2003 REDUX – Time Crisis 3

Time Crisis 3

Developer(s) Nex Entertainment (as Nextech) [1]
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) Hajime Nakatani (producer), Takashi Satsukawa (director)
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 2, Mobile phone, iOS
Release date(s) PlayStation 2–  October 31, 2003
Genre(s) Rail shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Arcade system Namco System 246


Joel: What a game, what a series! Any arcade with a Time Crisis machine is a decent arcade in my books. I’d prefer TC2, but 3 is damned good too. I think it’s fair to say I have spent more coins on playing Time Crisis games in the arcade than any other.

So, as you’ll know, this is the replacement for 2003, given the dismal reception we got with Simpsons Hit n Run. I can’t really argue either; this is simply a better game, sorry Mr. Groening.

The Time Crisis games are largely similar to one another, but it’s a great formula so why not? You and your (either AI or real) buddy are enforcers of all things good and wholesome, charged with taking down legions of baddies for whatever reason is relevant to the story. In the case of TC 3, they have occupied the fictional island of Astigos. In this third instalment, your rather mundane pistol is supplemented by a veritable arsenal of weapons comprising a shotgun, machine gun and grenade launcher. Which is great news! The premise is simple enough. Shoot. Don’t get shot.

As some of you may be aware, special arrangements had to be made for this game. As it uses light guns (yup, I have a pukka, beautiful condition pair of G-CON guns) we are forced to use an old-style CRT television to play this game, just to add to the logistical nightmare Rachael will have to deal with on the night. It also meant I had to lug a CRT television all the way across town on the damn bus, which was just awesome.

On the night, we’ll be playing this on a television kindly donated by my parents (though I can’t help but think it was just an excuse for my dad to buy a TFT:)) It will be a bit smaller than what we’re used to but totally worth it.

I’m very fortunate to live walking distance from not one but two arcades with Time Crisis machines so I play this game a lot. I think I’m going to win this one, assuming I retain enough strength to hold the gun that is.

Liam:  So poor old Simpsons: Hit and Run has been the victim of a coup d’état. It’s our fault really. When we started the process we put a prototype list together which was mainly full of placeholders. Simpsons Hit and Run was one of these placeholders that seemed to slip through the net and get into the main list. It was a good game but the multiplayer was very limited and on reflection we agreed that something better could have taken its place.

We had a few great ideas to replace it with (SSX and Mortal Kombat being the main two – although I did try very hard to sneak Tiger Woods Golf in) but we thought that as the proposed games were sequels or similar to games we already had on the list – that we were not 100% confident with any of them being in. We needed something fresh, something that was truly enjoyable and if we were going to make a change then that new game would have to be undeniably excellent. Then we came up with the idea of Time Crisis.

Along with the House of the Dead franchise Time Crisis is the de-facto arcade game of our generation, especially for me as someone who dislikes racing games. Players shoot the screen with a plastic gun to dispatch enemies which controlling the ‘cover mechanism’ with a foot pedal. Many hours of my life were spent in smoky, run down arcades pumping my modest pocket money into a Time Crisis machine so I could hop around in front of a screen with a bright pink plastic gun – the best part being that all the arcade machines had two player ‘link play’ where you and a friend could team up against the nefarious Zagorias Federation – ultimately causing arguments when one of you dies and leaves the other with screen after screen of bad guys.

Sadly the old light gun games that run on home consoles have been made obsolete by advancements in television technology. New LED, LCD and Plasma screens render the traditional light gun ineffective – a huge pain for someone trying to organise a charity game marathon with the additional stress of sourcing an old style CRT monitor required to play this game. Also Rachael will have to pick up the logistical nightmare of swapping TV screens forward and backwards at 3am.

Time Crisis 3 is perhaps unsurprisingly the third in a line of very successful rail shooter from Japan. I’m not 100% sure I have played this version before which should be a nice surprise for me. I did own the original on my PSX so I am pretty familiar with the concept. Really glad this game has forced its way onto the list and I think it will be a very enjoyable hour.


2000 – Tekken Tag Tournament

Tekken Tag Tournament

 Tekken Tag Tournament
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco EU SCEE
Director(s) Katsuhiro Harada (voice actor)
Series Tekken
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 2,PlayStation 3
Release date(s) Arcade July, 1999
PlayStation 2JP March 30, 2000 NA October 26, 2000 EU November 24, 2000

PlayStation 3 (Tekken Hybrid)NA November 22, 2011EU November 24, 2011 EU November 25, 2011 JP December 1, 2011

Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution CD-ROM, Blu-ray (Tekken Hybrid)
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Namco System 12

Liam: When Bryan Adams sang that he played it til his fingers bled, I always assumed he was talking about Tekken Tag Tournament. I certainly am, when I get drunk and sing karaoke.

Smashing our way into the naughties – Tekken Tag hit a perfect sweet spot with me. Tekken 3 was probably the finest fighting game up until that point, TTT took it just a little step further utilising that same engine with the PS2 hardware and expanding the roster. The tag team fight system created an element of strategy to the fighting that brought an extra level to the game – not enough to detract from the core mechanics but enough to make it more interesting.

Myself and Joel were both pretty handy at this back it the day and one thing is for certain, neither of us are anywhere near as good as we used to be at this game. We actually managed (playing as a tag team) to beat the game on the hardest difficulty multiple times with me playing as Hwoarang and Joel as Yoshimitsu. We had the benefit of literally hours of this game non-stop always playing as random characters. That was the best thing about a cast of around twenty or so fighters meant that no two fights were the same and we got to learn the relative merits of all the fighters. Sadly it also meant every once and a while someone drew Eddy – fuck Eddy.

I actually used to think I was quite good at Tekken, that was before I saw the level people play to online. People take this game very seriously with frame timings down to split seconds making all the difference. Personally I always feel that momentum has a large part to play in games like this. The winner of a fight is the one that controls and bosses the momentum with even fights few and far between.

Joel: For me, this is the crown jewels of beat-em-ups. I haven’t played a better one than this.

Featuring just about every character (to-date) from Tekken lore, this game had more player choice than anything before. That, coupled with a kick-ass soundtrack and upgraded graphics, meant this one was in for the long haul. If you were in my circle of friends in the early 2000’s, you had to be good at Tekken and Tony Hawks PS – that was about all we did in those days. The feeling of absolute superiority when “Doing a room” (beating everyone present, back to back, without a loss) was great, especially when you had four or five people playing. The only downside was having to relinquish the controller afterwards, though that did free up your hands for a victory celebration of your choosing.

It got to the point where we decided that we would always have to play with randomly selected characters rather than our chosen favourites – this added an interesting new dimension – and meant learning a lot of moves. Given that Liam and I have pre-chosen our teams for the 8-man team battle, some of that challenge should be eased but for the rest of the hour I suspect we will be doing randomly generated tag teams so it will be very interesting to see how many of the moves have stuck in memory.

Given that I’ve been playing TTT:2 since xmas AND Tekken Revolution comes out TOMORROW :D, I have much more recent play experience than Liam so I’m hoping this will give me the edge, but I’m going to need any advantage I can grab, as Liam is certainly a formidable Tekken’er. Time will tell…