I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I sat down to play Time Crisis Razing Storm, the latest entry in the franchise that also supports PlayStation Move. I haven't been too much of a fan of the light-gun genre ever since the Wii took away the appeal of a Guncon controller and replaced it with the Wii Zapper. You couldn't actually aim without a reticule on screen and that basically made it like playing with a mouse instead of an actual gun.
With Move, the same is true for Razing Storm; you wave the controller around until the aim assist lands over an enemy and then pull the trigger, simple as that. However I was happy to learn that the game will still feature full Guncon support. I miss the feel of lining up my sights almost immediately, but there's still fun to be had within this package.
Razing Storm isn't the only game to be found on the disc; Time Crisis 4 has been bundled in along with Deadstorm Pirates, a family friendly shooter from the Japanese arcade. Producer Norihiro Nishimura was keen to show us Deadstorm first. The first thing to note was how un-Time Crisis this game was; a journey down river where we blasted giant enemy crabs (no really!), dodged rocks along the rapids, and protected a man floating downstream in a barrel. Think Crisis for Kids with that hint of Japanese wackiness that we know and love and you'll have the idea.
Shooting was responsive and without having to aim and focus, it was easier to have a more sociable experience with my partner, which is what the game was gunning for. Mini games interrupted the action by making us spin the Move in circles to steer the boat. This caused minor confusion at first, but made for an enjoyable interlude once we'd mastered the art of making circles with the controller.
As a traditional light-gun game, Deadstorm works and its family friendly approach is appreciated, but not much can be said about it past that. It was certainly a fun diversion, but it wasn't the main part of this package. Once we'd beaten our level, Nishimura took the controller back to show us Razing Storm. You may remember Time Crisis 4's goofy Guncon allowing for an FPS mode that saw you actually walk your character around. With Move, the developers have taken that idea to the next level for Razing Storm, creating something that resembles a solid FPS.
Using the Navigation Controller to move, we saw Nishimura have a brief shoot-out with the military types we've come to love blasting in the face out a warehouse. He also explained some of the basics; you can take cover behind crates that have been marked, and enemies won't appear from behind to help things feel like Time Crisis.
We only saw a brief few minutes of gameplay here, but it seemed to work pretty well. The Move controller supports this type of game much better than traditional light-gun games so it makes sense to take the series in this direction, and it's good to see the devs building on what they had last time with tech that's actually designed for it.
We're not quite sure if Time Crisis will shoot back into mainstream appeal with this latest release but fans of the franchise should at least know that they're getting a great deal with 3 games in 1. With co-op and 8 player online still to see, there's still a surprisingly large amount we don't know about this one. It's out later this year exclusively on the PlayStation 3.