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Arcade Review: Time Crisis 4

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Arcades recently got a taste of lead as Namco released its fourth edition of its long-withstanding light gun franchise. Why should you care? Because it’s safe to say this title will eventually be ported to consoles just like its predecessors.

Namco’s Time Crisis 4 was showcased at this year’s E3 and once again brings double screen deluxe cabinet goodness to U.S. arcades. However, part four brings more than just the addition of weapons to the table as new elements have been introduced which affect actual game play mechanics.

Namco once again throws in a cliché Rica Sauvé duo by the names of Giorgio and Evan, sent to an airport to intercept terrorist trafficking. However, it wouldn’t be much of a game if everything went smoothly – an information leak leads to the ambush of the heroes and everything goes downhill from there.

Time Crisis 4 introduces nanotechnology and bioterrorism into its plot with the introduction of a new series of enemies codenamed “Terror Bite.” Terror Bite is a line of miniature robots resembling insects that attack in massive swarms.

The onslaughts of nanonuisances come in marching and flying forms and attempt to attach to your character for a tasty bite. If you can’t shoot the attached Terror Bite off of your screen fast enough, you’ll suffer a hit. To further matters worsen, multiple bugs biting you means your time to shoot them off depletes even faster.

The weapon selection system, as well as the weapons themselves, is 100 percent intact and untouched from Time Crisis 3. Time Crisis 4, however, adds a “weakness” aspect to specialized enemies. For example, when an armored gunner closes in on you, a blast of the shotgun will knock him to the ground and the text “best weapon” will appear. While it doesn’t add too much to the game, it does make the specialized weapons seem a lot more, well, special.

Perhaps the biggest change is the multi-screened standoffs, which occur as scripted storyline segments. At certain points in the story, players will become surrounded by enemies and have no choice but to hole up behind a barricade. With enemies coming at players from all directions, players will have to keep tabs not only in front of them, but also to the left and right as well.

By pointing the light gun off screen either to the left or right, your character will pivot accordingly to see what dangers are waiting to the side. With the help of new NPC characters from the U.S. Joint Intelligence Division, offsite communications will alert you to dangers coming at you from either side.

While this addition is still nothing too huge, it offers something new to the game play, which has basically been unchanged since Time Crisis 2.

The new game also borrows from other popular arcade shooters, mainly Machine Guns and Silent Scope, with segments that have you shooting rail guns from a helicopter and shooting with pinpoint accuracy from a sniper rifle. While the concepts are borrowed, taking down SAM trucks and helicopters provides a change of pace of shooting the same enemies you’ve encountered since, once again, part two.

Graphically, Time Crisis 4 is not much different than part three – which is a good thing. The environments are all nicely detailed, the characters look and animate great and the explosions look better than ever.

The most notable non-game play improvement lies within the sound. With Agent Rush and your communications, the number of voice clips in the game is bumped up significantly from other installments of the game. All of the main characters feature surprisingly decent voice acting that, for once, give the characters in the Time Crisis universe a little depth and personality.

Another great surprise for the series is the somewhat deep and twisting storyline. Featuring plot twists and mission segments that build tension, Time Crisis 4 provides a much more compelling storyline than a generic “save the world from this weapon” yet again.

While the surface has changed, unfortunately Time Crisis 4 is still the tried and true hide-and-shoot mechanic introduced nearly 10 years ago. The game is executed extremely well and brings a lot more freshness than part three did, but at the core, the game is still the same as the original Time Crisis. Also, much like parts two and three, Time Crisis 4 lacks the urgency of time the original did – you can take your time in moderation and still not have to worry about the clock.

Overall, Time Crisis 4 is a great addition to the series. Teaming up with a buddy gives the standoff mechanics a little more reason to bring a friend to watch your back and makes the already fun multiplayer a little deeper while the weapon weakness system gives players more reason to experiment with the different weapons. With new play mechanics, the same old shoot-everything-that-moves philosophy is built upon and gives the series a very solid arcade pinnacle.

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  • Guppusmaximus

    I have always thought that Time Crisis was the best Light-Gun series in the arcade because of the graphics,buddy system,action and sound. Namco is keeping the arcades alive and this 4th installation seems to be off the charts…
    Great Review!!

  • Aaron,

    Awesome stuff on the House of the Dead 4 and Time Crisis 4 reviews! Keep them coming!

    We posted a news item about them today at: retroblast.com

    Regards,

    RetroBlast.com

  • Thanks for the comments.

    Frankly I wasn’t even aware the game was out until I went to an arcade location testing for a business. While I hate the whole $1 a game thing, I was pretty satisfied with what Namco did with Time Crisis 4. To be honest, Time Crisis 3 didn’t impress me one bit so I’m glad a little more attention was thrown into this installment.

  • Will be there Virtua Cop 4?

  • Will be there Time Crisis 5 for real?

  • Mark

    I can’t wait to play #4…I started playing the first Time Crisis waiting in line for a movie ticket…I have been hooked ever since! So hooked in fact, that I have been looking to buy one for the house! Time Crisis 4 is starting at about 16k if someone is interested…little to high for me…awesome game and well worth the $1 bills that I have shoveled into it over the years.

  • I guessing Time Crisis 5 will be featuring some more new characters, such as VSSE agents, suppoerters and enemies

  • I can’t wait Time Crisis 5 for this new game, beside House of the Dead 5, this is the fifth instalment in the game.

  • Time Crisis 5 will be released in this year, by the year 2012, Time Crisis 5 will make this idea of this game.

  • Time Crisis 5 is as good as House of the Dead 5, featuring newest characters.

  • House of the Dead 5 will be out soon, so be prepared!!

  • I heard there’s a new light gun game coming soon in 2012, that would be Time Crisis 5, it will feature 3 playable characters in the game, including the two new supporters.

  • i heard there’s a Virtua Cop 4 making its way to sega games, I like the game installments.

  • I like Time Crisis games, it rocks all four games, i can’t wait to see Time Crisis 5, this game will rock your body!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • VSSE agents were featured in every game such as Richard Miller, a lengendary VSSE agent in both Time Crisis 1 and Project Titan, Keith Martin & Robert Baxter in Time Crisis II, Alan Dunaway & Wesley Lambert in Time Crisis 3 and Giorgio Bruno & Evan Bernard uin Time Crisis 4, but who’s will be the new characters in Time Crisis 5? We’ll find out in the newcoming Time Crisis 5!!

  • Time Crisis 5 will be out soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I hoping for Time Crisis 5, the fifth installment of Namco’s famous gun game…….

  • There will be Time Crisis 5, Time Crisis 6, Time Crisis 7 and so on. We can’t wait for the next game.

  • Time Crisis 5 will be shooting soon for 2012……………Shoot you later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Time Crisis 5 will be releasing the three guns, the three newest agents/protagonists and a rescue mission for two duetagonists.

  • Who’s want to get Time Crisis 5?

  • I like all kinds of light gun games, this time it’s Namco’s famous and popular Time Crisis games.

  • I can’t wait for both new games of Time Crisis and House of the Dead, that would be Time Crisis 5 and House of the Dead 5, double the action and double the power.

  • I have to wait for Time Crisis 5 to be out in 2012, this would take forever to release this game.

  • Wait for this Time Crisis 5 game for 3-4 years.

  • Any time now for Time Crisis 5 to be released!

  • I’m waiting for Time Crisis 5

  • I’m waiting for Time Crisis 5 in 2012!

  • This new Time Crisis 5 will released when the time comes!

  • dan

    are some of these guys posting bots or something?

  • Yes!

  • I Played this Game Many Times. It’s BETTER than Time Crisis 3.

  • TC5 would have 3 players and 2 supporters!

  • robert

    according to wikianswers it says that
    time crisis 4 was not well recieved by critics
    and that time crisis 5 is not a possibility

  • robert

    i think that is a lie. very false

  • robert

    i think it should fully deal with W.O.L.F.
    the terrorist organization mentioned in
    Time Crisis 4

  • robert

    Oh and i fink i want new terror bites.
    #1 Spider
    #2 Wolfs
    #3 Dogs
    #4 Eagle
    #5 Slugs
    6# Lions
    7# Tigers
    8# Bears

  • robert

    Also i want it to be inspired by Bolt!(a movie)

  • robert

    Time Crisis 5 really should have some
    New characters.
    #1 Chris Rush(brother of Captain Rush from time crisis 4)
    #Mark dunway(brother of Alan Dunway from time crisis 3)

    Supporters

    #1 Captain Rush(Again!. he is from time crisis 4)
    #2 Chris Zahn(brother of victor zahn. a villian of time crisis 3)

  • robert

    New Weapons!
    #1 Flamethrower(300 Litres as Ammo)
    #2 Bazooka(14 Rounds. Replacement Weapon for Grenade.)
    3# AK-47(4000 Rounds. the allied version for
    non-terrorists.)

  • robert

    #2 Mark dunway(brother of Alan Dunway from time crisis 3)

  • robert

    #2 Mark Dunway(brother of Alan Dunway from time crisis 3)

  • robert

    Terror Bites are not robots

  • Denise Christie Chan

    I think it’s should be Sergei Garo (Son of Shergi Garo), Alan Martinez (Phillipines) and Blaize Jackson (African) should be the main characters in the Time Crisis game.

  • Denise Christie Chan

    Time Crisis 5 should be released in PS3, because Time Crisis 4 has already chosen in PS3 too.

  • Denise Christie Chan

    Like Bolt characters:

    Bolt (the white German Sheperd)
    Actor cat #1
    Actor cat #2
    Mittens the Cat
    Rhino the Hamster

  • Denise Christie Chan

    List of games with good guyz:

    Time Crisis/Project Titan – Richard Miller (alone)
    Time Crisis II – Keith Martin And Robert Baxter
    Time Crisis 3 – Alan Dunaway And Wesley Lambert (Alicia Winston)
    Time Crisis 4 – Giorgio Bruno And Evan Bernard (Captain Rush And Elizabeth Conway)
    Time Crisis 5 – Sergei Garo, Blaize Jackson And Alan Martinez (Chris Zahn, Chris Rush And Katie Green)

  • Denise Christie Chan

    Or it’s looked like Monsters vs. Aliens where they acted like agents that assemble their mission which was commando by their human boss.

  • Dylan Salada

    Time Crisis 4 is easy

  • Dylan Salada

    Chief antagonist Time Crisis 5 will be Lorca

  • Dylan Salada

    I can produce Time Crisis 5

  • Dylan Salada

    Time Crisis 5 will be out Thursday July 23rd 2009

  • Dylan Salada

    I’m making Time Crisis 5 easier

  • Dylan Salada

    Time Crisis 5 VSSE Agents
    Nina Smith & Jessica Silva
    Time Crisis 5 Supporters
    Darrell Sanchez & Colleen Sanchez

  • Denise Chan

    Time Crisis 5 will come later.

  • Denise Chan

    Wrong. Time Crisis 5 will be out Spring 2012, and Time Crisis 5 VSSE agents Blaize Jackson, Alan Martinez amd Sergei Garo, Time Crisis 5 supporters Jamie Johnson and Helen Murphy

  • Denise

    Waiting for Time Crisis 5, it’s gonna be a blast.

  • Denise Chan

    Or it’s Hector Miller will be the main character, (cousin of Richard Miller).

  • Denise Chan

    No one knows

  • Denise Christie Chan

    What if Richard’s cousin, Hector takes over his role of becoming a new VSSE agent in his first mission to rescue his older cousin as Richard gets knocked out and kidnapped by Wild Dog, Wild Dog brainwashes Richard’s mind and turn him as a villain, it’s up to Hector to stop Wild Dog and save Richard Miller (while fighting him as a boss).

  • Denise

    That’s easy game

  • anon

    STOP FLOODING THE MESSAGES!

  • Denise Chan

    Well it’s a good idea

  • Denise Christie Chan

    deal with it, this should be the correct storyline for this next Time Crisis game

  • Denise Christie Chan

    hoping this game continues in Time Crisis 5.

  • Yoshi

    Usually time crisis 5 will be developing in 2012

  • Denise Chan

    that’s right

  • Denise Christie Chan

    sweet

  • Yoshi

    time crisis 5 supposed to have 3 players

  • Dragonchan

    you’re right

  • Denise Chan

    waiting

  • Denise Chan

    The new agents are Sergei Garo, Alan Martinez and Blazie Jackson

  • Denise Chan

    time crisis 5 will be out in 1 more year, fans are looking forward

  • Denise Chan

    Time Crisis 5 will be blast in the future

  • Josh

    Getting closer to the end of the year

  • Denise Chan

    No problem

  • Dragonite

    Rumors said that Time Crisis 5 will be announced to be released in arcades in July 2013, coming soon