The days of glory for lightgun games were pretty much over well before Wii came along and when Nintendo announced a new platform with its innovative wireless controls, being a lightgun game fan I got my hopes up. I used to think that maybe Wii would revitalize the lightgun genre somehow but time had shown that I couldn't have been more wrong. Lightgun games did appear, but there still are very few titles to choose from, and most of them we've already seen on other platforms [like House of the Dead 2 & 3].
I was exceited when I first heard about Sega porting Ghost Squad to Wii. I spent alot of time with the arcade version of this game and I was always fond of Sega lightgun titles. So how well did the porting go and how does Ghost Squad look and play on a home platform compared to a dedicated arcade machine?
The game does very well on the Wii and you don't even need the plastic piece of crap Nintendo likes to call Zapper. With the crosshair on, you can enjoy the game using just the remote and it won't be less fun, I promise. That's how I play it and if it doesn't bother me, I can't see how it could bother anyone else. Originating from an Xbox based Chihiro arcade board, Ghost Squad isn't anything that Wii couldn't handle and the graphics look the way they looked on the arcade machine. No complaints here. The gameplay is still solid, and everything works, so what is there to complain about? There has to be something, right?
I guess the most serious issue is the game length. Ghost Squad consists of only three stages which can be completed pretty quickly. Sega could have tried harder if you ask me, but all they did to add to the replay value is a bunch of bonuses and a stage and character leveling system. Once you finish a stage, you can play it on a higher level. Changing levels aren't only about difficulty, but also about the graphics. A certain stage will look different on another level. Day will turn to night or sunset, enemies will attack in different ways, multiple routes will open.
The game features two bonus modes. Ninja mode - where you throw shurikens at bad guys who now are dressed like ninjas, and so are you and your squad. Paradise mode - where weild a dolphin shaped water gun and squirt the water at bikini clad baddies and ridiculously looking boss characters showing tanlines from bras and such. It's all fun but it doesn't really add that much to the game. Ninja mode plays just like the regular mode would and the only thing different in Paradise mode, except for the graphics, are the horrible sounds your wiimote makes when using the dolphin gun, and the fact that you have to tweak your aiming since the water tends to arch down when shot out of the gun.
Ghost Squad is a really fun game, especially if you love Sega lightgun games, which all tend to have the same atmosphere around them. It's beyond me however, why Sega didn't port Virtua Cop 3, which just like Ghost Squad, runs on Chihiro board, but is longer, bigger, better and more bad-ass. By clicking on the video link above you can check out a small game review showing some of the additional costumes and modes, aswell as a quick playthrough. If you find this game for cheap, pick it up and get yourself on the internet ranking boards. I wouldn't pay a full retail price for this one and the main reason I picked it up was the pricetag and my love for the arcade original. Sega can do better. They just can't be bothered these days, it seems.
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