Since the launch of the Nintendo Wii, several manufacturers, including Nintendo itself, have taken on the challenge of designing a perfect peripheral to take us back to the days of classic arcade light-gun games. At CES 2009, Nyko introduced the Wand, a replacement for the Wii remote that has the ability to receive button commands from attached accessories via the nunchuk port on its base, removing the need for an accessory to have moving parts that physically press the buttons on the remote. With the £30 Nyko Wand Action Pak, this 'Trans-Port' technology gets its first implementation, in the form of a pistol.
The Action Pak includes both a Wand and a pistol grip. It doesn't appear that the grip can be purchased on its own, so, if you've already bought a Wand, you're going to end up with two.
Attaching the Wand to the pistol grip is easy. With the Wand's battery door removed and the pistol's barrel open, you slide the Wand down and in. Closing the barrel will lock the Wand in place. Then you're pretty much set to play.
What's exciting about the pistol grip is that its trigger doesn't physically engage the Wand's B button when pulled. The pistol's trigger is its own button, without any direct connection to the Wand remote. The B button command is merely sent to the Wand when you press the trigger.
This design will be welcome to anyone who has had experience with the Nintendo Wii Zapper or the Nyko Perfect Shot, which both rely on physically pressing the Wii remote's B button. While those two products can become irritating to use during extended gameplay sessions, the Action Pak pistol requires much less force to operate.
The pistol grip also gives you more customisation options than you might expect. You can reverse the A and B buttons' functions on the Wand, just in case you're playing a game where A shoots instead of B. A little switch near the pistol's nunchuk port controls this feature. Also, the hammer on the pistol can be pressed to effectively hit A and B together, a command that has acted as the Wii's universal 'OK' button combination.
We tried the Wand Action Pak out with games such as House of the Dead: Overkill and EA's Dead Space: Extraction. Both games are 'on-rails shooters' -- titles where your movements are predetermined but you can alter your view and shoot at will. While using the pistol grip can be rather jarring at first, once you've levelled yourself on the screen, you'll find that the device performs quite well.
The Action Pak comes with two AA batteries for use with the Wand. The grip itself doesn't require power. You'll probably want to invest in a rechargeable Wii remote solution if you haven't already -- most rechargeable batteries will fit the Wand as well, our favourite being the Nyko Charge Station.
We don't have many negative things to say about the Wand Action Pak, but it's slightly more expensive than we'd have liked. We also wish the pistol grip were available by itself, given that some people will have bought a Wand when it first was released.
The Nyko Wand Action Pak represents a great start for the company's Trans-Port technology. It provides a better shooting experience than the Nintendo Wii Zapper or the Nyko Perfect Shot and is recommended for any Wii gamer who is serious about the light-gun genre.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet