By Philip Dunkley
Aaaahhh, the memories of me and my brother spending hordes of cash in the arcades playing Time Crisis. Hours and hours of gameplay, just trying to get through the basic arcade mode, and even more hours of frustration as the â€œGAME OVERâ€ screen reared its head over and over again. We finished it though, and it felt particularly manly after we did. Kind of Bad Boys manly.
You can imagine my delight when Ster Kinekor dropped off the package with the latest version of the game and the newest Guncon Controller, and all the various bits that make up the Time Crisis experience.
Before I even get into the main review, I need to get a couple of issues out of the way. Firstly, the price of this game is expensive, sitting around R1100.00, so I need to be pretty objective in the review that I did not pay for the game, and this needs to be taken into account. Secondly, I really do enjoy these types of gun games, and it was one of my favorite types of games at the local arcades when I was a teenager, so I will look at this as an overall package, and not just the gameplay.
That said; let’s get into the crux of the package.
Firstly, if you’ve never played a â€œGun Gameâ€, then I believe you’ve never really lived. They are fast paced arcade shooters, with very little story generally, but keep you pretty occupied purely because you are actually shooting, instead of using a peripheral to aim a pointer on the screen. I think the appeal is the fact that you are actually aiming the gun and pulling the trigger, provoking a response from your brain that you are actually fulfilling the role of whoever you are playing as.
In this case, you are playing with the new Guncon controller, and here are my feelings around this. Firstly, it’s bright orange. Who makes a gun bright orange? I know that companies try and make these controllers look as fake as possible due to crime’s, but come on, orange. Secondly, it feels and looks cheap, and initially, it felt very light, but as I played the game more and more, I was rather glad that it was not so heavy, as my arms got more and more tired. Thirdly, it requires a rather intricate setup, and 2 USB ports to get this right, as the game includes 2 infrared sensors that are joined on one cable, and plugged into the first USB port. The second port is used by the Gun itself, and I really don’t understand why this unit is not wireless. I already have enough cables floating around, thank you. Another quick note here is that the sensors do nothing for the overall aesthetics of your beautifully crafted Home entertainment system, so it will have to be plugged in every time you want to play. It’s also a pain to get setup, and requires a lot of movement and juggling around to get it accurate.
Another thing to note here is the fact that the controller has a lot of buttons on it, including two analogue sticks, used for movement in the FPS mode, and switching between screens in the arcade mode.
The story is very basic. It revolves around two Cops, after some terrorists with a new biological weapon, called Terror Bite, and you two are chasing them down. That’s it really. There are 2 Modes, an Arcade mode, which is standard Shoot and cover, Time Crisis style, and a Mission mode, which is a new attempt at a FPS style of game, but does nothing for the overall package, and is as linear as a grade one’s ruler. The arcade version is still where I prefer to play my game, with time based levels really pushing you to be a little bold at points. You still just shoot, duck, reload and shoot again. I wonder how much appeal this is going to have in the mainstream though. You also have various weapons, from Hand gun to Shotgun, Grenade Launcher and Sub Machine gun. These weapons require ammo, which you obtain by shooting specific coloured enemies.
From a graphics point of view, this game does not shine at all, well it does, but that’s because a lot of the textures are shiny, but it still looks like a Second Gen Game, and it does little for the overall experience. The Sound is also flat, with very little in the way of groundbreaking audio, and it comes complete with the cheesy Namco soundtrack that graces most of their games.
I find it hard to imagine that anyone will spend this kind of cash on a game as mediocre as Time Crisis 4. It’s a genre that’s dying a fast death, and I don’t see to many versions of these being released in the future, what with the Wii already having this functionality built in. If you always dreamt of having a light gun game at home when you were younger, you will get some satisfaction out of this title, I know I did, but as I said earlier, I have to be objective on this one, and I just cannot justify recommending this game to anyone other than hardcore fans.
Tilt Factor: 60%
Last Updated: May 19, 2008