If you were a gamer back
in the NES and SNES days, you most likely picked up an NES Zapper or
Super Scope 6 at some point and had a great time.
Nintendo has since abandoned the genre and Namco has picked
up the slack by releasing several games for both the PSone and PS2
that utilize its GunCon 1 and 2 controllers.
The guns are far more accurate these days, and the games are
a bit more complicated than the point and shoot affairs of
yesteryear, but the games are still relatively easy to get into and
enjoy. Time Crisis 3 is
the latest entry in the genre and it has a few new tricks up its
sleeve that add quite a bit of depth to the extremely accessible
gameplay light-gun games are known and loved for.
There is a story in
Time Crisis 3, but it wont affect how or why youll play the
game at all. Two special
agents get sent into a small Mediterranean island to take care of a
madman who is holding several people hostage.
Got it? Now go
Unless you already have a
GunCon 2 for one of the other light-gun games released for the PS2,
I suggest that you pick up the set of Time Crisis 3 that comes
complete with the gun and the game priced anywhere between $50 and
$60. You can play the
game with just the Dual Shock, but it isnt nearly as fun and
doesnt perform anywhere near as well as Resident Evil: Dead
Aim did without a gun. Another
bonus of picking the game up along with a gun is that you can find
most of the other light-gun games for PSone and PS2 for pretty cheap
these days and youll already have a gun to use with them.
At any rate, dont bother getting Time Crisis 3 if you
arent going to pick up the GunCon 2 along with it.
The gameplay in Time
Crisis 3 is set on rails so the game moves for you and all you have
to do is shoot the bad guys. Dont
take that the wrong way, you arent constantly moving, but rather
the game moves you from one area to the next and then you have to
shoot all of the enemies before you move onto the next area.
The gameplay hook in TC3 is that you can duck behind cover in
order to avoid enemy attacks or environmental hazards.
While you are ducking behind a rock or barrel or whatever,
your gun is automatically reloaded and you are completely safe as
long as you stay down. A
timer is constantly ticking away, though, and if you stay in one
place too long youll run out of time, so it is better to use
cover wisely and take out enemies as fast as possible.
The levels vary from a ship to a moving train to a small
town, and while the different locations dont have much of an
impact on how the game plays, they do an excellent job of keeping
the theme of being on a small Mediterranean island intact.
Time Crisis 3
adds a couple of new twists to the tried and true gameplay of the
series. First off, you
can switch between a pistol, machine gun, shotgun, and grenade
launcher whenever you want. The
machine gun, shotgun, and grenade launcher only have finite amounts
of ammunition so you have to be careful with your shots and try not
to waste bullets. Your
pistol has unlimited ammunition, but to replenish the bullets for
your other weapons you have to shoot enemies wearing yellow suits.
All of the enemies in the game are color coded this way
green guys are pawns, red and blue guys are more dangerous, etc.
and it is fun to be able to enter a room, gauge the threat level of
the enemies, and then choose the right weapon to take them out.
Another area where the gameplay has been enhanced is the use
of the environment and set pieces.
You can blow up gas tanks and other objects, which not only
take out all of the enemies, but also change the environments by
making a building collapse or rocks fall down.
The set pieces used in the game are pretty clever as well.
One example is found early in the game when the boat you are
on is sinking and starts to tip up, completely changing the level
layout and the way you have to deal with enemies.
If you know
what you are doing, you can beat the game in under an hour.
The first time you play it, however, it is unlikely that
youll even beat the first level.
Even on the easiest difficulty setting, this game is still
incredibly hard. You
only have three lives when you first start playing, but the more
times you try to go through the story mode the more continues you
get and that makes it a lot easier.
Through all of that playing, you get a lot better at the game
and memorize the levels as well, so after a couple of days you
should be able to beat the story mode.
This is sort of a cheap way to make the game last a little
longer on Namcos part, but repeated runs through the levels are a
lot of fun, so you can excuse the games relatively short length.
When you beat the game you unlock a rescue mission that is
pretty fun and adds a few sniper sections into the mix.
Just like in
the arcade, you can play Time Crisis 3 with two players.
Each player only gets about a quarter of the screen, however,
and that makes it very difficult to see what you are doing unless
you have a huge TV. You
can hook up two TVs and two PS2s with an I. Link so you can both
have full screens, but that isnt very practical for about 99% of
gamers out there. In
short, multiplayer sucks.
Graphically, Time Crisis 3 looks nice enough that you can see what
is going on, but it isnt as pretty or well animated as RE: Dead
Aim. The environments
are varied and look nice, and since the enemies are all wearing
bright colored jumpsuits, it is easy to pick them out from the
backgrounds. The enemies
have pretty stiff animation, which looks weird at first, but you are
usually blowing them away fast enough that you dont have to watch
them too much.
The sound is pretty much the same way.
Good enough to get the job done and little more.
Everything has a very loud arcade sound to it, which suits
the game perfectly. The
music is pretty forgettable and the dialogue is goofy enough that
the voice acting is funny instead of annoying.