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iPhone  header logo

Time Crisis 2nd Strike

For: iPhone

Two strikes and you're out

Product: Time Crisis 2nd Strike | Publisher: Namco Networks America | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.0
Time Crisis 2nd Strike iPhone, thumbnail 1
Ageing arcade gameplay is the real ticking time bomb in Time Crisis 2nd Strike, contrary to what its cheesy terrorism crackdown scenes may make you to think.

It's the semantically incorrect war on terror meets the colours of the rainbow - tangos dressing in bright solid colours popping up like jack-in-a-boxes for what should be a finger-fraggin' good time.

Time Crisis 2nd Strike lacks basic features: leaderboards, modes to encourage replay, unlockable weapons, and other goodies. While the mindless action can fill a minute here and there, it's not worth emptying your iTunes wallet for.

The suave shooter

As the well-dressed Giorgio Bruno, you're tasked with the annihilation of terrorists across three episodes composed of three stages apiece.

Enemies appear and you tap to shoot as you're led along a scripted path through each level. A small arsenal of four weapons is at your disposal - pistol, machine gun, shotgun, and grenades - which you can access by tapping the coloured icons lining the bottom of the screen.

Evading enemy fire and reloading your firearm is critical to survival, which makes hiding behind cover a useful ability. By default, you do this by tilting your handset to have Giorgio take cover.

Alternatively, you can opt for a new touch control scheme that automatically places you in cover. In order to shoot with this control configuration enabled, you hold a finger on one of two buttons in the lower corners of the screen.

I find this latter option preferable since it prevents the game from placing you behind cover due to an unintentional tip of your device: in short, you have greater control.

Cheap shot

Aside from the new optional touch control mechanic and improved graphics, there isn't anything that Time Crisis 2nd Strike does substantially different from or better than any other arcade shooter. In fact, it does more to rehash long-standing shortcomings than fix flaws.

Cheap shots abound. Enemies frequently appear and hit you without enough reasonable time to react. Other times your hand covers up part of the screen to issue an attack on one terrorist, only to prevent you from seeing another that ends up shooting you.

Egregious leaderboard oversight

Replay value is entirely lacking due to the absence of online leaderboards and compelling modes. Online scoring is expected for iPhone and iPod touch games and the decision to omit the feature is a serious oversight.

Better modes would support replay, but rehashing levels in Time Attack and Score Assault modes without online high scoring doesn't fit the bill.

What about unlocking crazy new weapons? How about co-operative multiplayer stages? Why not throw in some action mini-games to spice things up?

The by-the-numbers approach to the game's design is disappointing because there's potential for it to be more than just a mediocre touch-translation of an outmoded lightgun shooter.

Decent graphics and good controls aren't enough to make Time Crisis 2nd Strike worth playing. Without enticing modes, leaderboards, and better gameplay, there's little reason to give it a shot.
Time Crisis 2nd Strike
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 23 September 2010
Time Crisis 2nd Strike is a mediocre shooter lacking basic options and gameplay fun enough to entice replay
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