Monday, 19 April 2010

Retro Monday: Time Crisis (Arcade)

Okay, let's talk about arcade shenanigans. A massive part of any retro memories for me is that stolen time spent in arcades, on holidays and day trips as a yoot with my family. Managing to scrape a couple of quid off the parents, scurrying away and absolutely losing yourself in the flashing lights and incredible, wondrous dinginess of a really good arcade.

Arcades used to be a glimpse into the future. A world where graphics were unlike anything you'd get at home, and each cabinet was vying for your attention, pulling you in with incredible decals, theme tunes and peripherals. I bet any arcade geek can remember EXACTLY how the Sega Daytona Racing theme tune goes.

And nothing quite embodied all of these unique arcade features quite like Time Crisis.

Released in 1995, this Lightgun Game was all kinds of special. Using my limited brain, I'd like to speculate that this game was the first to use the 'action pedal', a foot pedal you used whilst playing, to initiate a cover system into the game. And Gears of War thought it was pioneering! HA! Take that Cliffy B, you bumbling Steroid fool.

The game was gorgeous. Really crisp, really slick. I even remember the bloody lighting. When the lights went out and the fire started in that warehouse thing on the first level? Remember that? I remember in the tirade of bullets, taking a little moment out just to appreciate the things going on in the game.

And let's not forget the peripheral side of things. Between you and me, we both know why you put that pound in the slot. The gun was an absolute piece of engineering brilliance. The recoiling action of the gun was such an amazing thing, it immersed you in the action, well and truly. Combined with the action pedal, it felt like you were in the game. All the lights and dulcit tones of flashing slot machines melted away, as you really thought your main mission in life was to save Rachel, the Daughter of the President of Sercia. Every shot fired recoiled into your hand, and straight to your heart. If games make you regress, and are designed to make you feel like the ultimate bad-ass, then this absolutely exemplified this. It was exquisite.

Arcades are like going to Burger King. It isn't complex, it doesn't have layers and ultimately it's bad for you. Nowadays arcades are archaic, a forgotten age where now technology at home is just as advanced than in the dingy games halls, if not more so. But back then, when I was 14, and when I was growing up, games like Time Crisis provided me with some of my finest gaming memories. All style, with a little bit of substance, Time Crisis is cooler than an Polar Bear's Toenails.

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