Time Crisis 2 with Guncon Review
I haven't played "shoot-em-up" with a gun controller at home since way back in the day of Nintendo's Duck Hunt. That being said, Time Crisis 2 was bound to be a popular attraction in our gaming house once we managed to obtain two GunCon2's for the task. Ah the wonders of technology, I thought as I examined the GunCon 2 - complete with all the good stuff you need on a controller-gun hybrid: Directional controls, A & B buttons, and the standard Start/Select set. USB ports utilized; we plopped in the game disc and got ready to wreak havoc in Time Crisis 2 for the PS2, published by Namco.
Time Crisis 2, for those of you not familiar with the arcade version, has a run-of-the-mill, "thwart the conpsiracy" plot which is probably not going to retain the attention of gamers, and is probably going to be skipped my the majority of the gamers anyhow. After all, who makes a gun game expecting people not to want to rush to the action? Go out kill the baddies, try not to hit the innocents, and a boss thrown in each level for good measure. It's kind of like action movies - sometimes you just don't have to work on a plot if you keep the action hopping (at least that's the mentality).
Now, on to the meat of the game - the gunplay. There are a number of modes available not only in the sense of the number of players, but also in the kind of action you are looking for. Appropriately, there is an Agent Trainer mode which will give you various targets at various distances (ala gun range style) to test and perfect your shooting. Also available are a skeet shooting type mode, Shoot Away 2, and a "mini-game," Quick & Crash which will test your Old-West style quick-draw abilities. Then of course --- is the one that started it all --- the arcade mode.
In the arcade mode of Time Crisis 2, you can take on the bad guys alone or with a partner. When playing with a partner, you must complete your missions in a split screen mode and you will each have separate angles from which to attack. Perhaps the most unique feature is the one-player double-gun mode with gives you the chance to have some real two fisted fun. The guns are, to be fair, impressively accurate, so you're not by any means going to immediately breeze through this game - even if you're an experienced shooter in the non-virtual world. You will not be able to control where you are going or the actual batch of enemies to shoot at - but you will be given the chance to at least alternate between a convenient hiding/cover spot, and poking yourself out in harm's way to take a few shots at the opposition. Master this, and your aim, and you'll conquer this game fairly quickly. It might be said too quickly for some, but as fans of the genre know, you never get the same experience twice in games like this.
It is also important to mention that if you're really determined, you can recreate a gaming experience more faithful to the arcade mode by linking two separate PS2's and playing on two separate TV's to get single screen action like the arcade. That being said, you really don't need to do that to enjoy the game with two players.
The arcade version of Time Crisis 2 had been out for some time - and certainly in order to please long time fans and the expectations of the PS2 crowd, some graphical upgrades were necessary. Character design and movement is a bit sharper, as well as somewhat of an overall improvement of the look of the game. Graphics are hard sometimes hard to judge in the shooting genre as they seem to be in a class all their own. There's always the distinct feeling that graphics are a bit boxier than they would be in a non-shooting game, and so if you're really looking at the graphics in a way other than over your gun sight, you might get the impression they just aren't up to par. This can be a little unfair to be sure - as the game is one of the best to be seen for its genre.
Namco is well known for making some of the smoothest arcade-to-console transitions, and Time Crisis 2 is no exception. For light-gun fans, this is a good value for the money (even better if you break down and buy an extra copy of the game w/GunCon2 so you can play either with another player or in two gun mode). Time Crisis 2 is a good first romp into the PS2 shooter world and even though the game is short, there are enough diversions to make this game more than worth the money for genre devotees!
There are lots and lots of ways to experience Time Crisis 2 - from the arcade mode you'd expect - to tons of little mini-excursions to test the skills of even the most avid shooting-game fan. If you've been waiting to use those USB ports for GunCon2 fun, you won't be disappointed.
Shooting game graphics are really in a realm of their own, and with some necessary upgrades from the somewhat dated arcade version, Time Crisis 2's graphics should appease fans of the genre. The graphics are a bit on the rigid side, but considering that you should be looking at them over a gun-sight, this shouldn't be too much of a diversion.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. It's what you'd expect of a shoot-em-up - lots of gun shots and sounds of impact.
Set your GunCon2 and get going! The game does come with difficulty levels, but even the easiest of the fields demands you pay attention to your aim.
An arcade to PS2 port, Time Crisis 2 remains true to it's arcade action with a few notable upgrades to it's home debut.
Multiplayer is pretty much the highlight of many shooting games - and Time Crisis 2 is no exception. To get the ultimate arcade likeness, be prepared to hook up two PS2's and TV's - but split screen is still fun for one system and two guns.
The real appeal of TimeCrisis 2 is, what else, the guns. Without the GunCon 2(s), the game would lose much of it's appeal. Still and all, its an entertaining venture in the realm of PS2 shooters and I look forward to what's to come from the wizards over at Namco.
GameZone Review Detail
Unholster Your GunCon2's - Time Crisis 2 is Here
Reviewer: The Badger
Review Date: 11/27/2001