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Ace Combat 6 Sweeps

 PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 3

wish I had good news for you, but judging from this game’s merits, the rail shooting gun genre should be shot and put in the ground. I really wanted to like Time Crisis 4, but one thing after another piled up in the list of frustrations as I played until I was forced to acknowledge this as one of the worst games I’ve played in months.

I certainly recognize the charm of having a realistically shaped gun as a controller – we all grew up on this sort of thing. Unfortunately, the problems start right away with the new PS3 Guncon controller. It feels cheap, and the new analog sticks in particular are chintzy and hard to use. Once the game starts, players will be astounded to realize that no-reticle is the standard default approach to gameplay. In fact, only some of the levels even offer you the option to turn it back on.

The newly added first-person shooter game mode is dreadful. A traditional FPS on a normal controller in this day and age would never be released in this poor shape, and the fact that you’re using a gun shouldn’t have changed that assertion. You’ll trudge, slow as a turtle, through horribly linear and uninteresting level designs as enemies pop out to attack utilizing their “please shoot me” AI. The arcade mode levels fare little better, since they feel poorly balanced and stocked with cookie cutter villains, my favorite of which were the ridiculously named secret weapon engineered bug creatures called Terror Bites. Get it?

There seems to be an almost conscious effort to offer positively insulting story premises delivered through some of the worst dialogue ever penned. I’m going to chalk that up as being a byproduct of the genre and call it a wash.

Even ignoring the ludicrous plot, what really matters here should be the shooting mechanic, which just isn’t much fun. The strangely designed cover system has you popping up and down like a hyperactive rabbit, so you never really get a full view of the action. And get this: in the cooperative multiplayer, you play in split screen – in letterbox format! What were they thinking? I don’t know what else I can tell you to discourage you away from this complete disaster.

  

MATT MILLER   4.5
Time Crisis 4 is the living example of just how far arcade shooters have fallen behind their first-person brethren. The story is on par with the worst of NES games, the level design is craptastic, and the enemy AI borders on clinically dead. The new FPS mode falls flat mostly due to the Wii-like sluggish camera scrolling, and the new Guncon 3 peripheral hardly accommodates left-handed players. To make matters worse, you will often run out of ammo during shootouts, leaving you to fend off enemy advances with a measly pistol. The overall difficulty is schizophrenic, wavering wildly between the easy FPS sections and the tough arcade sequences. If you want to have fun with a gun in your hand, do yourself a favor and play paintball instead of wasting your money on this substandard game.
4.25
CONCEPT:
Use the included Guncon controller to blast the baddies in this unexciting sequel to the long running franchise
GRAPHICS:
If a normal FPS looked like this, you’d cry foul
SOUND:
Bang! Bang! Need I say more?
PLAYABILITY:
Much of the game doesn’t let you have an onscreen reticle, so I wouldn’t exactly call the usability friendly
ENTERTAINMENT:
Slow and unexciting, this is a series in desperate need of an overhaul
REPLAY:
Low
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