There are even a few bonuses to unlock. You might expect new weapons and new costumes, but you can also unlock new options for the game’s four-player party co-op party mode. Want to cruise through Airforce One, shooting bikini-clad babes with a dolphin-shaped water-pistol? Paradise Party mode is for you. Or wouldn’t it be cool to play as ninjas, shooting rival ninjas with razor-sharp shuriken? Well, my friend, the self-explanatory Ninja mode is right up your street.
What makes the game so lovable? Certainly not the visuals. I couldn’t call Ghost Squad a shoddy port, but it certainly looks dated. The characters are slightly blocky and lacking in textural detail, the lighting is straight from the last console era, and the animation is no more complex or realistic than it was in Virtua Cop 2 over a decade ago. It all works in a slightly retro, classic Sega sort of way, but you couldn’t call it impressive. Sound effects and music rise to a similar level of competence, and no imagination whatsoever has gone into ways of using the Wii remote to do anything but point and shoot. In terms of technical achievement and innovation, Ghost Squad is a fairly dismal effort.
All the same, it has a certain silly charm to it. Any plotline where terrorists can hold the president hostage not just once, but twice within the space of three missions, has to be worth something. The whole special forces setup is farcical. “Don’t leave any traces behind” our commander advises during the pre-mission briefing, then seems happy to ignore the forty bullet-riddled corpses, numerous shot hostages and completely wrecked government villa we’ve left in our wake. I guess he just expects a little ‘collateral damage.’ In fact, each and every rotten line of speech is delivered with the perfect blend of gung-ho grit and clichéd can-do, as if all the actors thought they were auditioning for a part in Pearl Harbour 2.