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Time Crisis: Crisis Zone PS2 Review - -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.0
Value 5.0
Distributor: Sony
Andrew B


Time Crisis: Crisis Zone

Crisis Zone has always been a popular series on the PS2 console and is easily one of the most popular and probably most enjoyable gun franchises on the system as well. Unlike the other games in the genre, this current incarnation gives gamers a machine gun rather than a gun and also contains the same tacky voice acting, high action and extremely fast gameplay that made the previous games so popular. 

Crisis Zone's story is quite faithful to the Time Crisis series, as it is full of the cliché terrorist activities we have all grown to know and love. Your role is the lead of an anti-terrorist squad set out to save the world. You must accomplish this equipped with nothing but a machine gun, a never-ending supply of ammunition and an indestructible riot shield.

In some ways, Crisis Zone departs from the standard Time Crisis formula as in the previous titles, there was an emphasis on accuracy, and it was important to shoot the people relatively quickly so they couldn’t shoot you back. This instalment changes the formula quite a bit by giving you a fully automatic assault rifle from the get-go. Ultimately, the result is that it changes slightly from an accuracy-centric title to something that almost resembles spray painting the garage. To me, this single change was probably the most detrimental one, as I didn’t have nearly as much fun by pulling the trigger and waving the gun around as I had when I was actually aiming at targets. Another change that caused a bit of disappointment is the lack of a two-player mode. The other games essentially always included this two-player option, and it allowed for a couple of friends to compete with each other in order to get the best score.

So is the gameplay purely graphics here? Almost. I thought the best part was watching the environment become Swiss cheese as your hot lead flies through it without prejudice. The effects in play when destroying the various objects strewn around the stages are basically the best I have seen. You can take out chunks of sculptures, reshaping them into deformed masses of pottery; computer monitors explode; basketballs deflate; glass shatters and all of it caused by the barrel of your smoking gun. I have never had a game make me feel so good about destroying everything in sight.

Another thing that enhances the enjoyment of the game is the dual gun mode, which allows you to use two at once if you happen to own two Guncon2 units. It also provides the chance for two people to play at the same time, but so far, the only way most people may have even one unit is through the purchase of Time Crisis 3. I don't know if there was a technical reason for this, but Crisis Zone only works with Guncon2, which means that any of the original Guncon units won't work. I had to borrow another Guncon2 gun from a friend in order to experience the dual gun mode, which made the game more enjoyable

The manner in which your enemies twitch and recoil as you pump round after round of lead into them is also pretty cool. It’s the most realistic rag doll effect I have ever seen in a shooting game, although apparently everyone has some impossibly resilient body armour. It took a dozen shots or so at a near-point blank range to take out the average grunt, so it made me wonder if I was using fully-automatic pellet guns.

The sound is much like the sound in previous Time Crisis games. The report on the guns sounds less than realistic, but certainly more than suitable. Similarly, explosions are nothing impressive but not condemnable either. The music is fairly decent mixing some upbeat techno with orchestrated string sections. The voice acting is a touch below average, falling into the bad category but not so bad that it's funny. Keep in mind that both the audio and graphics are pretty old, as this is a port from a pretty old arcade game. The audio is perhaps a touch less aged in sound than the graphics are in appearance. The characters look a touch pixelated here and there, and everything could be just a bit smoother. When you throw in the chaos of a gun fight, you get a fairly immersive visual experience.

In conclusion, Crisis Zone is unfortunately a very short game that only took myself around three hours to compete in the story mode. Fortunately the game also contains a variety of other gameplay modes that contain objective orientated missions that are extremely more difficult than the story mode. With stunning graphics and an extremely fun gaming engine, Time Crisis: Crisis Zone is a fun game that I would recommend to all lovers of gun games but if you are looking for a game worth the money, you may want to rent this game before you buy because it's quick quick QUICK!


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