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The Top 7... Secret shame games

2. Target: Terror  

What the hell is this? An absurd, unfun, and just plain distasteful on-rails arcade lightgun game based on the "War on Terror."

Whose fault is it? Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender, Robotron, and the Cruis'n series.

What happened? Jarvis's name will forever be immortalized in gaming history as a pioneer in game design. His breakout hit, Defender, inspired countless space shooters to follow in its wake and Robotron 2084 - which ultimately gave rise to Geometry Wars - remains a favorite of retrogamers the world over. Throughout the late '80s and mid-'90s, Jarvis continued to produce popular and profitable arcade games for Midway, including NARC, Smash TV, and the Cruis'n series.

After Cruis'n, Jarvis became eerily quiet for quite some time, and he seemed poised to vanish into the mists of industry legend as one of the greats. In 2004, however, Jarvis re-emerged to announce a brand-new game from his arcade development company, Raw Thrills, being designed in hopes of taking arcades off of life support. People were genuinely excited until they saw what this project actually was.

We don't even need to go into detail of what's wrong with Target: Terror. Besides butt-ugly digitized graphics that would have been dated-looking a decade ago and gameplay that wades strictly in the shallow end of the pool, the whole terrorism theme comes off as shockingly tasteless. We've not here to do any sort of grandstanding (and Jarvis himself refuses to say whether or not T:T is a political statement), but when the final stage features you shooting down suicidal terrorists in an airplane set to crash into the White House, it's hard not to feel a bit queasy... particularly when it looks so cheesy.



Aftermath: Target: Terror received an upgrade kit a year after its 2004 release, but it still didn't get too much media attention, primarily due to it being an arcade game. Few people even know of Eugene Jarvis's involvement with the title, and those that do still don't quite understand it. At least Raw Thrills' follow-up game, The Fast and the Furious, was considerably better - but it's still a far cry from Jarvis's past output.

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24 comments

  • BearzUnlimited - May 25, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    Umm...how about Valve's Ricochet? Valve themselves even joke about how terrible it was.
  • 2cute2Bcruel - September 29, 2010 6:45 a.m.

    OMG! I had no idea that Delphine made Shaq-Fu! What were they thinking?
  • gamemaster100 - June 14, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    i never even knew any of these games
  • killemall - April 27, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    Sorry GR i know you mean well and this article is quite entertaining, but i have to agree with Ballplayer on this one... If the games is that bad why would i spend carsh/time/energy on it? Especially when i could be finally purchasing Okami (better late then never, ne?)
  • Unoriginal - March 11, 2009 6:38 p.m.

    Is there anything Shaq didn't put his face on for some cash?
  • NevetsNooney - March 9, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Who in thier right mind woud make a game about truck racing. I mean come on!
  • m_gamer234 - March 6, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    oh my bad i forgot to mention i was laughing about that shaq fu game
  • PreyingMantis - March 4, 2009 1:56 a.m.

    lol shaq-fu
  • midknight8 - March 3, 2009 12:37 a.m.

    And holy crap, american pro trucker was sitting next to my computer just now. I had just found it in a desolate corner of my room, buried under a pile of dirty clothes, pokemon cards and milky way wrappers. I was going to play it cause i didn't even rmember owning this game now i know not to.
  • midknight8 - March 3, 2009 12:30 a.m.

    Never heard of stunt fx, looks like crap And ninety nine nights doesn't look so terrible
  • cart00n - March 2, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    I actually LIKED the idea of Shaq Fu, a game based on a sports hero that didn't involve sports. It was unexpected, which I thought was pretty cool. It's just too bad that the game sucked so hard...
  • Gaffelstein - March 2, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    I loved Justice League: Task Force when I was a kid. I thought i sucked at it, turns out it was just the game that sucked.
  • NeoKef - April 26, 2009 2:25 a.m.

    I remember me and mine friends trying to beat each other on Shaq-Fu. It was who ever pushed the most button under the 2mins.
  • AuthorityFigure - April 25, 2009 1:55 a.m.

    Stunt Race FX is not as bad as all that.
  • ballplayer27 - April 5, 2009 10:28 a.m.

    So wait... Stretch Panic, the terrible terrible terrible game that you are making fun of in this article, is listed as one of the games that we should play before we die on the 59 levels that everyone should play article. eff that. I am not going to intentionally find and play a game that you said is terrible, despite you then immediately saying that I should play it at some point. Bad GR, do not mess with us like that. (And yes I know the 59 levels article admitted this was a bad game and you should only play it to experience the quirkiness, but still, why should we play it if you say it is so shameful the developer would rather it had never happened?)
  • Mrnicelupe - March 8, 2009 7:52 p.m.

    Stretch Panic? Bad? Oh dear, this is just not right Then again, the "Playable tech demo" comment is probably right, but still and good example of what could make a good game!
  • gdubbs359 - March 8, 2009 12:18 a.m.

    Nice Youngblood#1 reference.
  • m_gamer234 - March 6, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    NO...FUCKIN...WAY...LLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL....That is so hilarious!
  • Heyexclamationpoint - March 4, 2009 1:35 a.m.

    I actually liked Stunt Race FX, for some reason. I was a dumber kid than I realize.
  • RaIdEn - March 3, 2009 1:04 a.m.

    i heard of shaq fu from that ultimate showdown video

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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