Thunderbolt logo

Time Crisis 2

Anthony Karge is one of Thunderbolt’s many fine reviewers and is also an excellent friend. The two of us loved Time Crisis 2 a lot, so we got together, and we wrote up this review. We hope you enjoy it!

Time Crisis 2 is a simple game, but sometimes, that’s a good thing. We’re simple men; we don’t always want to be bombarded with ridiculous amounts of options, puzzles, menus, and storylines that can’t be skipped. Sometimes, we just want to shoot first, ask questions later, like Vin Diesel does in many of his films. Sadly, there are few options out there for people like us, but Namco steps up to the plate and delivers with their lightgun titles, including Time Crisis 2. When you’re hankering for some great action, Time Crisis 2 delivers on nearly every front, and leaves you yearning for more.

The storyline is unimportant and not necessary to follow the game. Basically, it involves a guy who owns a huge corporation that wants to send a nuclear satellite into space, much to the dismay of our two heroes, Agents Keith Martin and Robert Baxter. To add insult to injury, Christy Ryan, a fellow agent, was sent in to use her charming good looks to infiltrate the Neodyne Corporations headquarters, only to get caught and captured. It’s up to Keith and Robert to tag team the enemies and get the job done. Through the use of overacted cutscenes, you’ll meet up with ridiculous characters, like the very blatantly homosexual gentleman in the first area and the angry black man in the second area. None of these characters are ever properly introduced, but they certainly stay with you in your heart.

This fellow is so damned angry.

All that crap aside, Time Crisis 2 is all about fast and furious gun combat. Do not buy this game without a GunCon 2. It costs more, but trust us, the experience is made far better with the lightgun rather than without. You can play the game without it, but why bother? When it’s just a traditional controller, it’s much harder to aim and the immersion is lost. Plus, with the purchase of the GunCon 2, you open your collection up to other lightgun gems, like Time Crisis 3 and Vampire Night. Even more, with the purchase of two guns, you further add to the game’s experience. Not only can another play get in on the action with you, but you can also play the game with duel weapons. We’re not being paid by Namco to tell you all this, even though it may sound like we might (we will take any handouts they offer us though, wink-wink), it’s the truth. And to think, we heard that Halo 2 was the first game to offer duel weapons.

Unlike previous lightgun games that had you reload by shooting off screen, Time Crisis 2 takes a more tactical approach. Ducking allows you time to reload and to take a quick breath from the intense balls-to-the-wall action. However, you can’t crouch like a wussy the whole time, as your limited to forty seconds of action per sequence. If you can’t eliminate all your foes in that time period, it’s game over, and you’ll lose a life. Death in Time Crisis 2 is thankfully much cheaper than in the arcade and you don’t have harass a pimply-faced employee to get the quarters you need. Sometimes, you can’t always get your dollar in the change machine properly too, so that gives the PS2 another one-up over the arcade version.

By now you may have realized we could only get pics of the cutscenes. Sorry.

Whether you’re shooting it out on a train or zipping along the crisp waters on a speed boat, dodging barrels (Donkey Kong, eat your heart out) or blowing the crap out of a tank, each scene contains many memorable moments. Loveable enemies, such as the blue uniformed enemy, red uniformed enemy (much more accurate than the blue uniformed chap), and the white uniformed enemy stand in your way at every turn, but go down easily. A random yellow enemy sneaks along in the background, netting you with bonus points if you manage to pick him off. There are even ninja lumberjacks, who try to slice and dice you like an onion on a late-night infomercial with their quick moves. Score proves to be rather insignificant, as it makes no real effect on the game other than providing an “I kicked your ass” jab to your friend.

Since the main arcade game takes a duo of seasoned veterans less than twenty minutes to complete, Time Crisis 2 comes with a plethora of mini-games that extend the shelf life of the title. Some of these mini-games play like ass (by some I mean one), like one that has you shooting at clay targets in the sky, but unfortunately the GunCons really aren’t accurate enough to hit their target, and most of the time you miss your target. In about twenty tries, we only hit the targets once, though we imagine if you shoved the gun real close to the screen you’d probably hit them just fine. This mode is thankfully complimented with the outstanding Crisis Mission, which requires quick shooting and ducking. Ammo, health and time are carefully rationed in this mode, creating a challenge but at the same time remaining fun.

How could these guys possibly be holding on?

Time Crisis 2 looks much better than its arcade counterpart, putting the final nail in the arcade versions coffin. The increased polygon count really makes the characters look crisper, while other advanced terms that we can’t explain help make the game look really pretty. Most of the music sounds like a direct copying of opening theme to The Rock (a fine Bruckheimer film), but that’s a good thing since the opening scene is quite powerful. Sadly, most of the time you can’t hear the music because the bangs and blams from your guns overwhelm it.

Time Crisis 2 is a slam-bang action ride that never lets you off the edge of your seat. Now, if generic movie review clichés can’t convince you to check out this game, take this: we’ve been playing this game for almost six months now (sorry the review is so late), so our accuracy with guns has increased. We can probably hit a moving target by now, even someone running away from us after we knock on their door brandishing weapons, asking if they bought the game yet. So go buy it, or someone might ring your door bell. It might not have the greatest longevity, but its fun to play every now and then, and for the first weeks of owning it, it’s quite addictive. Though not as rip-roaring as Time Crisis 3, Time Crisis 2 is sure to please.

(Seriously though, no Thunderbolt reviewer will ever shoot you. Please do not shoot people, it hurts).

10 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

Gentle persuasion

You should follow us on Twitter.