Spooky Spirit Shooting Gallery (Switch) Review
Interesting take on classic lightgun gameplay – different and unexpected approach
Tons of things to shoot and mini games to play (some must be unlocked)
Japanese festival setting is unique
Must use single JoyCon only – cannot exit to Home Screen if using left JoyCon in single player
For a shooting gallery, there sure is a lot of text boxes and explaining with every new screen (yeah, I know what co-op and Single Player is, you don’t need to explain that)
Must wait for a timer to play again like a tedious Mobile game
High price point
A multiplayer lightgun shooting gallery published by Aksys, Spooky Spirit Shooting Gallery is a $40 gatcha shooter based around a Japanese festival. Although interesting and unique when compared against the current gaming landscape of roguelikes, it stutters with each forward step.
Using JoyCons as a lightgun, up to 3 local co-op players can participate in the simple shooting mechanics. Unfortunately, if playing single player and using the left JoyCon, solo players have no way to revert back to the Home screen since there is no Home button and the game doesn’t have a way to re-sync controllers. An annoying and game breaking oversight.
The gameplay loop is also weird and inconsistent. Carnival Mode has players converting tokens into ammo. For example, it might cost a few tokens to earn one piece of ammo so the thing you knock over better be worth more than it cost. Strangely, some things are easier to knock over than others but yield more/less points. A timer is also involved so you need to shoot quickly, accurately, and hope you earned enough tokens to keep going. Eventually you will run out of ammo and the game kicks you back to the main menu. However, players need to wait until a tedious countdown timer expires, just like many mobile games, to earn more tokens to play again. This leaves players to walk away, play another game and come back later, or fumble around with the simple mini games (many of which need to be unlocked). Limiting the player’s access to the main gameplay mode is baffling at best. It also takes a lot of time to unlock the extra modes and features, requiring tons of patience, practice, and accuracy.
Thankfully, using the JoyCon as a lightgun works surprisingly well. At times, the sensor will get off center but can be quickly reset with the push of a button. Unfortunately, pop-up explanation menus unnecessarily bother the player and bog down gameplay. One pop up window literally explains that single player is for one player and co-op is for multiple players… umm, yeah, I’m pretty sure the player understands basic English vocabulary.
Spooky Spirit Shooting Gallery is a refreshing Switch experience but the play-and-wait gameplay loop is a frustrating design choice especially for a full $40 game. Each time I was forced to wait another 15 minutes to experience another 3 minutes of gameplay, I wanted to hook up my Wii and play a round of that one shooting gallery mini game in Wii Play.
Also Play: Sniper – Hunter Scope
Not As Fun As: the Resident Evil Umbrella lightgun shooter on PS3/Wii
Wait For It: more JoyCon-based lightgun shooters
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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