Time Crisis: Razing Storm, more appropriately called Big Gun 3 Shooting in Japan, packs three Namco developed light gun games on one disc. Where should we begin?
Let’s go with the titular game, Time Crisis: Razing Storm. Out of the three, its the one with the most changes. Razing Storm has a made for PS3 first person shooter mode. Its similar to the first person mode Namco Bandai made for Time Crisis 4 where the Guncon 3’s analog sticks move your character and players point to shoot enemies. Namco Bandai added an awkward cover system to Time Crisis: Razing Storm where you can wave the Guncon up to hide behind an object. While under cover, Razing Storm plays like a classic Time Crisis game where you can pop-in and out to shoot at soldiers and giant mechs.
Using the wonky G-action cover system is a major problem. First, you can only hide under Namco Bandai assigned points. Second, you have to stand perfectly in the right spot to take cover. Otherwise you’re just standing in a prime spot to be shot. Maybe, I thought, Namco Bandai designed this mode for a regular controller so I tried it again, but the controls are still cumbersome. For some reason Namco Bandai decided tilting the controller to hide was a good idea. Fortunately, even at point blank range, enemies will miss you. Sometimes they’ll just stand there, as if you’re in a carnival shooting gallery. There’s an option to play the FPS mode online in deathmatches or team battles. Both modes are exactly what they sound like, with light gun controls… and less players.
Similar to Time Crisis: Crisis Zone, the arcade port of Time Crisis: Razing Storm gives you a machine gun and a bullet blocking shield (+10). Just point, hold down the trigger, and destroy. To keep players from beating Razing Storm too quickly, you start out with a limited number of credits. Once you get the right amount of credits it takes about half-an-hour to blast through the entire game.
Time Crisis 4 is just a port of the arcade game. It’s actually the same game Namco Bandai sold with the Guncon 3 back in 2007, but without the FPS mode. Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything. The best parts of Time Crisis 4 are its over-the-top helicopter scenes and switching weapons to shoot bugs. The greatest threat in Time Crisis 4 are Terror Bites. Each one is weak against a different gun. The shotgun, for example, is super effective against wasp-like Terror Bites.
Even though it isn’t the headline title, Deadstorm Pirates is without a doubt the most fun game in Namco’s shooting collection. Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean with guns, that’s the concept of Deadstorm Pirates. Levels are piled up with skeletons and a Kraken to shoot. Namco Bandai added wheel movements to Deadstorm Pirates, motions where players have to quickly move the Guncon left or right to dodge attacks like a bite from a gigantic snake. Wheel actions are triggered at specific moments so you can’t shake your way out of a skeleton sword fight. A few sequences, including the aforementioned Kraken boss, lets players steer a ship with motion control. When playing with the Guncon, I noticed the wheel actions had a problem detecting motion I held the controller with both hands. Letting go of the front grip made Deadstorm Pirates few motion controlled scenes much more responsive.
Deadstorm Pirates drops many elements Namco Bandai introduced over the years. There’s no "pedal" or cover to hide behind. No weapons to switch between, just a single power-up that appears at set places. You don’t even need to reload in Deadstorm Pirates. It’s so simple, but the (purposely?) flat voice acting, ridiculous setting, and Let’s Go Jungle borrowed team shooting mechanic makes Deadstorm Pirates well worth the 3.8GB install. (It’s the only game on the disc that requires an install.)
The campiness and pirates setting made Deadstorm Pirates standout from the pack. For a game that involves robots with metal tentacles, Time Crisis: Razing Storm takes itself rather seriously with its futuristic terrorist plot.