Born in 1997
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- FormatVideo & Arcade
Light gun arcade games have always been popular, they offered something different that you couldn’t easily replicate at home. As consoles became more powerful, light gun games started appearing on these machines; from Lethal Enforcers on the Sega Mega CD with its Justifier gun, to Virtua Cop on the Saturn, they were a niche but fun addition to your console collection.
An exciting, action-packed blastfest awaits you in Time Crisis.
There was one problem though; the shooting games had become very stagnant in their gameplay. The format hadn’t really changed since Operation Wolf - a side scrolling “on rails” experience with targets popping up for you to shoot at. Even the attempts a “realistic” images using digitised actors (shame on you, Area 51 and Operation Wolf 3!), they hadn't evolved. That is until the leap of Virtua Cop. Using polygons, the game had a fluidity and natural feel with moving cameras. It was the push in the right direction, and was deservedly successful.
I can hear you all saying “I thought this was a review of Time Crisis?!” Well, it is.. I was just setting the scene for how important Time Crisis was. You see, Time Crisis added an element to the game play that was a “Eureka” moment in gaming. It let you take cover. This added a huge strategic element to the gameplay. The arcade machine had huge recoiling guns, and let you hide by pressing a pedal. I loved it. When I heard that Time Crisis was coming to the Playstation, I had to buy it. (Here’s the review coming..)
Time Crisis in the arcade was tremendous. A big screen, big gun, and pedals to hide. How could they possibly translate that experience to a home console? Well, Time Crisis came in a big box with the G-Con45 gun. This wasn't some generic looking gun though - it was the same moulds as the Namco arcade gun on the Time Crisis cabinet. Reassuringly sturdy, without tiring your wrist after extended play, the G-Con45 was part of the Time Crisis experience. Would the game have been as much fun with a smaller type gun? I don’t think it would.
Upon loading the game, you have a rather disappointing looking calibration and options screen. This didn’t fare well. However, pulling the trigger gave a smile inducing “bang” on screen. Not some flimsy pop, but a proper arcade bang! This was getting better.
Once calibrated, you then get to choose the arcade version of Time Crisis, or a Playstation exclusive Special game. Even the arcade version is split into story or time attack mode, so there’s plenty of replay value.
Starting story mode takes you into familiar territory if you’ve played the arcade game. If you haven’t, here’s a quick summary.. you play Richard, an agent assigned with rescuing Rachel, the President’s kidnapped daughter. The action is from a first person perspective, and lots of bad guys try to make you a lot lighter by shooting you full of holes. You can take cover, and pop up to take them out with your trusty G-Con45 when they stop to reload. The baddies react well and are thrown around satisfyingly as you hit them. There are the obligatory explosive barrels (and other things to blow up), as well as occasional environmental hazards such as crane hooks, tumbling cars and more. The graphics are nice (and only in hindsight slightly jaggy compared to its more powerful brother), move smoothly and quickly, and the music is bang on.
Once the intro movie is over, its time to get into the “Action!”. Hang on though.. how do you take cover, and integral part of the game play? Well, there are two options. One, you can press one of the buttons on the side of the G-Con45. Or, and full credit to Namco for thinking this through, you can plug in a second controller and lay it on the floor, tapping it with your toes as you would the pedal in the arcade. This really helps maintain the arcade experience, and is the recommended way of playing the game.
The Playstation version of Time Crisis is as fast, furious, and loud as the arcade version. The same scenes, breakpoints and scoring summaries are all there. Apart from slightly lower resolution polygons, this is the closest you’ll get to having a Time Crisis cabinet in your house!
Even once you've completed the arcade version, you’ll want to play it again to get a higher shot percentage, or a better time. On top of all that though, is a brand new game, the Special version exclusive to Playstation. A whole new full game, this is as good as the original, with more baddies to take out, satisfying even the itchiest trigger finger.
You can pick up Time Crisis with a G-Con45 pretty cheap these days, and it really should be one of the titles in your Playstation collection.
Review by - David Campbell
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- FormatVideo & Arcade