Genre: Light Gun Shooter
Year: 1997
Developed by: Namco
Published by: Namco
Platforms: Arcade, PS2
Feeling Like: Heavy Foot

Time Crisis 2 is one of the few Arcade games on the 500 and for good reason; it’s one of the best ever made. Henry at any age would be drawn to an arcade like a moth to a flame, but Time Crisis 2 will get me to stop go-karting in Vegas and wait for my friends to finish while playing it. Yes, that happened and for some reason they didn’t give me any flack for it. It didn’t matter that the screen was so faded I could barely make out what was happening. I love this game.

It’s one of the first arcade games I’ve played where I felt like I had a fair chance to get through the entire thing without feeding it quarters every few minutes. The notion that you had a defensive maneuver that you could re-use over and over was practically blasphemous at the time. The gameplay in most other first person shooter arcades involved eliminating everything as quickly as possible before the enemy got the chance to hit you. Sometimes those windows of opportunity were extremely small, to the point where unless you memorized the enemy placement, there was zero chance you were coming out unscathed.

Time Crisis 2 is far more reasonable. There’s a pedal by your foot. Step on it, and you pop out from your cover, clearing the way to shoot the enemies on screen. Release the pedal, and you go back to hiding. As far as I know, you cannot be hurt while hiding. The caveat is that there’s a time limit per screen so you can’t just play turtle the entire time.

It works beautifully.

It’s one of the few games I can think of that asks you to use your feet as well as your hands – take away music rhythm games, and I can’t think of any. There’s no trial period of getting used to it, or a tutorial level, because it’s not necessary. It’s so intuitive that I’m surprised other games didn’t adopt it first.

A couple other factors makes Time Crisis 2 even more awesome, if you can believe it.

It’s co-operative. That’s right, video game enthusiasts, you’re playing with a buddy. Or a stranger, who will soon become your new buddy since this game offers so much that other arcade cabinets don’t.

You also get different kind of weapons, changeable while you’re in your hidey house of protection. Machine Gun, Shotgun and Grenade Launcher sounds like standard fare, but they really pack some punch here. There’s limited ammo for them, so they feel extra special. Pop into cover – grenade launcher the screen, pop back into cover like some kind of Rambo Prairie Dog. Hell yes.

I don’t even have many specific sessions that are treasured, usually a necessity for something to end up on the 500. Every single time I play it, I’m satisfied. I’d play it right now if it was in front of me. And you should too.

Just ignore the insanely stupid cutscenes.

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