This time it's personal!
What do you do if the game you've created has topped the sales charts and becomes an overnight success? You pump out the sequels of course! With the unexpected success of Deer Hunter and Deer Hunter: Extended Season, Wizard Works is hoping to prolong the hunting simulation frenzy with their latest release, Rocky Mountain Trophy Hunter (RMTH).
It all started deep within the bowels of the chain of suburban super-stores called WalMart. A game unlike anything ever seen before was unleashed upon the public: Deer Hunter. The innocent consumers were taken by surprise as mass mind-control forced them to pull out their wallets and eat up warehouses full of the game. Then came the horror of Deer Hunter: Extended Season. Picking up where it's predecessor left off, this evil spawn mercilessly slaughtered the competition and left the gaming industry in a state of confusion and panic. It wasn't a pretty sight. And now comes RMTH. Who knows what diabolical plans the evil game-masters at Wizard Works have in stall for us this time around. Buyer beware!
The basic premise of all these games is to simulate real hunting. That means picking supplies, going out into the wilderness, tracking animals, and eventually shooting them. The animals don't explode and you can't have death matches or fire laser-guided rockets. This is definitely not Quake; and that's probably why these games have had such success.
In RMTH, you are limited to hunting on a single, mapped area of the Rocky Mountains. The area is 49 square miles and has all sorts of terrain, ranging from hills, to wooded areas, to grasslands, to mountains. Along with the variety of scenery comes a variety of animals: bears, big horn sheep, elk, and moose. In order to hunt these animals, you can arm yourself with a shotgun, rifle, compound bow, muzzle loader, and 6 shot revolver. But this wouldn't be real hunting without all the extra gizmos. RMTH caters to your hunting desires with animal calls, animal scents, a scope, binoculars, a tree stand, and other various tools of the trade.
The interface is simple and easy to master. You first start out with an overhead view of the hunting area. This shows all the terrain and details that your hunter sees, such as animal tracks and bedding areas. You click on where you want to go, and your hunter moves. When you find a place you want to hunt, then you click on a button and the hunting screen is brought up. The hunting screen is a 360 degree, panoramic view of the wilderness; just like looking through the eyes of a hunter. You can rotate all around and look up and down, but you can't move except on the map. If there's an animal, just raise your weapon, aim, and fire. It's that easy.
RMTH is graphically superior to Deer Hunter. The scenes of the Rockies appear to be from actual photos and are about as close to reality as one can get on a computer monitor. Since these aren't graphically intensive games, there really isn't much to bark over. The animals look like they should, and the guns look like guns.
The sounds in RMTH are just what you'd expect of a hunting game. You hear the howling wind, cries of distant animals, and gunshots. You also hear yourself perform the fake animal calls. The bear call gets my vote for sounding most like a dying baby. Once in a while your hunter will impart some wise advice, such as "Yeah, I got him."
If you own or have played Deer Hunter, RMTH will be a breeze for you to pick up. The options have been enhanced a little, but the game is largely the same. This is the downfall of most sequels. RMTH is a better game than Deer Hunter, but it isn't exactly a huge step forward. The only difference is that there are more animals, a few more gadgets, fewer maps, and better graphics. It's just another game designed to ride on the success of its predecessors.
One upgrade in particular that makes RMTH stand out is the ability to track wounded animals. If you happen to shoot an animal and it doesn't die, it will leave blood trails that you can follow. Eventually, the animal will die and you can claim your prize, or you can find the wounded beast and do the job right.
As with Deer Hunter, there's nothing really wrong with RMTH. It's a fun game that can distract you for twenty minutes, and then you can stop playing. I would've liked the trophy room to be larger (only ONE bear?), but it really isn't a big deal. The only way they could really enhance the game is to make it 3D or add some multi-player. It's obvious why these games are such a success; the designers did a great job.
With a bargain price of around $20, RMTH is a must-buy for hunting fans who do not already own Deer Hunter. Those of you who own Deer Hunter should ask yourselves if you want to spend money on a cosmetically altered version of the same game. And any newcomers should give RMTH a chance, because it's better than Deer Hunter and it's a cheap thrill.