November 15, 2001
Time Crisis II - Review
$129.95 w/ GunCon 2
It's been a very long time coming to a Sony system, but while many were expecting to see the aging arcade light gun game Time Crisis II on the PSOne, Namco held out until the Playstation 2 so the game could be faithfully reproduced on a console. Thankfully, this isn't just a straight port as Namco have once again added plenty of extras to extend the lifespan, and improved the graphics over the arcade original. Best of all the company has released a GunCon 2, which only adds $30 to the overall price. Those of you with the original PSOne GunCon guns will also be happy as they work perfectly fine with this game.
|Texturing is better then the arcade.|
There is nothing too exciting about the storyline in this game, and there doesn't really need to be. The world is being held hostage by a group of terrorists looking to take over the world. Naturally, you are one of the good guys as a member of a special force sent in to stop them. Standard fare really. The most interesting aspect of this game is that you have a partner to help you defeat the enemies. In single player game the computer controls this player (who can't aim for crap) while the 2-player game can either be played with a split screen, or via the i.Link cable to faithfully represent the 2 screens of the arcade unit. Most impressively the players occasionally take different paths, which adds some variety to the game. At times you will get in each others way and, if you accidentally shoot your partner, will lose points from your overall score.
|The legendary boat chase sequence.|
While many people will complain short completion time of the arcade game Namco have been kind enough to include many new games, which add much more to the overall length. These include four new mini-games called Agent Trainer, which is a target practice game, Quick and Crash, which includes four sub-games called Standard Game, Chain Hit, One-Shot, and 10 Seconds. The third game is Shoot Away 2, which is a (rather poor) skeet shooting game. Finally, and the pick of the bunch, is the Crisis Mission. This is a series of 18 missions, all set in scenes from the arcade game, where you must complete a certain task such as killing all the enemies with one bullet, beating the clock, reaching a certain number of points etc. In fact I probably spent more time in these superb extra missions then in the main game itself.
|The PS2 allows much better lighting.|
Problems in Time Crisis 2 are few and far between. My biggest complaint comes from the Dual Gun mode. How exactly you are expected to press the attack button on both controllers at once is beyond me and due to the placement of the button on the original GunCon it it nearly impossible to play the game without two CunCon 2's. My other complaint is that for some reason the GunCon 2 seems even less accurate then the original. Perhaps it's just me, but that's what I sensed while playing the game.
|THE GUNCON 2
The GunCon 2 is a slightly more compact version of the original PSOne GunCon. The new controller includes a Start and Select button as well as 2 main buttons which are now situated beside the trigger. Oh, the new gun is also a navy blue colour compared to the original's grey. All-in-all, it's one very sexy piece of PS2 hardware.
Yet another improvement to the game which Namco has made is with the graphics. Everything seems to have been upgraded from the arcade game with more polygons on the enemies, better texturing in the levels, and some magnificent new special effects such as smoke and fires. It's easy to see that this is a superior game to the arcade. Sadly all the enemies follow scripted paths and their animation is still somewhat unremarkable. The 2-player split screen mode is accurate enough with only a minimal loss in detail. If only other arcade ports had visual enhancements like this game...
So how about the sound? Well you get bullets, bullets, and more bullets. To be honest that's all this game really needs, and that's mainly what you get. The background music is suitable enough while the sounds effects such as explosions are wonderful. What more could you really want from the sound department?
|Check out the excellent smoke.|
By far the most important thing to remember when considering this game is that it is primarily an arcade game. Don't expect a 50-hour epic to complete with an emotional storyline. This is a quick and fast game designed to gobble your coins (obviously not the home port). However, with the four new modes on offer, Namco have significantly lengthened the Time Crisis 2's lifespan. Most importantly no matter how many times you complete the game you will come back for more, guaranteed. Long after I had completed the arcade game I would put it in for "one more go", which usually ended up being a good hour-long session. With Namco selling the game and GunCon 2 bundle for only $AU129.95, which is only $30 above the game alone, you can't really go wrong. This is certainly the best light gun game ever seen on a home console.
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