Time Crisis, the arcade rail shooter we have all come to know and love, has just been released at the App Store by Namco. Namco has already ported over the beloved Katamari Damacy (“I love Katamari“), so its no surprise then that Time Crisis gets the iPhone treatment as well. The arcade and console versions of the game are of course played with the customary light gun and foot pedal, where you step on the pedal to engage enemies and let your foot off to take cover from incoming fire and reload. Since the iPhone offers neither accessory, Namco has made use of the iPhone’s accelerometer in hopes of recreating the Time Crisis experience.
Gameplay is actually quite intuitive. To fire your pistol you tap anywhere on the screen and to take cover and reload, simply tilt your device forward. When you’re ready to step out of hiding and fire away, tilt your device back to its original position. A setting will allow for reversing the desired tilt effect should you wish you change it.
The bulk of the action in Time Crisis Strike is found in the Arcade mode, where three stages and the final showdown with the evil “Wild Dog” awaits you. There’s also a “Crisis Mission” mode where your sharpshooting skills are tested. Here, you’ll find scenarios like killing all enemies within 15 seconds or shooting and killing all yellow enemies within the time allotment.
From what I’ve seen thus far, Time Crisis Strike is a fairly shallow game. While the arcade mode will offer challenges (I found the normal setting quite difficult actually), the levels are short and can be finished real quick once you get the hang of the control system. It doesn’t help that the shotgun and machine guns (among other weapon upgrades) found in previous installments of the game are missing in action in this handheld version. The other issue I had was with the tilt controls. I found them a bit too sensitive and by mistakenly moving the device, you will take cover or assume your ‘engage’ stance when you had no intention of doing either.
Time Crisis has always been one of my favorite arcade shooters, so I still think its pretty cool to have it available on my iPhone. Casual shooters may want to stay away from the $5.99 price tag, but I would imagine die hard fans not wanting to miss out on the action.