Flashback time! Review

Time Crisis Info


  • N/A


  • N/A


  • N/A


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PS


Flashback time!

When I was 13 years old I got a BB gun for my birthday, and it was all over from

there. I spent countless hours on sunny days (of which there are many in Los Angeles)

pumping the handle, compressing air into the chamber, and firing tiny bits of

steel at harmless aluminum cans. I began to love guns.

Make all the penis jokes

you want (Oh don’t tempt us… ~Ed), but then try shooting a gun for a

while and tell me you don’t get a thrill. There I was, a child with a squeaky

voice about to trip over puberty, and yet I had a small taste of what it was like

to be more. I could smite cans from afar. I felt like a god. OK, sure, I was only

the god of aluminum cans, but you have to start somewhere.

So gun games have always held a special place in my heart. Who cares if

Lara Croft has guns-a-plenty? I may control her, but she points the

weapons and she fires them; all I get to do is press the ‘X’ button. The

gun interface is a whole different experience. It is much closer to the

real life action of firing a gun and thus much more of a cheap rush (now if

only they made one that kicked).

Enter Time Crisis, the latest from Namco. A success in the

arcades, can the home version stand up to the challenge? After all, it

has to compete with the crisp precision of Virtua Cop 2 and the

unrivaled mayhem of Die Hard Trilogy. All things considered, Time

hits the target solidly, but is just off of the bullseye. No

cigar. No cupie doll.

Here is the plot in a nutshell (yes I said plot). Rachel MacPherson, the daughter

of the President of the Republic of Sercia (don’t look at a map) has been kidnapped.

You play as superspy Richard Miller who is exactly the right kind violent, gun-toting

sort of espionage agent for the job. No need to look for clues or solve puzzles:

Just blast the enemy. While this part is the same as the arcade, Namco also includes

another PlayStation-only mission where you infiltrate (read ‘gun down’) the headquarters

of the evil terrorist group Kantaris.

While the first mission is strictly linear, the special mission has a

few different branching paths that really increase the replay value. The

Kantaris base is disguised as a luxury hotel and casino and is full of

bad guys in bellhop uniforms. I actually liked this one better than the

original scenario. Both missions are very difficult.

And don’t think that you can just blast your way through anything with that

rapid-fire auto-loading cheater gun you bought. Time Crisis only works

with Namco’s Guncon. While this will irritate

those of you who have already purchased a light-gun, the Guncon

is a good gun in its own right, and is more accurate than any other gun on the


The gameplay is very straightforward: shoot the bad guys and don’t get

shot in return. However , Time Crisis’ best feature is a new

twist on the gun game: the ability to duck. To reload your six-shooter,

you don’t just point away from the screen and shoot, you must duck

behind a wall or box or other concealing object. To do well, you must

rapidly emerge from cover, fire off a few well placed rounds, and duck

back to safety before you get shot. This gives the game a more

‘dangerous’ feel, makes it less important to memorize where the enemy

pops-up next, and is an innovation I would like to see in more gun games

in the future.

To control the ducking, you can either use a button on the front of the Guncon

(which made it very difficult to aim I thought), or you can press any button or

the D-pad on the controller in port #2. This is best done with the foot. My controller

of choice for stepping on is the extremely deserving-of-abuse Biogrip.

And don’t think you can just keep hiding behind that wall forever; there’s a reason

its called Time Crisis. Take too long and you’ll be just as dead as if

someone let you have it with an UZI.

Unfortunately, all is not sunshine and lollipops in the world of

executing deranged terrorists. Gaming veterans will be a bit

disappointed that the six shooter that you begin with is all that you

ever get. There are no powerups and no bonus weapons to be had. Forget your friends, because there is no two player mode. Also,

sometimes it seems a bit random when you get shot. Peek your head out at

the wrong moment and blam! Ouch!

But the biggest flaw holding back the game are the ‘saturday night

special’ graphics. Time Crisis looks like a PlayStation game from

about two years ago: blocky polygons, boring textures, and plenty of

breaks around the edges. There is also very little interaction with the background. The graphics are functional, and don’t impede

gameplay, but they are just disappointing when compared side-by-side

against other 1998 games.

Despite this, Time Crisis is quite a good game and a very worthy

challenge for any gun-toting lunatic in your house. Feelin’ a little

impotent? Looking for that rush of power? Cans too immobile to thrill

you? Pick up Time Crisis, oil your holster, and put that old

crappy controller on the floor. Those terrorists are just dying to get



Good action
Great ducking
Two full Scenarios
Only one weapon
Disappointing graphics