The game your G-con was made for; Time Crisis made its first appearance on the PlayStation back in 1998. Ported from the legendary Namco arcade version, Time Crisis quickly became the benchmark by which all other shoot 'em ups were judged. After the second instalment honed various glitches in its next-gen incarnation, there seemed little left for Namco to improve upon. But then they released Time Crisis 3, with a raft of new developments, including the ability to switch between weapons, and the ultimate shooting game was born...
The plot's as wafer-thin as ever, (something about a Mediterranean island being besieged by a nefarious corporation) but why get bogged down with too much detail and overly long cut-scenes when you can enjoy this genre classic for what it is - a top slice of instantly gratifying trigger-squeezing action. Time Crisis 3 introduces the ability to switch between weapons that you've acquired by pointing off-screen and cycling through the four choices. On hand are a pistol, shotgun, machine gun, and most impressively, a grenade launcher. Handy for taking out armoured tanks, helicopters, jeeps, ninja terrorists (yep, they're back), that sort of thing.
So, accompanied by your partner against crime (either real or CPU), you'll engage in some furious gun battles in a variety of locations, including the initial level's beach setting, and a host of atmospheric areas chock-full of gun-fodder to sate your itchy trigger finger. The other thing you'll notice about Namco's third chapter is the inclusion of a health bar for some goons too - they're going to need more of your lead-laden attention than the average enemy - hit them three times in a row and they should die like a good, er, bad guy though.
In addition to the standard arcade mode, new Rescue and Crisis modes have been incorporated to keep you blasting long after you've saved the day. And, for the first time, a lovely lady makes an appearance as something other than a hostage. Alicia is a member of a local resistance group who apparently has her 'own agenda' - and you'll play her for a brief stint, just to mix things up a bit. It's all good, and from the minute you start playing Namco's masterpiece, you'll be hooked...
- Switch between a selection of weapons, including a handgun, machine gun, shotgun and grenade launcher
- All-new characters to play, and for the first time, play as female character Alicia
- Multiplayer modes for two-player action, and Rescue and Crisis missions