alex9234’s Sunday Review
Welcome back to another episode of Sunday Review, and today I’m going to do my first ever review of an arcade game. Today we’re looking at a game from a series that is considered to be the best in the Light Gun shooter genre, and my personal favorite in the genre. Today, we’re reviewing the legendary Time Crisis II, which came out in the arcades in 1997.
Time Crisis II takes place 2 years after the events of the first game. Neodyne Industries, the leading corporation in communication, had just successfully completed the Starline Network, which consists of 64 low-orbit communication sattelites. The V.S.S.E. (Vital Situation, Swift Elimination International Intelligence Agency) sends undercover agent Christy Ryan to investigate NDI’s project. She discovers that it is actually a front for a plan to launch a nuclear satellite into space. However, she is discovered by NDI staff while escaping, and is captured a few days after. The V.S.S.E. then sends agents Robert Baxter and Keith Martin to rescue Christy and shutdown the Starline Network.
Time Crisis II’s gameplay is similar to that of the original. Your weapon is a handgun, but instead of 6 bullets, your gun carries 9 bullets. When you run out of ammo, you release the foot pedal to take cover, and your gun automatically reloads. Like I said before, this game uses the foot pedal system, like it’s predecessor. You take cover by taking your foot off of the pedal, and to get back in the action, you press down on the foot pedal. This is the sole feature that puts Time Crisis head and shoulders above other franchises in the genre. In most arcades that I’ve been to, the health bar is usually at 3 hits (Can be upgraded to 5 if you change the settings), and if you run out of health, it’s game over, and you’ll have to use a continue (My local Dave & Busters had it set at 3), however, unlike the first game, you can continue from your current position instead of the beginning or midpoint of a stage. This is also the first game in the series that has a two-player mode, so you and a friend can take down Neodyne Industries together. Another feature that wasn’t in the first game is the “Crisis Flash” system, which alerts the player whether or not the enemy’s attack will cause a direct hit – the Crisis Flash is usually seen with the red colored enemies, bosses, and sentries. You can also shoot certain flammable objects to take out all or most enemies in a section to gain bonus points. However, make sure you take cover from objects coming your way or else you will take damage. There are also sections of the game where you get to use a machine gun with infinite ammo for a limited amount of time. You usually have 40 seconds to complete a section of an area, so don’t stay behind cover for long, or else it’s Game Over.
Keith Martin – Age: 26 (Pictured left) – Keith is an agent for the V.S.S.E.. He and his partner Robert were assigned to rescue fellow V.S.S.E. agent Christy Ryan and stop Neodyne Industries from launching a nuclear weapon into space. He originally served in the British Special Air Service (SAS) before he was recruited by the V.S.S.E., and when he joined, he was given the codename Cherub: Eden’s Guardian to avoid surprise attacks and possible prosecution by foreign law enforcement agencies. He makes a return as one of the protagonists in Time Crisis 5.
Robert Baxter – Age: 28 (Pictured right) – Robert is an agent for the V.S.S.E.. Like his partner, Keith Martin, he was assigned to rescue fellow V.S.S.E. agent Christy Ryan and stop Neodyne Industries from launching a nuclear weapon into space. Before joining the V.S.S.E., Robert was part of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 7. When he was recruited by the V.S.S.E., he was given the codename Griffon: Treasure Keeper to avoid surprise attacks and possible prosecution by foreign law enforcement agencies. Robert also makes an appearance in Time Crisis 5 as an NPC.
Christy Ryan – Age: 24 – Christy is an agent for the V.S.S.E.. She went undercover to investigate Neodyne Industries’ Starline Network project, and discovered that it was a front for launching a nuclear weapon into space. She gets captured by NDI’s agents and Keith and Robert are assigned to rescue her. Christy was a super-intellectual who graduated from both high school and Harvard University at the young age of 17, and was recruited by the V.S.S.E. shortly after. She makes a brief appearance in Time Crisis 5 as an NPC.
This was the game that got me into the Time Crisis franchise. I discovered this game at my local Dave & Busters when I was in high school, and was hooked the second I first played it. After I completed it the first time, I would play through it all over again shortly after. I played this every time I got to go to Dave & Busters, and would play it the second after I reloaded my D&B power card. Seriously, it’s THAT good. The gameplay is very fun, the difficulty is just right, the soundtrack is great, and the story is excellent. For me, I can’t really find many issues with this game – aside from the huge difficulty spikes in the final stage, and it’s average voice acting, it’s pretty much perfect. Time Crisis II is my favorite game in the series. I enjoyed it more than the first game and WAY more than the third game. It’s help up really well after 20 years. If your local arcade or Dave & Busters still has a TCII cabinet, check it out. It’s well worth your time.
My score: 9.75/10