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PlanetPS2 | Features | Reviews | Time Crisis II
by: Benjaman Thornton | October 10, 2001

Time Crisis II

Title: Time Crisis II
Genre: Shooting
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Release Date:10/6/01
Country of Origin: Japan
ESRB Rating: T

Namco offers up the first Light-Gun shooter for the PlayStation 2 in Time Crisis II, allowing you to bring the arcade action home to your television screen. While the arcade version has enjoyed success and is considered by many to be a "modern classic" (likewise for its predecessor), the home version may not enjoy the same reaction. Not of any fault of its own but mostly due to the history of light-gun games. A majority of the consoles that have been released over the past years have had light-guns; however, their games usualy do not tend to be as popular as their arcade brethren. Home version of arcade ports have either lacked playability, or were stripped down of content to work on consoles. Does this hold true for the PS2, which has the ability of mimicing the arcade functionality almost perfectly? A little history is in order to do a proper review.

Nintendo's Zapper was the first widely popular light gun, and at the same time that light-gun arcade machines were popular. Though a small genre, the games that it encompasses are among some of the most memorable made. The light-gun, however, has never caught on as standard fare for a console. The original NES zapper only had a handful of games, and the ill-fated Super Scope for the SNES had even fewer games, most of which faded quickly into obscurity. The PSX had a few offerings as far as light-guns, of which Namco's GunCon was one. While the arcade based light-gun games remain popular, their home console counterparts seem to enjoy only brief moments in the spotlight. In fact, the only shooter game in recent years that seems to have blossomed on a console is Sega's House of The Dead. How does Time Crisis II measure up to its predecessor and contemporaries?

There are two main modes of play in Time Crisis II: arcade and other. The Arcade mode has two forms of play with Story Mode and Single Level play. In story mode the goal is to save the world once again by stopping the launch of a nuclear satelite. A company, Neodyne, is attempting to launch this sattelite to achieve global conquest, and it's up to you, an agent of VSSE, to stop them. Story Mode moves through three stages, each comprised of three areas and final boss. Each of the nine areas is broken into smaller sub-sections where you have 40 seconds to clear the area of enemies. Reaching a new level will allow it to be unlocked for single level play form the Arcade menu (good for practicing levles where you are having trouble without going through a prior level). Each level is straight forward, and if you are playing single player the computer controls the second character (no help there though, it's up to you to do everything). At times the characters will split up, with one taking point and the other covering. For a little variation, this is randomly determined as you move through the level. Despite the variation it is easy to memorize the routes and surprises along them. If you are playing with a friend, there will be times where one of you will be in the line of fire of your partner, and friendly fire does hurt.

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