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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Game Play: Ghost Squad

If I had to pick a single word to describe the rails shooter Ghost Squad it would be quite simply: ridiculous. The game is an arcade port and screams arcade port from every ounce of its soul - from the slightly outmoded graphics to the almost creepily well timed sections where you would normally have shoved another coin in the slot.

The concept is simple - there are three missions you're more or less expected to run through in one sitting. None of them are terribly long and the sequences will total up to about a half hour or so. There's a ridiculous assault on a cabin with hostages, a ridiculous assault on Air Force One to save the president and a ridiculous jungle assault to save Dr. McCoy (not, sadly, voiced by Deforest Kelley and actually probably isn't a doctor).

Upon finishing the missions in arcade mode, you get experience points, unlock new weapons, new alternate paths in the missions, new costumes and the chance to play the whole thing over again with slightly different gameplay. In party mode you get none of that - but you do get the chance to play it with a total of four people. There's also a tutorial/challenge mode that most people will venture into about once.

Four people on a 2004 rails shooter designed for two is ridiculous. You shoot *everything* very fast.

And yes, it's fun in that mindless rails shooter sort of way. It's fun to listen to the moronic dialog (my favorite still being the declaration that because you're ghost squad ... don't leave any traces (just shoot everything in sight).

At $30 I think Ghost Squad might be the most appropriately priced Wii game on the planet. It's not great, barely good - but it is fun and cheap.

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