Time Crisis 4 Review


It’s been a fun marathon through the Time Crisis series but we have now made it to the end. I’ve owned this game for many years so it’s nice to finally play it. I’ll say this, the game is considerably better than the first 3, there’s no question about that. First person shooter games still aren’t really my thing but this one adds a bit to the mix. Instead of being a pure rail shooter you can actually move around during some of the levels so that was nice.

There is the normal arcade mode here but also more of a complete mode. This one adds in levels for the American agent which are fully 3D and add to the story. So in the usual rail shooter levels you play as the VSSE agents and then you play as the secret service guy for the others. The game has 15 levels as a result which is definitely longer than the others. Now if you had to beat this in one shot that would be crazy so fortunately this one actually has a save feature!

That was a game changer. No matter how fun the other games could be, it was always annoying to not be able to save. Until you got a bunch of game overs you knew that you would effectively be spinning your wheels for a while. The levels here can still be tough but there is less pressure since you can try again. Additionally the levels are also quite a bit shorter so when you die it’s not like you have to play large portions of the game again.

There are some new mechanics here like the insect battles and fort fights. The insects are more on the annoying side so I’d be cool with the series dropping this for the sequel. It could be really difficult to deal with them and they take up a ton of bullets. Then for the fort battles there is a lot of moving around and it feels almost a bit random. Good thing the girl lets you know what direction to check because otherwise that would be really difficult. The normal shooting sections tend to be a lot more solid if you ask me.

I really liked the new 3D sections though so those are easily the highlight. You still do need to use some real strategy here though. Don’t just run in and expect everyone to go down immediately. You have to conserve your bullets and keep on moving forward. There are checkpoints and all but you don’t want to have to lose and see how far back you go. The game isn’t quite as hard as the last two though so you should be okay. Those are still really hard to match.

Naturally the graphics are really solid here. We’re finally in PS3 world and we keep the big cinematics that the last game had. You can be guaranteed some kind of cinematic before each level and some have more after the level as well. The story may be a little dry as you’re just out to stop another criminal organization but I’m not exactly sure what the best way to spice it up would be. I don’t think the plot itself is the issue but it doesn’t really stand out. Maybe have the villains get a little more colorful with their designs? I thought that the 3rd game had the best villain designs personally.

There isn’t a ton of replay value here. Even if you really like the gameplay, it’s going to effectively be the same experience each time. I suppose you could just work on getting a better high score but there are probably other games in the genre you could play instead. Still you should be able to find the game for fairly cheap and so then it’s a good value. You’ll have fun playing through the story and it is the longest game in the series which is impressive in its own right. You should always strive to be longer and longer right!?

As the end of the day whether you like it or not will depend on if you like the genre. So long as you do then the high production values will carry the day. The good characters and cinematics help to hold their own. My advice here would be that in some of the levels the timer is generous so just hide when the insects show up. It’s hard to react quickly enough to hit them before they hit you. So instead wait until they have finished their attack and then go for the win. That would be the ideal way to handle this and you will not be looking back.

Overall, Time Crisis 4 is a pretty good game. It’s certainly my favorite game in the series. At the end of the day I can’t guarantee that I will really remember these games all that often since they’re more the type of game that you play through and then it goes back in the closet but it still is good. If they ever brought another one to consoles over here then I’d be interested in playing it. Perhaps the ole muscle memory would kick in and I would start dominating it. That would be ideal at least. In the meantime it’ll probably be a while before I play another FPS so we’ll see which game comes next.

Overall 7/10

Time Crisis 3 Review


This one’s fairly similar to the last Time Crisis in a lot of ways. It’s got the fun cinematics that you always want to see and has a good soundtrack but the game is just so short and it’s hard to get around that. It’s over in the blink of an eye and before you know it, it’s time to put the game back in the drawer. Still if you liked the second game then you’ll like this one since they’re very similar.

The game starts with the VSSE agents on another mission. They are attacked by another evil group and have to put these guys down real quick. Fortunately they are professional so this shouldn’t be hard. Along the way they meet up with a lady who is here to bail them out of some tough situations. The 3 of them are ready for any danger that comes their way because they know that their victory is inevitable!

I wouldn’t call the game identical to the last one per say but it is similar. The game has 3 levels and each one is divided up into 3 areas. You have to blast your way through every enemy in order to prove that you really are the strongest guy on the block. You have 40 seconds for each mob rush and so you have to blast them all away. Don’t get hit by one of their attacks or you will lose a health point. Lose all 4 health points and you lose a life. You gain a new continue each time you get a game over so eventually you will have unlimited lives. You can’t move so the only two controls are to shoot and hide. Of course you can move your curser though.

Now this game is considerably tougher than the last one. Remember that in Time Crisis 2 I didn’t actually have to wait until the unlimited continues to win. It took me a few game overs but eventually I was able to beat the game. Not this time, I couldn’t come anywhere close and just had to keep on losing until I got the free continues. Only at that point was I actually able to hold my own here. This game was just impressively difficult because there are so many enemies and their reaction times are amazing. I know this isn’t my genre but even so it is no easy feat to get me to have so many game overs.

The game still feels fair all the way through though. Every time I got hit I knew that it was an attack that I should have been able to avoid. Whether I was getting too greedy in getting extra shots off or not ducking when I needed to, each of the hits made sense. It’s just hard to stay super alert and consistent the whole time. The penalty of making even one mistake is really quite large in this game. So focus up and do your best but don’t feel bad if you need the unlimited lives by the end.

Like with the last game we get a good amount of cinematics here. This time you get one for each area in addition to each level which was nice. You also have some returning villains from the first game and the villains all have solid designs. The game is as out there as ever and that’s a good thing. It’s just all so chaotic but in a good way. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next and that’s exactly how you want it.

The soundtrack is also still very exciting. The rock themes just keep on coming and they help to get you pumped during the levels. I had a good time with the story and James Bond could take a few lessons from these games on how to make your secret agent stories as good as possible. This one just had the right formula in order to make everything feel like a win. It’s not as easy as it looks.

There isn’t much replay value here though which is why I have to dock a point from the game again. Ultimately after you spend an hour beating the game there just isn’t a lot left to do. You can do the normal stage levels I suppose and there seems to be some kind of rescue mode but it’s all still very short. It’s a byproduct of being an arcade game but there should be some way around this. In fact, Time Crisis 4 did get around this so stay tuned for my review of that game soon once I complete it.

As it stands, you’ll only want to buy this game if you can get it for a really good price. If you are able to get it for cheap then there is really no issue here. You can play through the hour and have a good time. If it’s expensive though then you may feel like you’re losing out so bide your time and wait until you’ve found a good deal. Then you’re really all set here.

There is one difference though which is that you can now switch weapons. It’s surprisingly not a big deal most of the time as you’ll stick to your pistol but now you can also use a machine gun, grenades, and a shotgun. I mainly would save these for bosses as it can be tough to get the ammo that you need for them but they do help to save you some time there. I would spam them as soon as a big opponent showed up and the grenade can take out half a life bar which is great. I think there is more you could do with these weapons but I understand why they don’t give you unlimited ammo. If they did that then who would ever use the normal gun right? One risk with the other guns though is that you could be having so much fun that you don’t notice when someone is about to fire and take some extra damage. That definitely happened to me at times.

Overall, Time Crisis 3 builds on what worked in Time Crisis 2. It’s virtually the same game just with a different plot this time around. The graphics and soundtrack are similar but that’s a good thing since I enjoyed them in the second game. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to just be a copy of the last game since what worked before will still work now. That said, it really needs to improve the length because you’re done with the game way too quickly. Increasing the difficulty may buy some time there but ultimately it’s not enough. (I am glad they still give you more continues for each game over though. Getting rid of that would have been a big mistake)

Overall 6/10