for me this faster paced mode felt much more rewarding. Score chasing works better in five minute blasts making The Shoot a great filler between this winter's big narrative driven adventures.
In one sense you'll see everything The Shoot has to offer in just a few hours, but if you get obsessed about high scores it could divert you for much longer. For me, it's just good fun and something to play between hours of Fallout and Fable III. Even the Dressup Gamer needs to take the occasional break and this was a casually rewarding game.
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