Much like The Terminator on Sega CD, T2: The Arcade Game takes us from the post-apocalyptic future to Las Angeles in the mid-1990s. No matter where you are, the object is always the same: SHOOT! This is nothing more than a shooting gallery that occasionally scrolls to the right. You're on rails, interacting with whatever jumps in front of you.
In arcades (and on the Genesis), Terminator 2 would have been controlled with a gun. Many cabinets offered a mini-gun to wrap your hands around, an authentic weapon that offered force feedback. On the Genesis this game offered a convincing argument for the Menacer, Sega's transforming light gun peripheral. And yet, even without the fake plastic arsenal, I'm most impressed with this Game Gear version.
For one thing, the controls aren't nearly as bad as I feared. In fact, I the game handles surprisingly well, all things considered. Plus, the action is intense, especially on the little screen. There's always something going on and it doesn't let up through the game's eight stages. The game can't come close to matching the arcade's graphics, but it does a better job than I expected. This is easily the most action-packed Game Gear title I've played.
As good as the port is, this is still a shallow shooter missing a light gun. It comes real close to making me forget about the arcade's fake plastic uzi, but I can't get over the lack of depth. On the other hand, this is a fun ride while it lasts. In the end, Terminator 2: The Arcade Game is significantly better than it needs to be.