Time Crisis 2 is an arcade game by Namco where you (and optionally a friend) stop an evil genius by using a light gun to shoot a variety of colour coded ninja enemies. The game consists of three stages, which are sub-divided into three areas. You only have a certain amount of time to clear all the enemies in each section, hence the name. One thing that makes this game stand out from other games in this genre such as Virtua Cop and Silent Scope is the 'ducking' system. To reload and dodge enemies, you can hide behind bits of scenery.

The game was released on the PlayStation 2 in late 2001. Several new features were added, mostly to compensate for the fact that the plain arcade mode takes about twenty minutes to complete. These include:

  • Agent Trainer - This is a simulation of a target range, and as such is pretty uninteresting compared to the rest of the game.
  • Quick and Crash - A PS2 version of an old Namco arcade game. It's a quick-draw type game where targets pop up and you have to shoot them down as fast as possible. Quite fun with two players, and at the end you get to shoot a ceramic cup and watch it shatter into tiny pieces.
  • Shoot Away 2 - Another conversion of a Namco arcade game, this time a skeet shooting one. Only interesting with two players.
  • Crisis Missions - These are short scenes where you have to complete some objective within a certain time limit. For instance, you may have to shoot at least 30 enemies, or take out one enemy with a single shot in a couple of seconds. These help to add a bit of much-needed longevity to the game.

The multiplayer mode is irritating, since each player has their own sub-screen, rather than a traditional split screen so there is a lot of wasted space and the game is very hard to play on smaller screeens. There is however a link-up mode where you can link two PS2's together and each player has their own separate, full screen. Finally, you can play single player John Woo-stle with two light-gun's, which is immenensly satisfying.

Packaged with the game is the Guncon2, a shiny new USB light-gun for the PS2. The coolest thing about this is that the reload button is on the bottom of the handle, so it feels as if you are slapping another clip into your pistol when you reload.

This game has a very shallow learning curve, and almost anyone can get into it quickly and easily. Unfortunately, this means that the main bulk of the game is very short and repetitive. Another annoyance is the lack of branching storylines, which were present in both Time Crisis and Virtua Cop (which also had multiple weapons). However, Time Crisis 2's superior graphics and wonderful set pieces (the boat chase at the end of the first stage) make it as good as these classics. This game is quite good to kill a half-hour or so, but don't expect a whole lot of depth.

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