Time Crisis Preview

We look at a late build of Time Crisis Mobile, and execute many terrorists.

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Time Crisis is Namco's most prized PlayStation and arcade light-gun shooter franchise. However, although 2003's Time Crisis 3 was a fun play, the light-gun genre's waning popularity is apparent. This is, perhaps, the optimum time for a change of medium. Lucky for us, then, that Time Crisis Mobile is slated to appear on Verizon's V Cast in October of this year.

 Is a mobile phone light gun peripheral in the works? We hope not.
Is a mobile phone light gun peripheral in the works? We hope not.

Time Crisis Mobile can be played in two modes, story mode or crisis mission. In story mode, you must shoot your way through three areas, constantly ducking behind cover to reload and to avoid enemy fire. This is, in fact, the defining gameplay mechanic--you'll have to keep one finger on the "seek cover" key at all times. As this is an on-rails shooter, you'll automatically be advanced from fight area to fight area, and you'll always be provided with adequate cover from hostiles. Crisis mission mode gives you specific goals, such as "annihilate the enemy in seven bullets," or "annihilate the enemy within 15 seconds." (Annihilation is a clear theme in Time Crisis.) The trials of crisis mission mode take place in areas from story mode and serve to supplement the main gameplay. In both play modes, time will be a major factor, as the game's name suggests.

Time Crisis Mobile offers two control schemes. Grid mode breaks the screen into zones, which correspond to the keypad. This is probably the best method, although it's more challenging at first. Semi-auto mode employs a shooting cursor, and goes heavy on the auto-aim. You'll barely have to point your the cursor toward the desired assailant.

The late build of the game we played was graphically impressive on the LG VX8000. Often, we were fighting five or six enemies at a time, including vehicles like tanks and jeeps. There were never visible signs of slowdown, even in these hectic skirmishes. The enemy character models look almost as good as their PlayStation predecessors.

Time Crisis gives players the opportunity to choose between music and sound. The included music will be familiar to fans of the series, but loops quite quickly. The sound effects mostly consist of machine- and handgun reports.

The build we saw of Time Crisis was promising, especially from a technical standpoint. We look forward to seeing the final version of the game in a month's time.

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