Review by Balin the Wise
"FPS's were not a favorite genre of mine, but they are now!"
I have never played a FPS (first-person shooter) for any system. Ever. Maybe a quick demo of 007:AUF for GCN in a store, but nothing else. I wasn't a fan of this genre, either.
But then I heard about a game called Time Splitters for PS2, with very much praise for its fun multi player. And there would be a sequel, to be released on all three systems! Rumor had it that it would be as great or greater than legendary Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark for N64. Even if I had not played those games, I sensed something wonderful. And here it is, Time Splitters 2 for GameCube, multi player and FPS king.
There is really only a story in Story Mode (or Story Co-Op if more than one person is playing). There are ten eras you will visit in this mode, each with its own plot or story. The main story, though, is as follows.
A space station somewhere in space (duh) is attacked by Time Splitters, these white monster human-shaped things with tentacles on their face. The Time Splitters steal the Time Crystals, and they jump into a portal that sends them to various eras of time and place. You must go after them, and in each era will take control of an 'alter-ego' who is, of course, armed with era-specific weapons.
There are ten different times in history you will visit, each with their own story going on. I won't go into detail here (nor will I list every place), but I will say that they are a variety of eras, and the stories will get you interested.
Sure, the story is kind of simple and the same as some other games, but the variety of different stories from different histories sets this apart from other games. As I've already said, it'll keep you interested, and committed to fulfilling your duty in the mission or beating up that bad guy.
One thing that got me interested in this game is...now don't laugh...A mini-game in Banjo-Tooie for N64. Some of you might know what I'm talking about, those ''Shoot-out'' games. I just had a ton of fun playing with my brother and hiding in the shadows or sneaking up from behind. Multi-player fun is what I'm trying to say here, and that's exactly what TS2 has, and so much more.
I'm going to try to keep it simple, because there's a lot of stuff to say. First off, I'll list some modes and what they are.
--Story/Story Co-Op--Go through 10 different points in time by yourself or with a friend. Complete missions and objectives. Pretty fun with a friend in the Co-Op mode, and still nice by yourself.
--Arcade--Divided into Arcade Custom and Arcade League.
a. Arcade Custom-Choose a level, character, type of game, and lots of other options for a shoot-out by yourself against bots or with a friend. (The latter is VERY fun and exciting)
b. Arcade League-Only available for one player. A set of different categories with 3 missions in each. Depending on what medal you win in each (Gold, Silver, or Bronze), you'll unlock something special for Arcade Custom matches.
--Challenge--Seven categories with three different missions for each one, similar to Arcade League. Some pretty darn difficult ones, but satisfying to complete.
--Mapmaker--An amazing tool you can use to create your own level. Place lighting, enemies, ramps, items, power-ups, and weapons anywhere. Very deep.
Now, to gameplay. While playing you will have 2 curved bars on either side of your screen. One has shades of blue and green, called the Armor bar, and one with shades of red and yellow, the Health bar. If your entire armor depletes by getting damaged, your health then goes down (when damaged). Your weapon is shown in the bottom right corner most of the time (since if you grab two Tommy Guns, one's in one corner and the other's in the other corner). Down there you can also see your ammunition.
Sorry if this isn't the best review of the gameplay, I'm just kind of confused on what I should discuss and how much. The gameplay is TS2 is full of action, stealth, some humorous objectives, and skill. To get better you have to practice, whether it be dodging that one bullet, or scoring the instant-kill head shot. It is a very enjoyable experience and game.
Kind of hard to find anything wrong with the controls, because they are almost completely customizable. Sometimes it can get difficult to aim perfectly or move with the sniper's targeting, but otherwise you can get used to it. You're going to have to, since most stuff in the game requires quick thinking and instant response.
Music- Very atmospheric and nice. It rarely ever gets repetitive, and always keeps you excited or ready for anything.
Sound- Sounds vary from gun to gun (as they should, I'm pretty sure), and ricochet sounds off surfaces are also varied and neat. The enemies who have their own short phrases are well done, and voice acting in the game is pretty good, too. And how can I forget to mention the screaming clowns and monkeys as they're set ablaze and the satisfying effect that occurs when a zombie's head is shot off?
Really good (somewhat cartoony, nothing wrong with that) character models and weapons stand out here. Textures are pretty nice, (sometimes bland) and the lighting is beautiful. Along with the music, the graphics help to add a very amazing atmosphere to the game, making you really feel like you're walking around the dank halls of 1800s Notre Dame, or sneaking around a building in a dam in 1990s Siberia.
Also noticeable are the animations. Depending on where an enemy is hit, they'll have a certain animation. Sure, there's only a few, but it's fun to make a big tough guy dance by shooting at his feet, or make him clutch his heart and fall over. Not all the animations are to my liking, though, because enemies can also roll and dodge shots..
There aren't a ton of particle effects, but the explosions look nice and so do flaming enemies.
Buy or Rent? Unless you really dislike shooter games, get this game, whenever you can. Just get it. The multi player is mostly what you'll like, so if you have no friends it might lower the fun. But there's still tons of stuff even without friends. There is a ton of stuff to unlock, and it can get pretty difficult at times, but it's worth it.
Final Score: 9.6/10 Rounded score: 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/02, Updated 10/27/02
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