Time Crisis: Razing Storm
Time Crisis, the king of light-gun shooters, returns with Time Crisis Razing Storm, an on the rails and first person shooter hybrid with the intent of shaking up the formula. Unfortunately the setup is far too short and bland for a home release; the arcade is where the Time Crisis series should have stayed.
The most enjoyable and familiar option is Arcade Mode, which takes you through the usual on-the-rails setup you would expect from the series. Up to two players can shoot their way through the legions of enemies - human and robot - with the standard controller, light-guns, or the Playstation Move controllers, through a linear procession of corridor and small open area shootouts. Initially it's fun, the experience is designed to be inherently so, but 20 minutes later and you'll be at the end credits, and replay is far from encouraged. What stands in the way of your prolonged enjoyment is the poor design choices and dodgy A.I. You're equipped with an automatic weapon from the start and enemies often run straight at you in large groups, avoiding and completely ignoring cover. You can simply mow them down. Even when the A.I does take cover the only attacks that can hit you are blatantly telegraphed by red or blue crosshairs appearing on screen. A quick dodge behind your shield and it's back to the slaughter. The robotic standard enemies and large robotic bosses change things up a little with increased health or weak spots, but you're given either a shotgun or rocket launcher to deal with these threats when they appear. Add to that instant revivals when you die and lives aplenty and the challenge - or lack thereof - remains a breeze throughout.
With a mode this short and with the difficulty completely broken without the worry of losing coins after each death, Time Crisis Razing Storm doesn't make the transition from arcade to home console smoothly. That's not to say it isn't fun, but it's short lived fun, with only leaderboard status to encourage return visits.
Story Mode is also available but it's just as broken as the Arcade Mode and only slightly longer. Interestingly, Story Mode takes the form of a FPS, once again compatible with Playstation Move. The A.I is still atrocious, with their suicidal galloping towards you, unaware of the ranged purpose of their weapons, and the story itself is melodramatic droll, but the biggest problem are the controls. Turning is a slow and arduous process with the Move controller, and whilst this is rectified by using standard controls, for a title designed to show off the Move's potential as a control method it fails miserably. Three to four hour later and Story Mode is over, leaving you with Sentry mode, where you shoot escaping prisoners, which isn't bad for a short time but soon becomes repetitive, and then there's multiplayer team deathmatch.
Multiplayer has the makings of a decent mode but suffers the same problem with controls which limits the appeal considerable. It's also only consists of a single mode, a very bland team deathmatch setup with only a handful of maps. The experience system to unlock perks - borrowed from many other FPS titles - isn't a bad addition but with the multiplayer overall lacking content, longevity can't be sustained; it simply isn't fun beyond a few matches. Additionally, problems with lag crop up far too often. You won't be coming back for more anytime soon.
As a saving grace Time Crisis Razing Strom does include two additional rail shooters, Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates. They're good additions and either is more enjoyable that the modes available in Time Crisis Razing Strom. Weapon and enemy variety are more impressive and they are much more challenging which promotes replay.
Time Crisis Razing storm provides a brief throwaway thrill before its true colours are laid bare. It's not utterly terrible but it's not far off. However they're fleeting moments of fun in the arcade mode, as well as in Time Crisis 4 and Deadstrom Pirates, especially when using the Move controller, but ultimately the arcade is the best place to play this classic genre and series.
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