Time Crisis: Razing Storm - Raising its game
I rarely review games (there are many sites and blogs who already do that) but I got "Time Crisis: Razing Storm" on release day for use with the Move motion controller, and I wanted to write about it. Got a problem with that?!
Basically you get three games in one which mostly follow the 'on-rails' gameplay style of arcade games like all of the 'Time Crisis' series, 'Virtua Cop' and 'House of the Dead' etc. You automatically move from one location to the next where you stop and get to shoot all the bad guys, before automatically moving to the next location on your fixed path. You get the new 'Razing Storm' game where the idea is to shoot lots and lots of South American warlords, the top notch arcade game 'Time Crisis 4', and the fun fantasy adventure 'Deadstorm Pirates'.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm - shooting chunks out of buildings is fun!
Razing Storm is a very polished looking and action packed game. There are some huge impressive robotic enemies to shoot as well as hordes and hordes of terrorist fodder. At times the screen is just full of enemies and you have to wave your machine gun around like your brandishing a fire hose. Very frantic but lots of fun. The destructible environments are fantastic too and you can blow chunks out of buildings or holes in walls to gain access to hiding targets.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm - impressive and seamless cutscenes
There is a 'Story Mode' in this game where you have some freedom to move around but the controls and awkward. A real shame because it has great potential. Perhaps it just takes a lot of practice to aim, turn, shoot, reload, take cover and change weapons with the move controller in one hand and walk, strafe, zoom scope, hit etc. with a controller in the other hand. It is certainly not accessible to a newbie and makes you feel frustrated and annoyed when trying to turn your viewpoint.
You may have some freedom but your enemies still act like they are on rails and have the self-preservation instincts of a suicidal lemming. Unfortunately the online multiplayer mode uses the same control method so what should have been an excellent addition to the Time Crisis genre is somewhat hindered.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm - Die, enormous robots... die!
If you just go ahead and ignore the 'Story Mode' and go for the 'Arcade Mode' instead you get a much better and more fun game. Polished and just like having a new arcade machine in your living room.
Time Crisis 4 is basically the original arcade machine. This was released previously with the Gun Con controller (a bizarre bright orange colour in the UK) but this new version is updated to support the Move controller too.
Time Crisis 4 - play as one of 2 cool looking dudes
It works great and as a huge fan of the arcade machine I love this. It still plays brilliantly and the voice acting brings a smile to my face (although that probably wasn't the intention).
Time Crisis 4 - shooting bad soldiers in the face since 2006
The original arcade machine was released in 2006 with the PS3 version coming out in November 2007. Three years is a long time in the life of the PS3 and the visuals are looking slightly dated compared to the more realistic and grungy looking Razing Storm. They are still really good though and the gameplay definitely stands the test of time so don't let its age put you off.
Time Crisis 4 - you may have a shield but your mates are dumb
Like the other games in this package, the story is thin and you don't really need to pay much attention to it. It's all about the action and beating previous times and scores. Nice.
Deadstorm Pirates was the surprise of the group. I haven't seen the arcade version and was a little apprehensive about an on-rails shooter involving pirates.
Deadstorm Pirates - who knew that the dead can be killed?!
It's a really fun fantasy adventure game. A kind of a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Dawn of the Dead. The voice acting is better than Time Crisis 4 and the characters and pretty good too.
Deadstorm Pirates - killer crustacean claws cut closer
As well as battling undead skeletons and sword wielding ghosts you fight off crabs and various environmental hazards - such as shooting oncoming boulders and planks of wood which block your path.
Deadstorm Pirates - protect your pirate comrades while they... erm... do nothing to help
You don't have to worry about bullets in this one as you have an unlimited magical golden gun. It also takes advantage of the move controller by having you spin the ships wheel and other controls to dodge things while sailing, racing down a mine shaft in an Indiana Jones style rail cart, or white water rafting. Quite a bit of variation in the game here which really adds to the arcade experience.
Razing Storm and Time Crisis 4 run straight off the blu-ray and only require a little space to store your saved game info. Deadstorm Pirates on the other hand has to install over 3GB of data so it takes a few minutes to copy over when you first run it. Make sure you have enough hard drive space and don't worry if it stalls around 13% for a while as it speeds up later on.
Most of the time all three games load pretty quick (especially Deadstorm Pirates) and going from one area to another is perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately in Razing Storm 'Story Mode' if you need to restart from your last check point it has to load that section again - even if you perish under a falling car 5 seconds into it! I felt that was unnecessary.
In conclusion, this is a great pack of three games. With the exception of the 'Story Mode' in Razing Storm the controls work well and you can concentrate on shooting, reloading and dodging/blocking. The emphasis is most definitely on 'fun' rather than realism ('how long does it take them to shoot me?') and although the games themselves won't take long to finish there are three of them and you will want to play them through again to beat your times or scores. With local two player modes (if you have two move controllers) it will make a great party game when the mates are round, or feel free to go all 'Tony Montana' with two guns at a time. The surprise gem of the pack was Deadstorm Pirates. The fantasy adventure genre makes a nice change from the machine gun toting military/police games.
There aren't many on-rails shooters available for home consoles but these games are the top of the crop.