Review by Drunky

"This game is simply amazing. Especially for those light gun, shoot 'em up gamers out there"

For Christmas I was given a great gift. Not just any gift, but what is now one of my favorite games. I must admit I'm a sucker for shooting games but Time Crisis 3 by Namco made me rethink just what makes a good shooting game.

For one this isn't a FPS or 3rd Person Shooter game. Its a lightgun game, you can buy the game in a bundle with its very own light gun! (A GunCon 2). I'll focus on the game with a little bit of the GunCon 2.

This game is a port of the popular arcade game and it does not disappoint. The gun is simple to hook up and in minutes you'll be mindlessly blowing things away with the a joyful smirk on your face.

Story: The game revolves around two VSSE agents who are sent to a once peaceful Mediterranean island which is currently being occupied by a neighboring nations military. The VSSE agents, Alan Dunaway and Wesley Lambert, mission is to gather information regarding the tactical missiles on the island capable of destroying the neighboring Mediterranean islands. The storyline isn't that in-depth given its shortness but the cinematics are almost able to make up for that, but not quite.

Gameplay: Unlike other games such as Metal Gear or Splinter Cell stealth is not an option. This game is pure shoot ‘em up action! (But since the game comes with a gun itself, I'm sure you knew that already). This game is the funnest game I have played. There are, of course, varying difficulties, but even the hardest isn't all that difficult. The real difficulty is remembering to cover your ass when you're busy shooting things up. The time limits (Hence the name Time Crisis) aren't that big of a threat because I don't think you'll be doing much hiding. There is an abundance of ammunition in the game as should be expected but perhaps they gave just a little too much. You can spray down the enemies hiding place (including the semi-destructible environment) and hardly ever run out of ammo. While fun at first it gets a little boring. The only item you really have to worry about conserving is grenades, and I could go a whole game without using that. Then again a whole game is only an hour or so. The gameplay is relatively short but at least you don't have to keep feeding a machine to keep playing. If you fail too many times you'll eventually be given more ‘Continue' credits in order to help beat the game. If you die you just start off at the beginning of your current stage.

If the game were to end there, there is no way it would be worth the money you spent on the game. Luckily the game includes some added extras to keep your trigger finger happy. There are two extra minigames, the rescue missions and the crisis missions.

While in the rescue missions you'll play as a third character, Alicia Winston. Alicia is a member of the LLA (Lukano Liberation army) and the best sniper in her unit. Playing as an expert sharpshooter, you'll of course be playing as a sniper. The rescue missions are a bit longer and a bit more difficult which greatly adds to the games replayability. It follows the same continue system the arcade mode does. The crisis missions are just a test of your reflexes but are great practice for future light gun games and add slightly to the replayability.

Graphics: Not quite as good as the other games out for the PlayStation 2 but for an arcade port of this type it is quite amazing. The environment is pretty good but nothing noticeable. They're rather bland and nothing stands out but they did achieve the war torn yet beautiful island environment extremely well. The cut scenes on the other hand, are pretty engrossing even when the story isn't. The cut scenes in my mind are quite amazing, some of the storyline is revealed through a CNN style news report, which could be mistaken for an actual news report. I loved this game before I even played it from watching the introduction. The sound complements the gameplay rather nicely but nothing outstanding and rather generic, I doubt you'll care over the constant bursts of gunfire.

Replayability: Not a lot. Three times through the main story was pushing it, but that doesn't include the added rescue and crisis missions which together add greatly to the replayability. The overall time for the main mode is roughly an hour or so, as for the extras it depends on your skill and practice. Aside from mindless shooting there is no reason to play through the game again, but that doesn't mean you wont. Who doesn't love mindless shooting every once in awhile?

Guncon 2: I don't have much experience with light guns but this one is pretty good. I had no problems with it and I found the button layout extremely easy to use, however my sister, who has smaller hands, found the gun rather bulky and painful to use after awhile. For the amount of time you'll need it, its rather bearable. The calibration is extremely easy and only takes a few seconds to set up. (You really just point the gun in the middle of the screen and shoot.) Hooking the gun up itself is extremely simple, just plug the gun into the splitter type thing and plug the other end into the TV.

Recommendation: Here is where there is no definite answer. If you're not big on shooting games just rent this game, one weekend is all you need to get the maximum enjoyment through the different modes. However if you enjoy the light gun games and could care less what you're doing as long as you get a gun, buy this game!. The action is excellent, the extra missions are excellent practice, while lacking in story and replayability, this game overall is excellent! The great thing about light gun games is the story really doesn't mean anything, it's the actual gaming that matters, and this game hardly lacks in that aspect.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/31/05

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