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Game Review

Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

To the hunt

Even before it was released, Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D was already turning heads and churning out some very interesting debate about what is and is not considered appropriate for a video game. Because this title is all about hunting on an African safari and involves the killing of wild - and in many cases, endangered - animals, it’s no surprise that there would be some naysayers before the game was even released. The good news is that, when looked at objectively, and with issues of morality and ethics aside, it’s actually a well-crafted and engaging game.

Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D is a simple on-rails arcade-style shooter, but there's a surprising amount of meat on the bone. While the story telling leaves much to be desired (seeing as there is no plot except “shoot a bunch of wild animals”), the simplicity in gameplay and desire to achieve higher combos and scores more than makes up for it. Players definitely won’t be drawn to Outdoors Unleashed for its engaging narrative, but will instead be charmed by the ease of use and impressive replayability.

There are five different safaris to play, each comprised of seven stages, coming to a grand total of 35 levels. Each of these levels can last anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, making it pretty easy to get through all of them in around three hours. Three hours may not seem like a very lengthy game, but being able to replay any level at will - fused with the desire to achieve a higher score in each level - definitely makes Outdoors Unleashed worth playing through more than once.

Each level has three different target scores with a different medal rank associated with each. Points are earned by shooting target animals while on safari, but points are also deducted when other animals are shot instead, adding an element of precision to the game and ensuring that players aren’t just shooting everything in sight. Earning a high enough score will grant players a gold medal for the stage, but any ranking allows the player to move on to the next hunt. Scoring high and finishing hunts also unlocks new items for players, such as upgraded weapons with increased accuracy or sunglasses that slow down time for more precise shooting. The inclusion of these different unlockables results in a decent level of variety in the gameplay, and allows players to customize their hunter to a certain extent.

The inclusion of trophies adds even more incentive for replayablity. Working much like an achievement system, trophies are awarded for completing tasks such as earning a gold medal in each stage or scoring a certain amount of head shots. With over 60 trophies to earn and collect, achievement hunters will definitely have their work cut out for them.

Outdoors Unleashed is controlled using either the 3DS’s touchscreen or the face buttons, giving players a variety of comfortable options to choose from when playing. Both control schemes are always readily available, so switching between touch or button controls in an options menu is not a necessary task. Because the game is on-rails, players don’t actually control the camera’s movement throughout each level, but instead control a crosshair on the 3DS’s top screen using either the touchscreen or the circle pad. Also accessible from the touchscreen are options to reload, switch weapons, or use different items that may be equipped. If you choose to use button controls, then these additional options are tied into the A, B, X, and Y buttons as well. And, of course, shooting is as simple as pressing either the left or right shoulder buttons, making this game accommodating for both left and right handed players.

In terms of visuals, Outdoors Unleashed definitely isn’t a perfect package, but it gets the job done. All of the animals and environments are presented as 3D polygon characters, and the 3DS’s ability to add depth to the imagery only enhances this effect. Having an legitimate three-dimensional perspective in a hunting game is sort of a revelation, as it gives real perspective on how near or far a target might be. Unfortunately, there is some blurring and pixelating when animals are too far away, which can become a bit detrimental when trying to aim for those really distant targets.

There’s not much to be said about the audio in this title besides that it fits the tone and setting of the game. The game’s menus are filled with tribal drums and other appropriate rhythms, while the actual gameplay is mostly flooded with environmental and animal sounds. It’s simplistic, but very effective for the African setting.

Conclusion

Ethical issues aside, Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D is a pretty great game. Anyone who’s a fan of arcade style on-rails shooters will definitely get plenty of enjoyment out of this one, even if the entire campaign only lasts around three hours. With over 60 trophies to earn, achievement hunters will have their work cut out for them, but replaying a level never feels like a chore. For a fun and addictive game that can be played at your own pace, this is definitely a download worth hunting down.

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User Comments (45)

OorWullie

#4

OorWullie said:

Seems religion is a no go with Nintendo but hunting endangered animals is fine!

Alienfish

#5

Alienfish said:

I haven't played the game, but I broke out laughing watching that video. I can't wait to see Neighborhood Unleashed! Puppies and Kittens Edition!
Alright, a COMBO!!!

Void

#6

Void said:

Apparently better than I expected, I'll still pass on it though, it's just not my kind of game.
One thing I really noticed about this review is that the score shows up as 6 and 7/12ths stars on my 3DS.

yobucky

#8

yobucky said:

I wasn't actually going to give this game a second thought until this review... good job. I think I'll buy it sometime, I thought it would just be like "crazy chickens" with realistic animals, but having trophies, upgrades and targeting only certain animals makes it sound more challenging...

woodlin37

#10

woodlin37 said:

I love the hunting games on xbox and this looks decent also, is this available on the UK eshop or is it just a USA release?

Doobah

#12

Doobah said:

I really like this game. How come there wasn't an uproar about the same game being released on Wii a couple of years ago? On Wii it was known as Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa.

rayword45

#13

rayword45 said:

@ScreamoPichu Hunting games are a staple of arcades, and this game is milder in content then games like RE: Rev talking about violence.

Religion-mocking games are still taboo, however.

Samholy

#15

Samholy said:

7?? you gotta be kidding me lol
get kid icarus if you really wanna rail shootin !

Fabian

#18

Fabian said:

I don´t understand why everyone is still thinking that Teyon makes bad games they make a pretty good job on 3ds eshop

Donjwolf

#22

Donjwolf said:

@Mattiator Except it's not a hunting game. An actual hunting game involves a lot of walking, stealth and observation and hope the animal doesn't see/smell/hear you and bolts before you can get a good shot. You won't see a dozen animals come rushing at you waiting to be shot at in a realistic hunting game.

"Hunting games" nowadays are nothing more than glorified shooting galleries. I'm sure they're probably fun if you like that kind of stuff, but that's definitely not 'hunting.' If you're looking for an actual hunting game, best to turn to the PC for those. theHunter is the best one there is.

Dodger

#24

Dodger said:

@#18 Teyon is almost amusing. You know they are making Iphone type games with themes they think will sell well and they often make rather lame games, thanks to that (101 shark pets, chicken hunter 3D, Etc). Every once in a while though, something works. They make a creative game with a lot of charm for a great price (Bird Mania, Candle Route, Etc.). It seems like they accidentally create good games. :P

SteveW

#26

SteveW said:

This has been on the Wii for 2 years now, it was named Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa and it's made by Mastiff (not Teyon). There is also a North America and Alaska game. I hope they get ported as well.

rayword45

#28

rayword45 said:

@Alienfish They're not going to do that, because obviously the general public isn't going to be calm over a game where you bash "cute" or "fluffy" animals like that.

But, as I said, hunting games (or shooting galleries) are staples of arcades, and it's not exactly a taboo (and those games often feature endangered animals as the prize animal, along with scantily clad women holding guns for no reason at all.)

AlGator

#31

AlGator said:

I will buy this at its price. It's just a game, and it's not like you're killing people in it...

HaastMK7

#32

HaastMK7 said:

From Bird Mania to Outdoors Unleashed Africa. The game looks awesome, it is a must buy for me :)

WaveyChristmas

#37

WaveyChristmas said:

The animal animations look simular to something out of the PS1 era. lol
I found the trailer absolutely hilarious. It slowly drifts you into the jungle with beautiful amazonian tunes as if Simba's being born again in The Lion King, while you're blasting down and slaughtering wild life.lol

I can't be bothered wasting my money and time on these half baked looking I phone games. The stereoscopic 3D is the only thing that has me interested.

Slapshot

#39

Slapshot said:

Great review @Ron!

I really enjoyed the last game I played from Teyon, which was Heavy Fire: Afghanistan for the PlayStation 3, w/Move. I just might have to grab this . :)

Justaguest

#40

Justaguest said:

How about giving us Isaac instead of animal abuse hm? When I first saw this game I did not read anything.. I thought it is zoo tycoon. what an irony.

JuanitoShet

#41

JuanitoShet said:

Looks like a decent game. When I get my hands on a Pre-Paid card, this one's one I'm keeping in mind.

Nintendawg

#42

Nintendawg said:

GROWL
Killing animals, even for virtual entertainment is plain cruel and should not be endorsed.

Nintendood

#43

Nintendood said:

@Nintendawg - Oh please! If killing humans in games is acceptable, then so is killing animals.

I've seen this listed on several sites as a retail 3DS game released in the US on December 13, 2011 (for $29.99), and in the UK a month ago! Has anyone played the retail version, and do you know if there's any difference in the amount of content?

WinterWarm

#45

WinterWarm said:

@OorWullie

Bringing the death of endangered animals "direct" to you. Lol.

@R-Moss, Because humans can wield guns. Animals usually, wait, animals ALWAYS have to get close to attack/defend. I personally don't think killing animals is always a bad thing. Especially when bacon is involved. Although killing endangered animals for sport is bad.

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