Time Crisis 2nd Strike HD iPad Review

Namco Bandai has, in vain, tried to shoehorn its Time Crisis franchise onto mobile devices, but those games never captured the intensity of the ones in arcades and on PlayStation consoles, at least until Time Crisis 2nd Strike HD for the iPad. After years of boring and awkwardly designed shooters, we finally have a sequel that does the series justice, with multiple stages full of bad guys just begging for a bullet to their heads. It just comes at a steep price.

2nd Strike has a plot (something about terrorists), but it's nonsense. Ignore the lackluster cut scenes and try not to cringe too much at the horrendous voice acting. Instead, focus on the frantic gameplay, which works exactly like previous titles in the series, sans the plastic light gun and foot pedal to duck behind objects/reload. These functions were replaced with tapping to shoot and pressing on-screen pedals, respectively. Yes, neither can replace the classic arcade experience, but these new controls get the job done.

The game shines simply because it's a richer experience. The developers made use of the iPad's processing muscle to create a game capable of displaying a variety of environments teeming with enemies of different types, as well as large vehicles like attack choppers and tanks.

Meanwhile, the shooting remains enjoyable throughout, thanks to four different weapons (pistol, machine gun, shotgun, grenade) and the constantly ticking clock, which forces you to clear an area before time expires.

Episode Mode, while thrilling, won't take you long to beat; a few hours, at best, even with achievements. Thankfully, the game includes Time Attack and Score Assault modes, each of which have leaderboard support, where you receive multiple attempts to break into the top 20 competitors. That'll keep you coming back, at least for a little while.

The real kicker, though, is the price. Namco Bandai gives away the short prologue free of charge, then asks for a ridiculous $8.99 to unlock the rest of the game. If you have the cash to burn, Time Crisis: 2nd Strike HD is a solid purchase, but we suggest waiting for a price drop, or going with the cheaper iPhone version.

Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.

What's Hot: Best Time Crisis on the App Store, leaderboard support, impressive graphics, in-game achievements, Time Attack and Score Assault modes, two enjoyable control schemes.

What's Not: Costs $8.99, doesn't last long.