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Time Crisis 4 in Midlands! July 22, 2006

Posted by Tim in Reviews, Uncategorized.
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Some people I know from KL came down to Penang today and I was supposed to meet them for dinner. Thing is I was going there straight from work, and on the way I got a call telling me they were still on Penang Hill – which left me stranded for an hour or two.

At first I was going to go to kill time in Gurney. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a fan of arcade light-gun games, and Gurney has the newest machines in Penang, with House of the Dead 3 and 4. But as I was going there I remembered the massive jam that plugs Kelawai road and Gurney drive during the weekends… so I opted for Midlands (1-Stop) instead. Midlands’ arcade is ageing, but they have a good deal which lets you play unlimited games for 4 bucks an hour.

But low and behold as I walked into the Midlands arcade… a spanking new Time Crisis 4 machine! How new is TC4, you might ask? It’s so new that I can’t even find a review for it, let alone an FAQ! So let me be the first:

Time Crisis 4

Namco’s original Time Crisis revolutionized the shooter genre with it’s hide-and-shoot gameplay. Time Crisis II was pretty bad. It didn’t add anything new other than multiplayer capability, which games like Virtua Cop and House of the Dead already had, and TC II was also much easier, with generous time allotments (taking the “crisis” out of the name), as well as a horrible case layout which positioned the player way too near the screen.

The series then took a detour with Crisis Zone, another forgettable shooter which a machine-gun instead of the standard pistol. Time Crisis III then brought the franchise back to the forefront with a weapon-switching system and PS2-standard graphics.

Crisis Critique

However with other competing shooters like House of the Dead 3/4 featuring more frenzied gameplay and much better graphics, or the underplayed (but good) Virtua Cop 3 which sported Max-Payne style bullet time, it was high time Namco shipped a new Time Crisis. How does it measure up?

My first impression wasn’t good: the graphics weren’t noticeably much better than TC III and definitely not on par with House of the Dead. It didn’t help either that Midlands opted for the small-screen cabinet. I started the game, and noticed it still had the same weapon choices. Didn’t look good!

But the complaints pretty much ended there. For one thing the story is slightly better, and the NPCs actually do take part in the action – this adds more challenge, since you have to take care not to hit them. The game also suggests the guns to use at key points (much needed, it was hilarious seeing people trying to take down choppers with a pistol in TC III).

While the graphics aren’t absolutely cutting edge, the game makes the most of them. Smoke, glass shards, sprinkler systems, and even bugs sometimes block your field of vision, and there wasn’t any lag, unlike certain scenes in TC III.

Some of the best improvements were the features and scenes adapted from other games. NPCs communicate to you via radio like in Virtua Cop, and the sound even comes through the individual gun stands, not through the screen. There was a scene straight out of the classic LA Machineguns, which placed you in a helicopter raining down rockets on helicopters and anti-air vehicles below. There was a short sniper portion a la the Silent Scope games, and in the beginning of second stage there was even a tribute to Doom III, placing you in a dark cave and attaching a flashlight to your gun to spot the enemies! Coupled with the well-scripted shootouts, TC 4 definitely had the most memorable scenes compared to its predecessors – typically had one or two good ones per game and then turning into a mindless shoot-fest at the end.

Multitasking Your Shooting

The newest feature that has everyone talking is the multi-screen battle. At many points in the game you need to hold and defend a certain position, during which enemies will come at you from all directions. By pointing your gun to the edge of your current screen, you “scroll” to a different screen, with a different set of enemies. Very challenging, especially in solo mode, but also very innovative.

Gameplay-wise, it’s definitely the best of the series. Accuracy is worth many more points now (1000 for each percentile), and the bullet combo system is much less brainless – there’s a gauge on top which increases as you hit enemies, but quickly goes down as you start missing. Although the weapon selection is the same, they are more balanced – the shotgun has a cooldown between each shot, and the machine gun does much less damage, making it unsuitable for bosses. Reloading seems slightly stricter, no more “duck-and-shoot” techniques. Much more challenge now, for better or worse. I couldn’t get past the first stage on one credit!

Anyone reading this who’s a fan or whose name is Benjamin or Khay Soon, I need kaki for TC 4 !!

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Comments»

1. Denise Chan - July 26, 2006

Will there be Virtua Cop 4?

2. Tan Yi Jie - July 30, 2006

there were choppers in TC 3?

3. justchal - July 31, 2006

It was the aircraft at the end of stage 1 – I couldn’t find an accurate term to describe it since it’s supposed to be an experimental aircraft…a combination of helicopter and airplane, like a V-22 Osprey.

Virtua Cop 4 will probably be back at some point. I think it was fairly popular still in the US. SEGA have a lot of work to do to catch up with the other shooter games though.

Another feature I found in TC4 that makes the game even better is that you can choose to calibrate your gun by holding the trigger and pedal down while putting in your coins. Very, very useful, since most arcade operators don’t bother to maintain the gun calibration.

4. Denise Chan - August 17, 2006

Who’s Be New Charcters In Virtua Cop 4, Beside House Of The Dead 4 And Time Crisis 4?

5. Denise Chan - August 17, 2006

What Design Logo For Virtua Cop 4 Would Be Like?

6. Denise Chan - August 17, 2006

When Virtua Cop 4 Will Be Released?

7. Denise - August 21, 2006

Like Three Different Light-Gun Games, House Of The Dead, Time Crisis And Virtua Cop?

8. Kevin Burctoolla - August 25, 2006

We can’t wait it played this game. The world will see it in the midlands

9. Mei - September 15, 2006

This game’s interesting XD I love this one~

And yes, I am completely agree with u, the MSB system is really innovative… ^_^

10. justchal - September 15, 2006

I finished TC4 (with a star) two weeks ago: 4mil on 2P. Pretty low score judging from what I’ve read online, but still enough to put me at first place (I guess there aren’t many TC4 fans in Penang). Currently practising hard to get to the top on P1 (4.9mil).

11. Denise Christie Chan - November 20, 2007

I also got to wait for Time Crisis 5! This new game features new characters that includes the return of the legendary VSSE agent, Richard Miller!

12. Denise Christie Chan - November 20, 2007

I an hoping for Time Crisis 5, this will releasing in the year 2012!

13. Tim - November 20, 2007

Right…

14. Denise Christie Chan - November 21, 2007

Which main male characters do you like in Time Crisis series?

Richard Miller (Time Crisis/II/Project Titan}

Keith Martin (Time Crisis II)

Robert Baxter (Time Crisis II)

Alan Dunaway (Time Crisis 3)

Wesley Lambert (Time Crisis 3)

Giorgio Bruno (Time Crisis 4)

Evan Bernard (Time Crisis 4)

New character (Time Crisis 5)

15. Denise Christie Chan - November 23, 2007

Hello, new comments please!

16. Denise Christie Chan - December 29, 2007

Let’s hope TC5 would have 3 players and 2 supporters!

17. sicwitemi - November 27, 2008

Cheers!
I made on photoshop glitter myspace banners.
have a look at them:
http://tinyurl.com/5vbof5
Thanks a lot for your site :-) xoxo

18. V742 - December 24, 2008

Time Crisis 4 is good, only thing I have a problem is rests with the colour: It’s so gray! The gray is everywhere! Other than that it’s pretty good! The recoil at my main arcade is broken on both sides. Stupid Leisure Island’s too lazy to fix it after one year!

Denise Chan - June 6, 2009

When this Time Crisis 5 come out?

19. Denise Christie Chan - April 25, 2009

I think Time Crisis strike should come first, later than Time Crisis 5.

20. Denise Chan - June 6, 2009

Cool

21. Denise - November 23, 2009

i’ll wait for Time Crisis 5.

22. Denise Christie Chan - May 17, 2010

Developing in 2012

23. Denise Chan - June 17, 2012

Released in end of 2012


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