|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Am2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The most disappointing factor of Ghost Squad is what was really supposed to be its strongest point; that being the alternative tasks that you must take care of between combat. The biggest problem is that there aren't enough of them and the puzzles that exist are really too easy. From defusing bombs by cutting wires in a certain order to disarming particular forms of weaponry, each task is way too simple and just feels unnecessarily tacked on. There are a couple of highlights, including a time-based President rescuing situation and a dagger fight that utilizes the Wii-mote as an imitation blade, but there just aren't enough like these to balance the gameplay.
What you can look forward to though is an on-your-toes experience and plenty of good old fashioned "run and gun" combat. And while playing Ghost Squad by yourself makes for a fun few hours, it is the multiplayer and quirky Paradise and Ninja modes that bring out its charm.
There is a subjective aspect within video games that a lot of people generally don't appreciate, and that is a game's charm. Whether it is the way a story is presented or the theme the title inadvertently conveys, every game may or may not reach out to a particular group of people. In Ghost Squad's case, the theme would have to be a throwback to the mid-nineties, where light gun games ran rampant. Paradise mode and Ninja mode bring about that silliness and should bring a smile to the face of anyone who grew up gaming in the eighties and nineties. There isn't necessarily anything different with the mechanics of these two modes, but the way in which the enemies are presented graphically is different. Paradise mode will have your terrorist opponents scantily clad in bikinis and rubber rafts, all the while shooting at you with super soakers. If that doesn't sound silly enough, Ninja mode unleashes the world of shinobi upon you, leaving you with nothing but an infinite supply of ninja stars with which to defend yourself. There are plenty of oddball situations and it makes for some hilarious moments that you won't soon forget.
It is too bad that one of the few problems with the title has to do with its visuals. The game really does look like a Playstation 2 title, with the flat textures, uninspired backgrounds, and lack of overall detail deterring from the experience a bit. It is unfortunate that Nintendo has been the only company thus far to truly take advantage of its system's graphical power. Then again, light gun games have never transferred well graphically to their destined console. Where the game truly shines is the audio, which is chock full of that classic cheesy voice-acting. The music is a mix of upbeat rock and techno, with classic sound effects popping up here and there. Also worthy of note is that the title utilizes the Wii-mote's speaker function, which will occasionally buzz when you reload and fire your weapon. Overall, it's really what you would expect from a light gun game made by Sega, and even after all these years they still have a knack for reviving that latent nostalgia in us all.
Ghost Squad is a culmination of hits and misses, forming a package that succeeds because of its quirky charm and traditional gameplay. Though there are some control misqueues and a lacking visual department, Ghost Squad features a slew of unlockables and replayable game modes to keep any action gamer coming back for more. Though there are only three missions, but the dozens of difficulty factors and alternate paths keep the game fresh, and the addition of a four player mode can make for some fun face-offs with your friends. Add to that the fact that the game is only 30 dollars and you have quite a deal on your hands. All in all, if you are looking for an in depth action experience on par with Halo 3 or Bioshock, definitely look elsewhere. However, if rail shooters are your preference, Ghost Squad is definitely worth at least a rental. If not for the adventure, then at least try it for the additional modes found within. Funny stuff.
CCC Freelance Writer