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December 6, 2003
Time Crisis 3 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
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Ignore the people, shoot the truck.
Who would have ever thought that Time Crisis 3 would ever be turned into a RPG. It's amazing. Actually if you believe that, you'll believe anything. Time Crisis 3 is a light gun game, like the two games before it, but this latest game is easily the best in the series, and possibly the best light gun game ever. While the game has a storyline, it's hardly needed. Bad buy tries to take over world blah, blah, blah. Oh, you want to hear about the story? Well, here it is then.

Time Crisis 3 sees players take to the Mediterranean coastal nation of Lukano, where Zagorias Federation troops have invaded the land and taken key members of the Lukano Liberation Force hostage. With local residents and neighboring countries facing the worst from a potential missile strike, the VSSE commits its most highly skilled operatives, Wesley Lambert and Alan Dunaway, to neutralize threatening forces and return power to the leaders and citizens of Lukano.

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Time to start blasting!
Time Crisis 3 plays the same as previous games in the series. That is, you are essentially on-rails as you progress through the levels, but only progress after you clear/kill all the enemies. Once again the enemies are colour coded so you can pick the most dangerous ones first. Grey soldiers will take an eternity to target you correctly, while Red ones will get you first shot. Once again bullets on target will flash red giving you a fraction of a second to duck. What makes this game so different to other light gun games is the ability to take cover behind objects. While here your gun is reloaded and can now also change weapons. In fact, this is the biggest change to this latest game in the series is the new weapon selection. Those available include pistols, machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers for taking out multiple enemies. This grenade launcher in particular is tremendous gun and will keep you occupied for hours - as long as you can find the ammo littered throughout the levels.

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One of the lovely villas.
As well as featuring the original arcade game Time Crisis 3 on the home consoles includes some new features. The storyline has been beefed up a bit (it's still no masterpiece), there is a new character to play as - Alicia Winston who appears in an all new Rescue Mission Mode (which includes a terrific Sniper Rifle component), and a new crisis mission mode which allows you to play missions with set objectives before the timer runs out.

The difficulty has also been ramped up considerably from previous games. While previous games could be finished within a couple of attempts the lack of available credits means you won't finish this game too quickly. Well, you might if you've played the arcade game to death, but the average gamer will spend quite a bit of time finishing this game.

Will it Work?

Just a word of warning to those of you with high-end TV's. Progressive Scan, 100Hz, Plasma or LCD TV's may have problems with the light gun. As these TV's become more popular this will cause problems for light gun games, so be warned to check your G-Con 2 (or the original) to make sure it's compatible with your new TV.

Of course as the arcade game was a 2-player game, so is the home port. If you're luck enough to have two G-Con 45's in your house you'll have a blast (the game can be played with a controller, but it's terribly hard, and not every exciting for newcomers). I'm not impressed with the 1/4 screen size given to each player in 2-player mode, surely it could be split-screen. Fortunately the game include i.Link support so you can both have a full TV screen to shoot at just like the arcades. What I would have loved to see, although given the super-fast response times required it may be impossible, is online gameplay. This would have been the perfect 2-player peer-to-peer connection game.

There really isn't much to fault about this game. There are issues with certain TV's (see Will it Work? box), however this is a limitation of light guns themselves, not the programmers. Some people may become tired of the endless shooting, but you can't really mark a game down for being in a certain genre

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Ka-boom mother...
Graphically, Time Crisis 3 is easily the best game in the series. Much of the scenery is now destructible, or at least responds to being hit by bullets from your gun while the number of enemies on screen, and particularly their detail, is impressive. The game maintains a rock solid frame rate, which is expected given the quality of Namco's titles. One of the best things is that everything is clearly defined. It's easy to spot the enemies, and unlike some other light gun games this more of a game of skill in targeting rather then luck in spotting and shooting enemies blending into the background or darkness. The only minor disappointment with the graphics is the texturing which is somewhat simplistic and lacking detailed.

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Don't hit your buddy.
Sound is possibly this games weakest area as it is pretty much straight from the arcade. The music is adequate for a game of this type, while the gunshots lack the oomph that you expect in today’s games. Fortunately the explosions, through a good sound system will rock the room. The speech is also very, very corny and could have done with a major overhaul prior to release.

If you have a light gun or two lying around I can't seen any reason for you to not pick up Time Crisis 3. This is a light gun game that actually offers a real challenge while the graphics and sound are as good as seen in this type of game. Certainly a game worth considering.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSTexturing is a little average, but this is a solid looking light gun game.
SOUNDEverything is in place, but it's not going to win any awards.
GAMEPLAYThe new benchmark in light gun games. Tremendous fun for everyone.
VALUEA port of an arcade game - short, but you'll play through many times.
OVERALLTime Crisis 3 is a fairly old game in the arcades, and it has been ported to the PS2 very well indeed. If you have light guns then there is no reason not to get this great title. If you don't have light guns, this game warrants the purchase.

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