Time Crisis II
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|Time Crisis II|
North American cover art
|Arcade system||Namco System 23|
Time Crisis II is a light gun arcade game and the second installment in Namco's Time Crisis series, introducing co-operative multiplayer to the franchise. It was first released in arcades in March 1997, with an enhanced port released on the PlayStation 2 in October 2001, bundled with the GunCon 2 controller (G-Con 2 in Europe). A port for the Sega Dreamcast was in development, but was cancelled and never released.
Time Crisis II was released utilizing Namco's System 23 arcade board in 1997, and was ported to PlayStation 2 (with enhanced graphics and polygon textures) in 2001. The game utilizes the foot pedal system, just like Time Crisis, where players can shoot or hide from enemy fire. One modification to the hide and attack system was the "crisis flash" system which alerts the players whether or not the enemy's attack would cause a direct hit, a feature not present in its first predecessor, Time Crisis. When pressing down on the pedal, the player comes out of hiding, being able to shoot the enemies. Releasing the pedal puts the player behind cover to avoid critical bullets and reload the weapon, though the player cannot shoot whilst hiding. Certain sections of the game give players a machine gun with unlimited ammo.
The player loses a life if hit by a critical bullet or an obstacle and the game ends when the player loses all lives. Players also lose a life if the time limit (which is replenished after each area is cleared) drops to zero (unlike the first game where running out of time resulted in a game over). Players can continue from the point their current position, as opposed to the PlayStation version of Time Crisis, which required players to restart from the beginning of a section.
This was the first Time Crisis game to introduce two-player cooperative play by allowing two people to play simultaneously, allowing each player to cover the other (in single player, the computer controls the other character). The arcade version used connecting cabinets, allowing a player to allow another player to join, or to exclusively play alone. The PlayStation 2 version features split-screen or System Link functionality, which requires two televisions, consoles, and copies of the game and an iLink cable to use. Points are deducted for shooting the other player, though neither player will lose lives as a result. The same system is utilized once again in for events Time Crisis 3 and Time Crisis 4.
In 1997, NeoDyne Industries announces plans for a "StarLine Network" of 64 satellites that will unify the communications of all continents. However, V.S.S.E. agent Christie Ryan discovers that the company's real plan is to launch an experimental nuclear satellite into space and sell it to the highest bidder. While attempting to escape with a suitcase full of incriminating data, she is exposed and barely manages a getaway. NeoDyne agent Jakov Kinisky and his mercenary troops track Ryan to her safehouse and abduct her just as a V.S.S.E. extraction unit consisting of agents Keith Martin and Robert Baxter arrive. They pursue Kinisky to a canal, where he tries to escape on an armed speedboat. Martin and Baxter pursue him and force the boat to crash, killing Kinisky. They retrieve his case and learn the satellite is to be transported via train at a rural station.
They locate the train and catch up to it just as a aerial unit arrives to collect the satellite. NeoDyne's head of security, "Buff" Bryant, reveals that he arranged things so that any attempt to destroy the satellite would be in vain. He then engages the agents with his enhanced strength. They finally manage to shoot down his chopper and destroy the train. When NeoDyne mercenaries arrive to confirm their deaths, the agents kill them and use their chopper to reach the spaceport where the launch is scheduled.
They arrive just as NeoDyne CEO Ernesto Diaz is preparing to launch a rocket containing the satellite. Diaz sends Wild Dog, a cyborg assassin that had been killed by V.S.S.E. in the past, to keep them occupied while he finishes his work. Despite generous amounts of assistance, Dog is defeated and chooses to commit suicide via explosives rather than surrender. Diaz takes Christie hostage and makes his way up to the launch controls. He then throws Christie off the side, but Baxter catches her in time. The agents confront Diaz, who initiates the launch sequence before activating the defense system of a prototype satellite to engage them. With precious few seconds on the clock, Martin and Baxter destroy the prototype, sending Diaz falling to his death. Without him to finish the sequence, the rocket malfunctions and explodes. Baxter and Martin are plucked out of the water by Christie and then extracted by the V.S.S.E. just as the rest of the spaceport goes up in flames.
PlayStation 2 port
The PlayStation 2 version of the game featured enhanced graphics and additional cutscenes. It was packaged with the GunCon 2 lightgun peripheral, although it was also compatible with the Original GunCon. When completed enough times, the player could unlock alternative weapons, such as a machine gun or shotgun, and had the option of wielding two lightguns at a time (with combinations of both GunCon 2 and original GunCon possible). There is also a Crisis Mission mode, in which the players have to complete and perform various tasks, including a simulated gun duel against Richard Miller, the lead protagonist of the first Time Crisis game. Extras also included a clay pigeon shooting mode (including a port of Namco's Shoot Away II light gun clay shooting arcade game), and a virtual port of the mechanical arcade game, Quick & Crash.
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The game was met with positive reviews upon release. Edge gave the arcade version the award for 1998 Coin-Op of the Year, above Sega Rally 2 and Get Bass. Edge described Time Crisis II's "separate-screen" two-player mode as "one of the most convincing forms of cooperative play ever seen in the arcade."
Upon release of the PlayStation 2 version, Metacritic gave it a score of 81 out of 100, while GameRankings gave it a score of 80%. Famitsu gave the PS2 version and Gun Con 2 bundle a score of 32 out of 40.
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