Time Crisis 2 Review
If any of you only knew how high my appreciation for Time Crisis is. Time Crisis was, and still is, one of my favorite Playstation games ever. I remember my first actual experience with a light-gun was with Lethal Enforcers (anybody remember that game?). I recall dropping quarters after quarter into a local arcade. I was hooked! About a year after, I purchased the Super Nintendo version with the gun and everything. So as you can see, I've been an avid fan of light-gun titles since day one. And yes, I did own an NES and Super-Scope. I just don't qualify the games it was compatible with as light-gun titles. More or less they were 'target practice,' but that's beside the point. After picking up my Playstation in May of 1997, I remember reading a preview of Time Crisis in an issue of GamePro. The game would hit shelves in November of the same year, and I nearly wet my pants...ok so I did! When I finally picked up Time Crisis, I spent countless hours in my room playing the game, trying to take every single possible route and beating the game quicker than before. I was obsessed with a light-gun title. To this day, I still find myself coming back to Time Crisis and replaying it every now and then. There was a long and tedious wait in between the next TC title on the PSX. Originally wished to be Time Crisis 2, Namco announced that TC: Project Titan would be the next PSX title instead, leaving the official sequel to be developed for the PS2. Project Titan was in development for quite some time, and in the end it turned out to be a decent title, not better than the first though. Just this past E3, Namco made it official that they will be porting Time Crisis 2 for the Playstation 2, in addition to adding a bunch of extra features. You wouldn't understand the reaction on my face when I saw the first three screens of the game in action. So the anticipation began, and before I know it Time Crisis 2 has arrived. So here I am reviewing what is downright the most kick-ass light-gun title ever, and a sequel to one of my favorite PSX games.
When it comes down to games like Time Crisis 2 being ported directly onto a console, I expect few if any changes in the visual department. The original Time Crisis on the PS looked the same as the arcade version, and so did other games like Area 51. But when you fast forward into a world where home consoles have an enormous edge over arcade machines, you begin to expect improvements in arcade to console ports. Heck, Tekken Tag for the arcade looks like a first generation Playstation game when compared to its Playstation 2 counterpart. Not to anyone's surprise Namco has done it again. They have taken a two-year-old arcade title, ported it over to the PS2 with noticeable visual enhancements. While not as drastically improved as Tekken Tag was, Time Crisis 2 still looks noticeably better on the PS2 than on the arcade. The texture detail has seen some refinement, the backgrounds look smoother than ever, despite not being polygon heavy, they look very detailed and are interactive as well. As every shooter does, Time Crisis 2 features a lot of explosive special effects, which brings out the cinematic effect in the game. The character detail is very nice to say the least. They don't come off as looking stiff, but instead superbly detailed and quite realistic. Overall, Time Crisis 2 is a pretty looking game that shouldn't disappoint anybody.
What can I say? I'm a light-gun junky! Unfortunately, I have come across awful light-gun titles, most of which slip my mind, but who hasn't. The arcade version of Silent Scope and SS2 were both excellent, because they gave gamers a new perspective in the light-gun world, by offering a sniper rifle in place of a handgun. But when the PS2 versions lost that support, we were all pretty much left begging for Time Crisis 2, since we knew that there wasn't a chance in hell Namco would drop the ball on that one. Thankfully Namco has delivered Time Crisis 2, and an all-new GunCon. Fans never fear. Namco has made TC2 backwards compatible, so those who are too cheap to shell out an extra $10 for a GunCon 2, can use their original GunCon to play Time Crisis 2 without a hitch. The premise has remained the same; cover and shoot. There are now more bullets allowed for simultaneous use, nine. With the second Time Crisis, comes a wire that allows for two GunCons to be connected and used for two-player purposes, a big plus for a game that really deserves it! In addition to a two-player mode, Namco has added double GunCon support. So if you link together two GunCons you can use them in the one player mode as two separate guns! Speaking of linking, TC2 allows gamers to use the iLink option and connect two PS2s, 2 TVs and two games for a true multiplayer arcade like experience.
The Story mode is identical to that of the arcade version's, but I'm somewhat bummed that the game doesn't have the multiple pathways like the original did. It was a great feature that added more replay value to the game. Despite lacking various pathways, Time Crisis 2 is still hands-down the best light-gun title out there. The home version includes four great mini-games, such as Agent Trainer, Quick&Crash, Shoot Away 2 and a secret game. In addition to that, every time you complete the story mode, or get to a certain point, you will be rewarded with extra continues, or access to a stage in the Time Trial mode and ultimately the final secret mini game. As far as replay value goes, let's just say that it's been four years since I've bought Time Crisis, and I still play it quite frequently; 'nuff said! I can guarantee to all of you, that years from now I'll still be playing Time Crisis 2 on my PS2.
Well, the sound is taken directly from the Arcade version, but that doesn't go without saying that it's still very good. There are many sequences where voice acting comes in play, and everything sounds great. The gun shot effect has been changed, and doesn't sound as loud as it use to, but the feel is still there. The soundtrack features the original intro song slightly re-done, in addition to newer tunes from the arcade title. Everything in the game is simple, but it works quite well. Nothing really stands out as extraordinary, but overall it's all good.
Did you expect anything else from the controls? Time Crisis 2 is pretty much perfect in the field, with the note of one problem, force feedback. I was kind of bummed when I picked up the GunCon 2 and noticed how light it was, and how there was no force feedback every time I shot a bullet. It would've been truly a great inclusion into the title, but chances are it was done like that for financial purposes. If you're as much of a TC fanatic as I am, getting the hang of the game will take absolutely no time. With backwards compatibility, and the use of two light-guns in single-player mode, Time Crisis' controls are unbeatable.
I can't stress this enough, Time Crisis 2 is one of the best action titles you can get for your money. For a mere $60 you can get both the GunCon 2 and the game. With arcade enhanced visuals, timeless gameplay, and fantastic replay value, Time Crisis 2 is one of the year's must have games. Those who are looking for a game that will last for quite some time, and features addictive gameplay, owe it to themselves to go and buy Time Crisis 2. You won't regret doing so!
10/7/2001 Arnold Katayev