Time Crisis is a classic light gun series, but there’s a challenge in bringing it to the iPhone or iPod Touch. After all, you have to tap to shoot, because nobody’s invented a light gun accessory that plugs into Apple’s devices. Even if somebody did, we can’t see that being a big hit on the morning subway commute.
So how does this light gun series translate in 2nd Strike? Amazingly well. This edition of Time Crisis is a big, big improvement over the last one on iPhone, with onscreen controls for ducking and reloading, a lengthier (and more challenging) campaign, and added replay value in the form of score and time attack modes. Even the graphics are greatly improved.
Black Hawk going down.
You play as Giorgio, a swarthy marksmen who is sent into hostile situations with absolutely no backup. First you have to rescue a VIP, then recover stolen weapon crates, and finally disarm the nerve gas and nukes that terrorists have rigged to explode. Along the way, you’ll kill hundreds of henchmen whose sole purpose in life is to pop out at you from behind a crate and die in an interesting fashion.
Sometimes, those henchmen can sting. Most of their bullets will whiz by you harmlessly, but if you see a red flash, it’s time to duck behind cover. Some henchmen are more reliably accurate, and they’re color-coded with a red or orange jumpsuit so you know to target them first.
Haven’t these guys heard of urban camouflage?
In later levels, the action becomes beautifully hectic. The timer will tick away each spare second, so you have to keep shooting and dodging, unable to pry your attention away. You also have four different weapons to switch between, and you’ll randomly gain ammo for three of them as you fight through each level. We heard Beethoven’s Ode To Joy playing in our heads every time we switched from machine gun to shotgun to grenade launcher in a few seconds flat.
Although the cutscenes and voice work are pretty goofy, it’s all part of Time Crisis 2nd Strike’s undeniable charm. This game has great visuals, intense and challenging action, and the finale absolutely lives up to its title, ‘Wild Climax’. We didn’t think a light gun game could be executed this well on the iPhone, but Namco has proven that they are up to the task. If you love shooters, buy this game.