TOKYO--Sega has a rich history of arcade shooters, with standout titles such as Virtua Cop and House of the Dead being smash hits in both arcades and the home. One of its lesser-known games in the genre was 2004's Ghost Squad, which is now set to be converted to the Nintendo Wii this year. It seems that the brand-new Wii Zapper peripheral was the catalyst for this resurrection, and Sega secured the peripheral ahead of release to demo the game at this year's Tokyo Game Show.
Very much in the style of other on-rails shooters, Ghost Squad sees you taking the role of a crack government recon team tasked with taking down terrorists and saving hostages. It was difficult to understand the complete backstory to the game, but the first level took place in a wooden house deep in the forest. As we weaved in and out of the house, our teammates could be seen clearing other rooms and running around upstairs. Unfortunately, though, we didn't survive long enough to check out the other two levels that featured on the menu screen.
As with most gun games, Ghost Squad will support two players working together as long as you have enough Wii Remotes and Nunchuck controllers. The game itself makes good use of the as-yet unreleased zapper peripheral, although aiming is made a little too easy thanks to the target reticle being permanently shown onscreen. However, you do get vibration feedback through the peripheral, and it certainly feels accurate when playing. Reloading is a simple case of flicking the gun so the target goes off-screen.
Ghost Squad doesn't rely on gimmicks such as a foot pedal for popping out of cover, but the movement of your character makes you feel like you are part of a crack squad. Your character will peek around corners before making a move, as well as planting explosives on doors to open them. You also get to use a pretty cool machine gun by default, and you can change between automatic, semiautomatic, and single-shot firing modes by moving the joystick on the Nunchuck from side to side. You also have to uncuff hostages by moving the target over them and holding the Z button for about a second and a half.
Overall, Ghost Squad is an interesting prospect for potential Wii Zapper owners. It's not ambitious or even particularly new anymore, but it has a certain old-school charm that should appeal to arcade shooter fans. The game is set for release on the 25th of October in Japan, and is tentatively scheduled for Q4 in the US and Europe.