Time isn't on your side.
Let's be honest, people - shooting games just don't work with standard controllers. When the Silent Scope series was released for the PS2, secret agents had to fight the bad guys with a targeting cursor and a dual shock controller. What's up with that? Does this guy actually think he's going to save the world? He'd probably do more damage with a McDonald's straw and some spit wads marinated in finely aged cow drool.
But today dawns brighter, my brothers in arms. Namco has answered our prayers. Finally, the PS2 has a light gun game with an actual light gun! Warm up those trigger fingers, Time Crisis 2 is here.
The PS2 version of Time Crisis 2 is pretty much an exact translation of the arcade hit. The graphics are spot on and "The Rock" (this Rock, not this Rock) style music is perfect. The voice acting gets the golden cheese award, but since I have yet to see an arcade shooter with good voice acting, it's pretty much expected. All that's missing from the arcade experience are a few screaming kids, a colorful assortment of gum stuck to the floor, and a really big TV screen.
Like every other shooting game, you're a secret agent out to stop bad guys from doing bad things. Ninja-esque enemies are plentiful and are very skilled at stopping bullets with their bodies. A simple story for a simple game. On to the armory!
Your weapon of choice? The brightly colored Guncon 2, which comes packaged with the game for a mere $10 more than buying the game on its own. The original PSX Guncon is also compatible for those of you that bought the original Time Crisis, so all of you vets can hang on to "Old Faithful."
The gameplay is just like the arcade. You duck and hide behind objects, and pop out to face your enemies with the simple push of a button. It's much more interesting than the traditional fixed rail 'target shooting' formula.
As expected, the Arcade mode is pretty short. Scratch that - it's REALLY short. Any decent shot will beat it in about 20 minutes. Between the three stages of the game, it should only take a few tries to pass the game on the default settings. The more adventurous agents can crank up the difficulty, but I would recommend doing it before you first start playing.
Then again, you'll definitely want to be able to pass the game for the unlockable goodies. One of these is Crisis Mission, which puts you through different scenarios. Some tasks include killing an enemy from a moving train with a single shot, defeating a specific number of enemies or scoring a certain amount of points in a limited amount of time.
Fortunately, you won't have to pass the game to get the other modes like Agent Trainer, Quick & Crash, and Shoot Away 2. Agent Trainer is your basic target practice mode, Quick & Crash is a neat quick draw mode, and Shoot Away 2 is a Namco skeet shooting game from back in the day. It's really not a bad set of extras for an arcade shooter.
All of these extra games are fine and dandy, but if you want some serious fun, make sure to use the Double Gun option. Naturally, you'll need two light guns to play this mode, so if you only have one, you'll be missing out. Basically, you just go though the Arcade mode with a gun in each hand, lighting up enemies with twice the firepower. And as a guy who regularly dropped a dollar into the arcade machine just to play with both guns, I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that this feature is included.
The multiplayer game is also strong. You can play it with a split-screen or even I-linked if you're lucky enough to have all the necessary components. It's a great experience for all of those hot dates with other gamers!
But again, it won't be a very long experience. I really wish this game took longer, maybe a few extra levels or something. As it stands, it's way too short. But if your trigger finger is lookin' for a good time, grab a copy of Time Crisis 2. It's got everything you're looking for in an arcade shooter and more. Just don't expect it to last forever.