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A Time Crisis 2 Retroventure

With Retroventure we unearth and visit titles from the vaults of videogame history. From pixels to early polygons, from Western RPGs to Japanese platformers, it’s never too late to give these games the attention they deserve. For the first feature in this running series, Nick Vracar lock’n’loads for Time Crisis 2.
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I’ve always loved light gun games. I’ve spent way too many quarters at the arcades, when arcades were king, on plenty of these. Time Crisis 2 was one of them, and like many light gun games, it was one I never finished. As an unemployed high school student I only had so much money to spend, whether it be at the arcade or for the home edition, of which I never owned back in the day.

Finding a working copy of the game, along with a compatible GunCon 2 was simple enough. A local video game store happened to have the two paired in a single package, sitting high on a shelf, untouched for months at a time. The package collected dust with the best of ’em. It was quite likely because it doesn’t work for most people.

The problem with light gun games is they rely on technology that’s largely been phased out, and it’s not the video game consoles. It’s the televisions. Light gun games do not work with flat screen TVs at all. There’s technical reasons for this sort of thing, and if you’re curious about what allows them to work, click here. The important thing to note is that Time Crisis 2 only works on projection televisions. I, fortunately, have one.

Hooking up the GunCon was a lot trickier than I expected. It wasn’t the simple matter of plugging the gun into the PlayStation 2. The gun plugged into the PS2 via the USB, as well as into the video input on the TV. The cord is simply not as long as it should be. It’s serviceable, but I found myself shifting around where the PS2 was and adjusting how the TV was angled in order to better shoot the screen.

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And then after a quick calibration, it was time to play the game. The voice acting was terrible. The story was absolute crap. The villain apparently has a plot involving a nuclear satellite, being launched into space. Somehow evil would be perpetrated by this. Either way, it’s up to two gunmen to put a stop to Ernesto Diaz’s plans in the sequel to the one of the original cover-based shooters.

The game itself is incredibly short. There are only three stages, each one divided into three areas. Each area can be completed in about two minutes. What it lacks in stamina, however, it makes up for in extremely odd continue mechanics. During my first play-through, of which I lost, I only had three credits. I didn’t beat the game, but I did unlock an extra, fourth credit.

My second try also resulted in failure, but I got farther this time. I got all the way to the last stage, even. Once again I unlocked more credits. During my next play-through I had six credits; more than enough to kill anything that moves. Twenty minutes later I was done with the game. Free-play was unlocked.

It was a short game, but that didn’t stop me from playing it long enough for my index fingers to become sore. I played it again akimbo style. I played it with a friend. It was a grand ol’ time. Then the television broke. Now the game sits on yet another shelf, collecting dust.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

Gentle persuasion

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