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PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews

Developer: Namco OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony 1 Player
Game Type: Shoot-em-up Memory Card
Review Date: April 1998 G-Con45

Setting the Scene

Many said that Time Crisis was the game that could never be converted onto 
the Playstation.  Regardless of how powerful the console was considered to be, 
it surely could not cope with the demand of Namco's Super System 22 arcade 

Light gun games have been few and far between on the Playstation games console 
and are regarded as a bit of a novelty that quickly wears thin.  The difference 
between dropping a few coins in the slot down at the arcades before blasting 
all and sundry for about five minutes, and sitting in the comfort of your 
armchair at home waving a gun at the TV screen for several weeks is immense.  
Especially if the game is substandard and lacks accuracy, which was precisely 
the case with early attempts at this genre in titles such as Crypt Killers 
and Area 51.  Die Hard Trilogy was a fair attempt but was dogged by an 
inaccurate peripheral that only Lenny the Cross-eyed Lion could possibly 
have any success with.


Time Crisis, in arcade form, is finest gun game to ever grace our 
amusement halls.  It was slick, it was accurate and it simply oozed quality.  
While the game unfolded the tension became almost unbearable as you clung onto 
your final grain of health, attempting to reach those final stages that had 
previously eluded you.


I have to say that the visuals may not be 100% accurate to the arcade 
version but they come very close.  Constructed entirely from polygons the scenery 
looks relatively smooth and very well animated.  A slight disappointment is the 
lack of interactive objects in the background.  Apart from the occasional 
exploding crate or drum, the odd flying hook and a few pieces of glass that 
can be shattered there isn't really an awful lot going on.  

The foreground is a completely different situation and is alive with enemy 
guards, agents and henchmen whose reactions to being hit are amazingly accurate.  
Shoot a leg and they will fall to the ground clutching the damaged limb.  
A bullet in the head will see them thrown backwards in a similar way that 
someone would when smacking their head on a low hazard when running at pace.  
A body shot to the left will offer a reaction where the enemy is set into a 
spin with the sheer force of impact before falling to the ground clutching their 

Of course as well as dishing out punishment you must also learn to take it 
and each hit results in a slight shaking of the screen, a small yellow explosion 
and the screen turns a blood stained color for a few seconds.  This works extremely 
well giving you a feeling of the true force of impact. 

Sounds and Effects

The sound effects have been handled superbly.  The intros help to build up 
the tension with some over the top dialogue and backed by a suitable music score.

Each of the weapons have their own distinct sound and are crisp and accurate which 
add further to the tension that gradually builds up in the game. 


Time Crisis is one of the most exciting, interactive shoot-em-ups to ever 
emerge, with it's intelligent level construction and fast paced gameplay. Rather 
than taking the usual route of using one ongoing level, Time Crisis is structured 
into mini missions, where multiple enemies pop up in the background for you to pick 
off. When a time allowance to dispose of these villains runs out, you may rest your 
trigger finger while a brief journey into the next hot spot is previewed, then you 
are thrust right back into the action.

The main omission from the coin-op game is the pedal, used in the arcades to duck 
behind the many barriers and crates when diving for cover.  Instead an easier method 
has been implemented.  Your character hides behind a section of scenery.  A press 
on the action button will move you man out into the open to aim and fire up to six 
bullets.  To reload simply duck for cover and then you are instantly ready to come 
out fighting with full barrels.

The G-Con45 that comes packaged with the game is highly accurate because the device 
plugs into both pad port and video out jack allowing each screen to be held in the 
memory giving accuracy to one pixel.  The game also works using a standard joypad 
with moderate success.  The only flaw being the easy to see bright red spot becomes 
a darker blue dot that is sometimes lost in the scenery.  It can also be a bit of a 
chore to drag the cross hair across the screen when enemies appear from all angles.   

The game opens with the player selecting one of the difficulty levels, then you are 
dropped straight into the action in a warehouse, where you must confront groups of 
up to six enemies, each armed with grenades, guns and knives. Each villain must be 
picked off individually, with a direct hit resulting in a flash of orange across 
the screen. An accurate shot is required, as the guards will cower behind their 
shields only exposing the odd limb. 

The options allow you to calibrate the G-Con45 and save your game to memory.  
Game modes include the original arcade version of Time Crisis and a selection of 
Special Playstation only levels.

Value for Money

This is a must buy for those who adored the original arcade classic and is 
almost as good as having the Super 22 System in your front room and far less expensive.  
Those who are not addicted to light gun shooters had best try renting for a couple 
of days.
GRAPHICS: 18/20 Time Crisis is undoubtedly the finest light gun game around at the moment standing head and shoulders above the rest. It may prove a little expensive for the short thrill that this type of game offers as prolonged use and lastability come into question.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 18/20

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