Target: Terror

May 19, 2008

Target: Terrible.

The This Is Spinal Tap fan in me has always wanted to write a two-word review, and Target: Terror seems to be perfectly suited for that. It’s a miserable cash-in with no real redeeming qualities, and it has a title perfectly suited to manipulation. However, my professional journalism instincts always seem to kick in, and I know I must convey the sense of the game in a more specific way.

The original arcade version of Target: Terror was released in 2004, and was largely a way to capitalize on Americans’ desire to shoot terrorists. Now the title has been ported to the Wii, as all light gun games seem destined to. However, it shows its age in many ways.

Target: Terror supports the Wii Zapper, but only marginally; plugging in a Nunchuk moves the controls for one rarely-used weapon to the C and Z buttons. However, if any enjoyment at all can be had from this title, it has to be the cathartic aspect of eliminating the terrorist threat, and holding a remote to do it just doesn’t work. The game supports two players, and also includes Justice Mode, which allows one player to wield two remotes with just one set of lives.

Graphically, this game looked bad in 2004. It looks marginally better than 1995’s Area 51, but still uses low-resolution pre-rendered sprites to represent targets. Most of the game’s menus and graphics seem like they were created years ago, and seem just too dated by today’s standards, even on the Wii.

The title tries artificial ways to extend the game’s life by inserting unlockable levels and minigames. The levels are set in an airport, the Golden Gate Bridge or a nuclear plant. Some of the minigames mimic classic arcade titles like Whack-a-Mole and Defender, but none are polished or enjoyable enough to play more than once.

If Target: Terror was the only rail shooter on the system, it might have a chance, but it is totally outclassed by Ghost Squad, House of the Dead 2 and 3 Returns and even Link’s Crossbow Training. All three retail for less than this title, so there’s no excuse. Pass on this one.

Score: 1/5

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