As a proud owner of every version of Time Crisis ever released for home consoles, there was no way I was going to take a pass on Time Crisis Strike ($5.99, App Store) for the iPhone and iPod touch. Not to mention the fact that I Love Katamari, one of Namco’s previous releases for Apple’s portable handset platform that brought me hours of entertainment and joy. I’d prefer a mini light-gun sized appropriately for the iPhone’s screen, but you don’t always get what you want. Here’s hoping Time Crisis Strike will give me what I need.
I was not disappointed when I started the game, since I was immediately greeted with a very cheesy, very high energy soundtrack, as is appropriate for a game of the Time Crisis ilk. Sadly, there were no equally cheesy cut scene introductions when I actually started playing the game. Without improbably named heroes who seem to become involved in the schemes of mad men possibly bent on world domination, Time Crisis does lose a little bit of its appeal.
Actual in-game experience somewhat made up for the lack of a nonsensical storyline, though. Graphics are good for the platform (better, I think than the graphics in the original Time Crisis), and the game doesn’t exhibit any slowdowns or hiccups due to performance issues, which is crucial in a game where speed and a sense of urgency are key.
Controls are straightforward. As with every Time Crisis game, there are two basic positions: Under cover, and exposed. When in cover mode, you reload, and you can’t be hit. When exposed, enemies can hurt you, and you can hurt them. To shoot on the iPhone, you simple tap the screen where the enemies are. To duck behind cover, you either flip the iPhone towards or away from you, depending on which mode you select in the options screen.
I chose to flip towards me, although the default is away, because I thought this would be more intuitive. In fact, using my most comfortable play position, it would sometimes throw me into cover at the slightest movement, since I must have been holding the phone close to the tipping point. Changing the setting or the angle with which you hold the phone quickly resolved this, though.
A word of warning. If you’re looking for variety, this game is not for you. You shoot guys, you move, you shot guys some more. Sometimes the guys are tougher, sometimes they get in close, and sometimes they’re bosses, but you shoot them all, and that’s the game. Maybe I’m a simple man, but that’s all I seem to need.