Review: I... will give you permission... to use... the grenades!
Nintendo's "Wii Zapper" is little more than a plastic holder to make the Wii Remote feel a little more gun shaped. And in that respect, tons of plastic gun-shaped peripherals have been released for the Wii since the system launched in 2006. But it took Nintendo's release of their own Zapper peripheral to get third-party companies on board with light gun and Wii owners got a bunch to choose from at the end of last year including Sega's Ghost Squad.
Putting players in the bulletproof vests of a CTU-like anti-terrorist agency (GHOST is actually an acronym which stands for Global Humanitarian Operation and Special Tactics), Ghost Squad features three levels with multiple branching paths. All three levels seem to be based off of popular movies as the first involves an assault on a tropical villa and a helicopter fight (Clear and Present Danger), the second involves rescuing the President from a terrorist takeover of Air Force One (uh... Air Force One) and the last involves rescuing a hostage from a hidden terrorist village in the jungle (Predator).
While the game only features three levels, all of them feature multiple branching paths. And some paths are only accessible after a level has been completed a set number of times to increase the difficulty (each level actually has 16 difficulty steps). So while the three levels may seem short, there's actually a lot of replay in Ghost Squad. But sadly, almost all of the paths can be uncovered in a few hours and replaying the same three levels over and over again does get tiresome after a while. However, before the replay gets tiresome, Ghost Squad is a fantastic little light gun game that is easy to control with the Wii Remote or the Wii Zapper.
In addition to the standard light gun shooting, Ghost Squad also features an "action" button that is mapped to either the A button on the Wii Remote or the Z button on the Nuchuk. This action button can be used in various situations to defuse bombs, fight terrorists hand-to-hand at scripted times and rescue hostages.
The game also features multiple unlockable weapons and costumes (including a Rambo getup that is seriously cool to see in action) as you earn experience points for moving up the difficulty ladder. The different weapons don't much to change the game and the costumes are just an aesthetic change, but they're fun to unlock and try out.
Ghost Squad was originally released as an arcade game in 2004 and, as such, doesn't feature the latest and greatest in graphics or sound. The storyline is actually very poorly translated and the stilted voice acting is so ridiculous that it becomes amusing. The Commander offers hints as you progress through the level and his dialogue is probably the worst of the bunch, but it proves once and for all that video games can be hilarious.
In addition to the two-player Arcade Mode, Ghost Squad for the Wii also features a four-player Party Mode and a Training Mode. Slamming as many people as you can around a television for some light gun action is great fun, but the Training Mode is completely useless. If you've got a Zapper and you want training, stick with Link's Crossbow Training.