Target: Terror was always a game behind its time. The light gun game featuring a terrorism theme and digitized bad guys came out in 2004, well after the blending of faux guns and digital graphics created a mini-light gun renaissance in arcades. Even the fact that Eugene Jarvis, the man behind Defender, was behind the game couldn't get it off the ground. I was a more than a little surprised to see that Konami had decided to lift this game, of all of the light gun titles, out of the arcade graveyard and try to give it new life on the Wii.
Light gun games on the Wii, though, are a match made in heaven, or at least they could be if someone ever finds the right match. Could Target: Terror be it?
Digitized Bad Guys: Nothing takes me back to the days of Terminator and Mad Dog McCree like a little digitized blasting action. The game and it's digital graphics hold up well on the Wii.
Kitschy Arcade Fun: There's no way that someone can take Target: Terror seriously. It's got over the top bad guys and women, bizarre weapons like a freeze ray and is set in a motley assortment of locations, including Denver International Airport, of all places. Fun for the sake of fun is never a bad thing.
Major Lag While the game has some potential, that potential is absolutely destroyed by the lag that infects this game. At times the lag is so bad that you can't reload and shots are so delayed you end up hitting people who weren't even on screen when you pulled the trigger. When it happens it's game destroying and unforgivable.
Wii Mote Reaction Time: As if the occasion game-killing lag time weren't bad enough, the Wii remote's target reticule tends to drift a fraction of a second behind where you are aiming. You can get used to it, adapting to the slight delay, but you really shouldn't have to.
Lackluster Mini-Games: The mini games, unlockable by shooting stuff up in the campaign play, are for the most part uninspired and not very fun. The only exception for me was ICBM Defense Shield—which is essentially Missile Command—but even that is so short lived that it sucks the fun out of the concept.
Credit System: I get that the developers had to figure out a way to make a quarter-eating arcade game more challenging. Without the risk of going through an entire allowance in ten minutes of game play there really isn't a lot of tension built into the game. Giving a set number of credits to make it through the game is a fine solution, but it shouldn't be the only option, especially when you have to beat every single level to make it to the final stage. Unforgivable.
Target: Terror isn't a game someone would knowingly pick up expecting hours of over the top, deep gameplay. But even for those who go into the game with their eyes wide open, hoping to only relive a bit of arcade light gun nostalgia, Target: Terror is a let down. The glitches in the game are so bad at times, it makes me wonder if Konami or developer Leviathan Games even bothered to play test the game before shipping it out.
If you can pick this game up at a bargain price and are willing to grit your teeth through the slowdowns, the game does have its moments, just don't expect them to last.
Target: Terror was developed by Leviathan Games and published by Konami, and was released on April 22nd. Retails for $39.99. Available on Nintendo Wii. Played single player game to completion (less bonus round) in single player, multiplayer and dual-remote Justice Mode. Tested all mini-games.