Posted on May 22nd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under review, wii, nintendo, light gun

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I'm a huge fan of light-gun games and specifically such games on the Nintendo Wii, which carried the torch of light-gun games into the world of modern televisions.

I recently played through the Wii version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and I was absolutely blown away by how much fun I had with it. My expectations were very low going into the game, but the fact that I continued to play the game after completing the campaign demonstrates to me that there is a solid title here, and one that is sadly underrated and largely forgotten by the Wii community.

Ghost Recon is co-op light-gun game, but in third-person. Where traditionally light-gun games are played from the first-person perspective, in this game both characters are always on the screen. This adds the dynamic of a third-person cover shooter to the light-gun shooting and the blend of the two elements is amazing.

You move the characters from cover to cover after clearing each screen of enemies. The characters default to cover, and you can either blind fire over the cover or pull the Z-trigger on the nunchuck to pop out of cover (at the risk of taking damage).

Launch trailer courtesy of Nintendo Life

Weapons have unlimited ammo, and are reloaded by shooting off screen. Typically, you will have two weapons and sometimes grenades. Before each mission starts, you will sometimes be given the option to swap your weapons loadout with Player 2, as the loadouts tend to compliment each other. For example Player 1 might have a sniper rifle while Player 2 has a rocket launcher as a secondary weapon. Speaking of sniping, I love the way they did it in this game. From behind cover, you aim the reticle at what you want to shoot, but as you pop out of cover by holding the Z trigger, a small "scope" appears at the bottom of the screen where you can fine tune your shot. This mechanic reminded me of one my old arcade favorites, Silent Scope, and I really appreciated it.

Besides moving from cover to cover and shooting, there are two other main mechanics, those being healing your partner, and focus time. Healing packs can be collected at certain cover spots and are used by pointing the reticle at which partner you want to heal. Focus time is collected the same way and slows down time for a few seconds allowing you to take down large groups of enemies quickly. Just make sure you have a full clip before you use it!

The voice acting and dramatic presentation are unironically bad, or in other words you're more likely to enjoy it if you don't take it seriously. The graphics are decent for the platform and time period, and my only complaint is that most of the environments of the game look kind of the same and could have used a little more variety. The largely forgettable story revolves around a Russian terrorist plot and thus most of the game takes place in Moscow with many uncluttered city streets and buildings on varying shades of gray.

After a mission is completed in the campaign, it can be played in arcade mode. In this mode, the goal is to rack up a high score, which can be accumulated cooperatively or in competition with the other player. Dying doesn't have the same consequence as in the campaign (instead of going back to the previous checkpoint you will simply respawn where you are), but perfect gameplay is encouraged by score multipliers rewarded for points racked up without taking damage. This mode is a perfect way to add replay value to the game, and I loved the presentation of it, with the appropriately arcadey numbers popping up over a dispatched enemies head.

Image courtesy of GameFAQS

While I wouldn't call this game a hidden gem, it is criminally overlooked, underrated, and in danger of being lost to history. Like many Wii games, it is a completely different game from its PlayStation and XBOX cousins of the same name, which tends to create confusion amongst the community. The most prominent review of record is Arthur Gies' brutal 3/10 on IGN from when the game launched in 2010. I'm not sure if someone peed in Gies' Cheerios the day he played Ghost Recon but my experience with the game is pretty much the exact opposite of his. Like many Wii games at the time, Ghost Recon seems to have been judged more on how it compared to games on much more powerful hardware. I'm very glad I went into this game blindly and didn't do an internet search for reviews of this game before I played it. For what it's worth, customer reviews of this game on its Amazon listing are far more favorable, sitting at an average of four out of five stars of 66 reviews. I don't usually give a number rating in my reviews, but I am much more in agreement with consumer consensus on this one than I am with the dismissive and erroneous IGN review.   

I hope I have shed some deserved light on this unique and amazingly fun Wii title, which can be had for about five bucks at the time of this writing. The developer, Next Level Games, also developed a similar title Transformers: Cybertron Adventures which I am also looking forward to playing. Next month however, I will take a look at another of the three Tom Clancy games on offer for the Wii, with Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2, a game which like Ghost Recon, was not exactly received with open arms by critics. How does is play in 2018? Tune in next month to find out!

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Thanks for this write-up! I picked this one up a couple years ago, and, like many others, I assumed it was just a port of the game from the other consoles. However, knowing now that it's a light gun game, I will have to give it a go sooner! I'm a fan of the genre, and this sounds like fun.
I may have to seek this one out!
Yeah, the Wii has some great on-rail shooters, but this one went completely under the radar. Need to grab a copy. Found one the other day, but it looked like someone had buried it under their house for three years and dug it up to sell.
Thanks for reading, guys! This game kicks ass and I know y'all will love it!

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