Time Crisis 4

Arcade Time Crisis 2 gun, pedal refitted for PS2 video

Meet Retro Repair, a hero among men.

Remember Time Crisis 2 on PS2? Remember wishing the lightgun had recoil, as it did in the arcade? Remember instinctively stamping your foot to press the foot pedal, as you did in the arcade? Remember mapping the cover/reload button to the PS2 pad and putting it on the floor and pretending you were in the arcade?

Time Crisis 4

Time Crisis 4

Bullet hell.

Undoubtedly one of the campest on-rails shooter series ever made, it's impossible to take Time Crisis seriously. But then it's impossible to take a lot of things seriously: insurance salesmen, for example, or people who wear hats indoors. So we still hoped that Namco would do something interesting with the fourth in the long-running series. Sadly, it's probably the most dysfunctional offering yet, with a clunky stab at innovation having the opposite effect to the one intended. Unless they meant it to be bad.

Oh well, as Eurogamer's resident itchy trigger-finger mentalist, I cleaned out my carpal tunnels and dragged myself back anyway.

The first signs are hardly promising, with the lurid orange GunCon 3 proving to be a complete nightmare to set up. Sporting two chunky cube-shaped infrared receivers, which perch on top of the TV, you have to trail the wires in such a way that they don't obscure the picture or cause the receivers to topple off. Once you've got that sorted out, it's apparent during the five-point calibration process that the receivers have real issues operating at short ranges of a few feet. This is strange, considering we've never had similar issues with the Wiimote on the same TV. Eventually, it got to the stage where the aiming was so flaky that we had to set it up on a smaller screen, where we had no problems whatsoever.

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TGS: Time Crisis 4

We need more time.

Dear old (Bandai) Namco and its dear old light-gun shooter games. Bless its little socks. Still partying like it's 1996 in the staunch belief that there's nothing quite like wielding a plastic weapon at a screen and blamming away at scripted perps until your carpal tunnels beg for mercy.