|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||CRISIS CITY|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Shoot-em-up||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||July 1998||Dual Shock Compatible|
Setting the Scene
I'm sure many of you out there will remember the title that marked Williams return into the world of video games. With gameplay derived from Robotron 2084 and a theme inspired by the Running Man movie, Smash TV went down in history as one of those 'never to be forgotten classics'. It had a game show theme and more violence than a Tarantino movie - Total Carnage! I mention this because I could not get Smash TV out of my head all of the time I was play testing Crisis City, an import shooter from Takara. Why this should be when the graphics are next generation, the camera angle is third-person (rather than top-down) and there's not a game show host in sight, is beyond me! I think it had something to do with the fact that my thumb began to blister after barely an hours play, which is something that no other shooter since Smash TV has ever managed to do.
Crisis City plays unlike any other game I have experienced. Visually it holds many similarities to Fighting Force but somehow manages to retain that arcade 'feel' which is sadly lacking from many modern-day shoot-em-ups. The result is a darn good, old fashioned blaster that has been buffed up with a tin of 32-bit High Gloss polish.
Crisis City begins with a neat, although slightly grainy, little intro. It is set in a style that is normally reserved for the opening of a movie in the cinema as the credits slowly roll over the CG trailer. Thankfully this grainy look has been filtered away to leave a rather impressive graphical extravaganza. Rather than being generated by the game, all of the backgrounds have been pre-rendered in a style similar to Resident Evil 2. This means that the console pulls the scenery directly from the CD and then draws each polygon character over the top. Rather than use big chunky polygon characters the developers have sensibly made them possible contestants for Slimmer of the Year. Most of the guys are sleek and trim while all the gals are far too slim but at least it keeps the frame rate up high, which is essential in a frantic action shooter such as this. Enemies appear in many guises and range from human snipers to heavily armed robots. During many levels an assailant may leap into a passing car and then proceed to ram the hell out of your character using their bumper bar. Occasionally a bus or a passing oil tanker may be targeted and an accurate wheel-shot will see it lose control, tumble down the road and then smash into the enemies barricade. The resulting effect from the explosion makes your eyes flinch a little due to the blinding glare emitting from the screen.
Sounds and Effects
The music and sound effects are fairly decent, nothing extraordinary but relatively well done. The background tunes are simply just that while there are very few effects other than a non stop barrage of shooting and explosions.
Regarding the gameplay, I just wonder if developers now have the Analog control pad specifically in mind when programming the game controls? I ask this because, not for the first time, I noticed that the left stick directs the player around the scenery perfectly while the directional buttons seem a little off centre. Switching between both options I was amazed that occasionally while trying to walk straight forward using the directional buttons I had to jointly press both left and up. Crisis City is also Dual Shock compatible for those requiring their daily dose of good vibrations. All of the remaining pad buttons can be configured to facilitate the eight action and commands required to play the game. These include: * an extremely useful crouch motion which is essential to avoid incoming fire when things get a little hectic, very Time Crisis, * an action button that launches your character into a forward roll, * I would definitely recommend that you keep the target lock switched on. This automatically locks onto the nearest target, working in a similar way to Tomb Raider. With three different difficulty setting and three modes of play I couldn't grumble about the lastability value of Crisis City. Time Attack allows you to choose any of the seven game characters and romp through a selection of levels at lightning pace. Each character is rated A, B or C with a bar scale highlighting their personal strengths and weaknesses. Comparable to the best beat-em-ups they are all remarkably dissimilar to control therefore each will provide a unique challenge in their own right. Some move extremely swiftly but may only carry a hand pistol while others are a little slower off the mark but are packed with high-power weapons of destruction. Versus Mode is your typical beat-em-up, one vs one, battle to the death. Taking place in an enclosed arena two of the selectable fighters enter into a gun battle where not necessarily the person with the biggest weapon comes out on top. Scattered around each arena are a number of obstacles that may be used for cover therefore speed of movement becomes a great leveler. The final game style involves selecting your preferred character and then setting off on an enduring adventure in Story Mode. You are allowed 99 seconds to complete each of numerous screens where there are several enemies to eliminated before the exit is revealed. Sometimes the baddies may constantly regenerate therefore quick thinking is required to discover the whereabouts of the exit. Any obstacles standing in your way may be slowly destroyed by constant firing of your gun or taking the quick fix which involves lobbing a few of your limited grenades. After completing each level you must face one of the remaining selectable characters in a battle to the death. Reach the end and you will face your twin brother. Should you die then the game offers unlimited continues but you must return to the start of a level.
Value for Money
The action runs at a constant frantic pace and the only time you can rest your weary trigger finger is if you pause the game. If you were a fan of the old style arcade shoot-em-ups such as Smash TV then why not check out this next generation blaster. But I warn you... pump up those finger muscles first.
wasn't really looking forward to ploughing through Crisis City but once
the ball got rolling I couldn't put the control pad down.
There is something about these types of games that makes me want to keep playing right until the final credits and this title proved no exception.
Once I defeated the game with one of the selectable characters (about two-three hours play time) I was quite surprised that playing again with another offered a totally fresh challenge. This was mainly down to their individual weapons and speed that they reacted.