Time Crisis II
Review by p1r4t8r
"Dust off your G-Con and get ready for some aracde action!"
'Time Crisis 2' is a PS2 port of the highly successful arcade version of the game. The arcade version featured two televisions set up next to each other and two guns. The game could be played in either single player with a computer-controlled partner, or two player. Originally designed for PSOne, 'Time Crisis 2' finally rears its head, this time on PS2.
'Time Crisis 2' is all about guns and shooting people. There is a story in there somewhere, something about a satellite that is going to be launched into space, with the ability to fire upon the Earth. I must admit, I never payed any attention to the story. Every time a story cut-scene came on I'd just skip it. Besides, it just sets the scene for the action, and gives you a reason to be blasting baddies into oblivion.
The PS2 port of 'Time Crisis 2' apparently has better visuals than its arcade counterpart, although I can hardly tell the difference. It has decent graphics, certainly nothing special for the PS2 although definitely not ugly. The animation is great however, featuring a wide variety of death animations for the enemies. They also have hit location, allowing you to shoot them in the leg and watch as they grasp at their leg in pain. You can even shoot them once, and then shoot them again to see the animation change realistically. For example, say I shot a guy in his leg, the in the arm, he will go to grip his leg, then get spun around by the bullet to the arm.
Some of the levels look fairly good, such as the second stage in the forest. All the levels are rendered in full 3D and have many interactive objects that can be shot, such as light fittings, flowers, coffee cups, glass windows, you name it.
The sound effects are great, featuring some very cool gun sounds. The voice acting in the cut-scenes however was absolutely laughable, hence one of the reasons I always skipped them. The music is fairly good, featuring some of the tracks from the original as well. Perhaps it wouldn't have hurt to put in an entirely new soundtrack? Oh well, it doesn't really affect gameplay so I guess it's not an issue.
By far 'Time Crisis 2's' strongest area is its gameplay. There is a fair amount of stuff on offer here, offering MUCH more than just a straight arcade port. While the extra's aren't as good as in the original on PlayStation, they aren't bad, and give you reason to play again and again.
There are your average gameplay modes on offer here, 'Story' the normal story driven mode, or 'One stage trail' allowing you to brush up on your skills practising just one stage. Each level here is timed, meaning that it is a battle against the clock to kill all the enemies onscreen and advance to the next level. Each time you complete a scene you are given more time, but if the timer hits zero it's game over.
Gameplay revolves around just shooting the bad guys as quickly as possible, which after a while does get repetitious. There are a few boss battles thrown in to mix things up, and some of these are really challenging, such as the last boss, sure to make your trigger finger sore afterwards. Sadly though, I found the story mode to be exceptionally short, and also rather limiting.
'Time Crisis 2' uses a system unlike many light gun games on the market. It allows you to 'duck' for cover behind objects. While the game is on rails it allows you to dodge attacks. Unlike its predecessor, you can actually tell when you are going to get hit, a welcome feature. A red flash from an enemy’s gun indicates that that attack will hit if not ducked. Ducking also serves to reload your gun once your clip is empty.
As you progress various different types of enemies appear, ranging from your standard blue guy who can't hit anything for peanuts, to more advanced enemies. The tougher enemies can be picked by the differently coloured armour that they wear. Tougher enemies have a greater chance of hitting you, and sometimes carry different weapons.
Speaking of which, 'Time Crisis 2' features more weapons then just your standard pistol. At certain points within the game your character will get his hands on a machine gun, and even a shotgun, although this needs to be unlocked.
Where 'Time Crisis 2' really shines is in its multiplayer modes. 'Time Crisis 2' supports up to two players, with the screen being split down the middle. Sadly the screen is also shrunk, making this game harder to play on smaller TV's. I found this game hard to play in split screen even on a 68 cm TV. Luckily though, two PS2's can be plugged in to two separate TV's through the use of the I-Link, which although I never tried, I'm sure would make a difference.
There are many extra's available throughout 'Time Crisis 2' available upon completion of the game, ranging from new guns, such as the shotgun, machine gun and unlimited ammo pistol, to classic Namco games such as 'Shoot Away.'
By far the best unlockable extra is 'Crisis Mission.' It consists of a number of time-based tasks, which will really put you to the test. Some are easy and others are down right impossible. There are somewhere around 60 different challenges, each varying in difficulty. The challenges can be completed in any order you like, and as you complete more, more become available. The last mission was especially cool, featuring a challenging boss fight against one of the favourites from the series, although I won't ruin it for you.
The classic Namco games included are okay, although only serve as a diversion from 'story mode' and 'Crisis mission.'
A special mention should also be made to the GCon 2, which comes bundled with most versions of 'Time Crisis 2.'
Namco have really outdone themselves with this little baby, it's even more lightweight than its predecessor, and features even more buttons. A digital pad it located on the back of the gun, and A and B buttons on either side. Unfortunately, I found the A and B buttons to be just out of reach for the thumb, meaning one handed play isn't quite possible. Start and select buttons are also located on the side of the gun, and on the bottom is the C button, which actually feels really cool to use at first. However it is a little awkward to reach, but still, it has its novelty value!
The gun itself is amazingly precise and a wonder to use.
The GCon 2 plugs in through the USB port of your PS2, and sadly, doesn't have backwards compatibility for PSOne gun games. This is a pity, as the gun cannot be used on old classics such as the original 'Time Crisis.'
Overall, 'Time Crisis 2' is a solid investment and darn good fun to play. It is not only arcade perfect but BETTER and is just so much fun to play with a friend. However the game is short lived, and you do lose interest in it rather quickly. I do still play it on occasion though, often to relieve stress or just whip out when friends come over. If you like gun games, pick this one up, if not, give it a try. Who knows, you may like it!
+ Arcade BETTER!
+ Plenty of different modes
+ Great with a GCon2
- Limited life span
- 'Story Mode' too short
- No backwards compatibility on GCon2
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/23/02, Updated 11/23/02
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