Impressions: Time Crisis: Razing Storm on PS Move

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Light gun games haven’t quite gone the way of the dodo, but I’ve generally considered them to only be worth playing for a few minutes at an arcade (before I get tired of them). But with the launch of PlayStation Move this September, they may be poised for a comeback. Namco Bandai is doing their part, packaging ports of the arcade versions of three light gun games — Time Crisis: Razing Storm, Time Crisis 4 (2007), and Deadstorm Pirates — and releasing the bundle as Time Crisis: Razing Storm in North America this fall.

I got to check out Razing Storm on Move at a Sony press event in New York last week. I played by myself for a while, and then tried out same-screen co-op with a Namco Bandai representative. I can confirm that it is an on-rails light gun game where you shoot many, many people and robots. But I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it, and I think that the amount of fun I had was tied to PlayStation Move.

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If you’re not pressing any buttons, you’ll be behind an impenetrable metal shield. Holding the Move button will have you pop out from behind the shield, ready to fire with the trigger. Instead of “firing” off the screen to reload, you’ll automatically do so when you re-enter cover. Razing Storm is the first Time Crisis game with destructible environments, and while it isn’t exactly Red Faction: Guerrilla-level destructibility, it’s still fun to take out some scaffolding and watch the enemies who were standing on it collapse in a heap on the floor. A second player can hop in at any time, and that brings in the wonderful cooperative-yet-competitive element of “my friend and I are kicking ass together, but I’m going to kick more ass than him.”

Move matters here because of its accuracy, the benefits of which were palpable. I’ve often found the targeting in light gun games to be finicky, but I had no trouble racking up headshots in Razing Storm. That was Arcade Mode, but Razing Storm also includes a single-player Story Mode that plays like an FPS — you have freedom of movement around the stages. Here, you’ll play with the Move Navigation Controller in your left hand and the wand in your right; flicking the wand upward (i.e., away from the screen) will put you into cover. (I didn’t get a chance to see the Story Mode.) You’ll also use the FPS controls in the eight-player Online Battle Mode, which features shooter standards such as deathmatch.

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All three games in the bundle will be playable with PlayStation Move (and the optional Move Shooting Attachment), the Guncon 3 (which came with the PS3 version of Time Crisis 4), or a regular PlayStation 3 controller. Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates will feature online leaderboards, although I presume you’ll be stuck with using your PSN name instead of a clever arcade-cabinet standby such as “ASS” or “FUK.” Pricing is yet to be determined, but the bundle will be available right around the launch of PlayStation Move. Depending on the cost, it could be worth picking up for some mindless shooting fun.


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