|System: PS3 (MOVE)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Andrew Groen
The Time Crisis series has had a long and storied history in the video game industry. They've released near-countless iterations of their arcade shooters, and many more ports and original games on consoles over the decades. So it was absolutely no surprise at all to learn that Namco Bandai would be bringing the seminal series to the PlayStation Move. Its light-gun-esque wand must have been a dream come true for Namco Bandai executives looking for an excuse to drop a new game on the public.
To their credit, the Time Crisis games have always been fairly good, if perhaps a bit uninventive. The games generally revolved around the same concept. A hero needs to blast through a group of enemies hiding behind boxes, walls, and other solid objects. But more importantly, he/she only has a limited amount of time to accomplish the goal. So you're forced to charge through the level to reach checkpoints in a timely fashion. Razing Storm is a pretty big deviation from that formula, but that's not a bad thing. The central game of this package is more of an action shooter than a time-based shooter like classic Time Crisis games.
This package consists of three separate games, all of which are fully functional light-gun shooters on their own. Light gun games and on-rail shooters are notorious for offering severely low value due to the incredibly short amount of time it takes to play them (usually only a couple hours at most). But Namco Bandai sidesteps that complaint by packaging these three good shooters together for one price. This move ensured that Razing Storm would be a compelling buy for anyone interested in light gun games. Compared to the other rail-shooter released this week, The Shoot, Razing Storm offers a much better value for your dollar. You can be sure you'll get your money's worth here.
The main game, Razing Storm, is practically a parody of modern video games. I can't say for sure if the game is intended to be as hilarious as it is. The aesthetic feels like a mixture of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Modern Warfare. It's frenetic and action is packed with bipedal tanks roaming around and enemy soldiers firing automatic weapons all over the level. You can choose to activate a regular wireless controller or a PS Move navigation controller with the wand to control the game in a couple different ways. It's a shame though that the control never works very well. Using the PS Move control system is difficult, and using the controller doesn't make matters much better.
Razing Storm also includes a side mode that is played from the point of view of a prison guard trying to prevent prisoners from escaping during a riot. It's your job to use non-lethal weaponry to subdue the prisoners, either by multiple shots to the body or a well-placed headshot. It's played from a static camera point, and the levels are designed to be deviously tough as prisoners weave in and out of cover, getting behind things that obstruct your sight lines. It's a side mode, but it's more fun than the main game.
The second game on the disc, Deadstorm Pirates, is by far the most action-packed game of the three. The game opens up in a crazy shooting section where your pirate ship is being attacked by a fleet of ghost ships. In a matter of minutes you'll blast dozens of skeleton warriors and blow up the entire fleet with your ships' cannon. It's absurd, of course, but absurd can be a ton of fun sometimes. This was actually my favorite game on the disc.
The final game included is Time Crisis 4, which is certainly not lacking in its own degree of absurdity. The two main characters are flamboyant, wear bright, suave clothing, and have more than their fair share of 'tude. Each game has its own unique selling points, and Time Crisis 4's best point is the ability to switch weapons on the fly. Most light gun games restrict you to a single weapon, but TC4 allows you access to a handgun, grenade launcher, machine gun, and shotgun as long as you have ammo for that weapon. It allows for some decision-making when put in tough spots. This is the only game where Time Crisis's classic cover system really plays a big role. You pop in and out of cover, taking out hordes of heavily armed enemies.