Time Crisis 2nd Strike in Review – Shoot, Reload, Repeat

I’m not a big fan of first person shooters, but I do like the occasional action game, so options like the Time Crisis series fit the bill nicely. The iDevice is the perfect portable platform for such games as well, since the touch screen does a decent job of simulating the light gun control. FPS purists will most likely cringe at this game since they don’t get the control they think they need, but for people like me who need a bit more structured chaos, TIME CRISIS 2ND STRIKE works perfectly.

In 2nd Strike you play the part of Giorgio Bruno, and you must take on missions which are too discreet to send in an entire army for. You will have to master 10 episodes. Each episode is comprised of several scenes. A scene has several areas you must clear, each of which is connected by a little fly-by showing your journey to the next area. You never see yourself or your weapons at any point, but you will definitely see a lot of bad guys. To dispatch a bad guy simply tap on him. Some may take more than one shot to kill, depending on where you hit them and what weapon you use. I did find this to be a bit of a problem on smaller targets, because while you’d think a big finger would simply mean you cover more territory on the screen, it actually means that your shots are less accurate.

If you don’t feel like getting hit while taking down the villains you can dodge by either tilting the device or by pressing a button in one of the lower corners of the device. Which scheme you use is configurable in the options, and I’ve found the button press to be much easier to work with. You can also toggle the controls so that you’re always dodging unless you press one of the buttons, but that scenario didn’t work very well for me either. To switch to any weapon that you’ve got ammo for you simply click on the weapon you want to use. If you run out of ammo on your currently selected weapon, the next time you reload the game will default back to the handgun.

Each area is timed, and if your time runs out you have to start the stage over. If you finish an area you’ll get a bit of time back and move on to the next one. You also have 5 lives, and when those are gone you have to start the stage over. You very rarely pick up extra lives on a stage, so use them wisely. The game has three difficulty settings, and I’m secure enough in my so-so game play skills to admit that I’m struggling with the easy level, so the game should be challenging enough for most folks. There are also Time Attack and Score Assault modes, where you try to replay any beaten level for the quickest time or highest score respectively, but given how poorly I do at the main game I haven’t even attempted either of these modes yet.

The graphics are quite nice. I’d suggest seeking out a video if you want to see the visuals in an appropriate manner, because still shots don’t do them justice. A little more variety in bad guy design might be nice, but at least there are differences in the costumes besides just the colors. The cut scenes in campaign mode are also well done, though the lip syncing is a bit odd. Overall the visual style is really sharp, even on my outdated 2nd generation iPod Touch.

The sound effects pretty much sound like what you’d expect from a bunch of gun fights with high powered weapons. A bad guy throws out a phrase every once in a while that’s understandable, so that’s always a plus. I don’t really care for the handler, because her dialog sounds too stilted. The music is fine, as it just sort of hangs in the background without being intrusive. The reality is the action is so fast paced that you don’t need much of a score to back it up.

Simply put – this game rocks. I don’t mind the fact that I have to play most of the scenes many times before I pass them. The game is well structured, the action is intense, and everything just looks cool. I could do without the handler constantly telling me I’m barely making the grade, but otherwise it’s all good.

App Summary
Title: TIME CRISIS 2ND STRIKEDeveloper: Namco Networks America
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$9.99App Size:81.6 MB
  • Intense action
  • Solid controls
  • Great graphics
  • Fun factor
  • Annoying handler
  • Easy isn’t so easy

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