Ah, the guided, on-rails gun game, maybe Time Crisis didn't define the genre, Virtua Cop probably did that... but we haven't heard a peep on that front since 2003. So, while Virtua Cop may have been left for dead long ago, House of the Dead and Time Crisis have carried the baton forward.
The thing about gun games is that they've had a tough time of it recently. Most of them were designed to work with controllers that operated on technology that relied on the little scanning dot of an old fashioned cathode ray tube TV. Remember those? Personally I moved to the huge-screen glory of projectors years ago, and gun games became an nostalgic memory for me. Of course, the number of people with 160" screens was not significant enough to provoke Sony or Microsoft to invent a new controller.
Fortunately then everyone else moved to Plasma/LCD flat screens and gun games became a thing of the past for those consumers too. For a while the only real option gun game freaks had was to play a couple of House of the Dead
games on Wii. The Wii's slight but annoying lag and vagueness made this a frustrating, if still mighty enjoyable, experience.
Now though, Sony has released the PS3 Move controller, a latter day Wii with just a touch more precision, and since it arrived in the SPOnG offices, with its meagre software support, I have been whinging endlessly for the arrival of a GUN GAME? while kicking Tim's ass at bocce, of course.
With no light on in the House of the Dead
, it was down to long-time Sony collaborator, Namco/Bandai, to deliver - and deliver it has, in spades. Sort of. What Namco/Bandai has actually delivered is a disc bearing not one, not two, but count 'em (and when people say "count 'em" directly after two, you can always be pretty sure the final number is going to be?) THREE gun games on one disc. It's like the holidays, your birthday and Chocolatemas have all come at once.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm
collects Time Crisis 4
, Deadstorm Pirates
and Time Crisis: Razing Storm
into one bumper package. Though, as the games are arcade games at heart, they are not as long or as deep as most console games. So, while it's a bumper package, it's not necessarily a bargain one.
In ascending order of importance, here's what you get for your money. Deadstorm Pirates
is a Pirates of the Caribbean
influenced romp that sees you fending off zombie pirate attackers. It's a straight ahead House of the Dead Pirates
affair. They come at you, you pump 'em full of lead. Occasionally they'll thrown things at you, you have to shoot the things out of the air before they hit you. It's not rocket science, it is engaging, addictive fun. The only downside is that of the three games on the disk, Deadstorm Pirates
is by far the slowest to load, involving a sizeable and time-consuming install process.
Once it's installed, you take on attacking pirate ships as they come about and attempt to board you. So, there's cannon work and then more typical handgun combat. It's not as repetitive or as dull as it sounds. The action is interspersed with various challenges and levels aboard moving platforms, where you have to dodge scenery as it rushes by. All in all, a fun little gun game, and a welcome bonus in this package.