Target: Terror for Wii is totally awesome… no, really.
What you’re looking at is a game that boldly tap dances the line between genius and insanity. This game isn’t some light gun game from the 90’s. No, this game was made in 2004 and ported to the Wii in 2008. The game is Target: Terror and holy crap, it defies description. Knowing that I’m going to try and describe it anyway, but you can’t truly appreciate this game until you’ve played it.
Target: Terror was made by a man named Eugene Jarvis, creator of games like Defender, Robotron: 2084, and Smash TV. Given that list of games its obvious that the man has a few screws loose, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s been all the rage lately to make new games that look like old ones. Games like Mega Man 10, Cave Story, and the Bit.Trip series are perfect examples of how to do that in a good way. Using the graphics of yesteryear as a style choice and complimenting them with extraordinary gameplay is such a breath of fresh air when stacked next to the generic brown shooters of today. For me games used to be about imagination. It was a chance to escape to a world that could never in a million years happen in real life, and the visuals reflected that. Well, Mr. Jarvis decided to make a game that looked and played just like the arcade shooters of yesteryear and I couldn’t be happier. It has that charm that you can only get from shooting an imaginary gun at a bunch of people (not actors) prancing around in bad costumes pretending to be the bad guys. Harkening back to Area 51 in just about every way imaginable, I appreciate the balls it takes to release a game like this in today’s market which is drastically different than it once was.
Games like the ones Target: Terror was based on came at a strange time. Everything was going polygonal and it always felt to me like 1 step forward and 3 steps back. We went from this to this. Where there was once well animated and detailed sprites there were now hideous low rez polygons. Not much from that era stands up all that well today as that period produced some of the ugliest games of all time. The production values of using pre-rendered backgrounds and live action characters looks like crap, but in a sort of endearing way. It’s the kind of retro that I can get behind because instead of just looking like something that was trying to be something it wasn’t, it embraced the limitations of the hardware and took another route. Games like Area 51 and the original Mortal Kombat still look great to me. I mean, they look terrible, but great.
Should everyone make games like this? Absolutely not. Should everyone play games like this? Maybe. This industry has become so large that there are so many different kinds of games, and as a consequence of that there are many different kinds of gamers. I’m the type that likes games that feel like “games”. Games that evoke a feeling of fun and a focus on great, endearing, and original gameplay over photorealism and generic characters who take themselves way too seriously. And I don’t mean to knock those games, they’re just not for me.
So I applaude Target: Terror. It’s probably dirt cheap on clearance racks because nobody looked at it for what it really is: an intensely stupid but fun throwback to a simpler time in games. If you have a Wii and someone to play it with, give it a try. I guarantee you will laugh at least once.
Posted by CaptainK 923