Time Crisis 3 review
A Crisis worth taking on in your own home

The good:

Arcade-perfect graphics, sound, and gameplay. Extra features/game modes added for console. Available with GunCon 2 controllers included. Interesting multiplayer options.

The bad:

High difficulty level. The GunCon 2 controllers don't work with all TVs.


The 3rd installment in Namco's popular light gun franchise, Time Crisis 3 is a unique first-person arcade shooter that puts the player in the role of a VSSE operative trying to foil an evil plot against the world. This time around you're trying to prevent nuclear missiles rom being launched from a hidden base in the Mediterranean.

The graphics are arcade-perfect, solid but not quite spectacular. Characters are 3D modeled and show a lot of deatil, as do the backgrounds, but there are some rough edges and backgrounds in the cutscenes appear to be a little grainy. The action always moves at a good pace and there is never any slowdown when many objects are on the screen. Sounds are also arcade-perfect, with a reasonable amount of spoken dialogue among enemies during gameplay and excellent sound effects. The music nicely fits the atmosphere of the game but quickly gets repetitive. Controls vary greatly depending on how you choose to play: A PS2 controller can be used but the setup is kinda clunky and it's not as accurate as a light gun. Namco's GunCon 2 controller (two of these are included with the Limited Edition bundle that includes the game) is a little bit of a hassle to setup and does not work with all TVs (especially newer projection and LCD TVs; You also need to buy additional equipment if your TV uses RF or Component video connections, but if you just use the A/V cords that you plug right into your TV, you're good to go), but if it works for you it's very easy to use and quite accurate assuming you calibrate it properly, which is also easy to do. The button layouts make the gun easily usable by both left-handed and right-handed players without needing to make any alterations. The only other issue is that although the gun itself is fairly light, using it for long periods of time can really hurt your arms, so take frequent breaks when using it. Gameplay is fast, intense, arcade-style shooting that looks and feels more like an interactive movie of sorts-as you play the game, you're told to wait as you move around to different gameplay areas, then you hear a voice shout "Action!" as the prompt to begin playing again appears on screen. The game itself plays like the previous Time Crisis games but one major change is the new Weapon Select system-now instead of just your Handgun you can also use Machine Guns, Shotguns, and Grenades. The game is of decent length for an arcade shooter, it can be completed in about 25-30 minutes, although the difficulty level is rather high. Even on the easiest skill levels it'll take several tries to get through it, but the game gives you extra continues and other options as you try to beat it, which helps a lot and increases replay value. Another game mode added exclusively for PS2 is Rescue Mission-this new game allows you to play as the girl you'll see in some of the cutscenes and experience the story from her point of view and unlock other minigames as well. The Multiplayer options are very interesting too-in addition to being able to playing 2-player splitscreen, you can also use link cables to hook up two PS2s and two TV screens to perfectly re-create the arcade experience, with each player having their own screen to play on.

Although the game, and especially the Limited Edition bundle, are a bit hard to find, those who enjoy arcade-style shooters and who want a quick yet intense FPS experience will definitely want to look for this title, as Namco has hit the bullseye once again with this installment of the series.

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