My Favourite Arcade Light Gun Games at Home!?

Time Crisis: Light Gun fun!

The Early Days.

I was once a little lad, always asking to go to the seaside not to see the beach or the ocean, it was to go to one of the many arcades with games such as Daytona USA the racing game with an 8 player setup of or sometimes 4 players for the smaller arcades and the claw machines stuffed with sometimes rigged plushies that were too heavy to grab. 

However, the game that always took my time and money was the Original Time Crisis Machine created by Namco (Now called Bandai Namco), I loved playing that machine so much. I got my first PS1 console in 2001 and found out that Time Crisis was ported to the PS1 with its own gun controller called the Guncon 45, I have the boxed version that came with the gun and the special video dongle to split the video output from the TV/PlayStation to the cable on the gun as this is how the gun communicates and interacts with the flashes of the screen.


One day we got to the same arcade that I lost most my time and I was playing and failing The House of the Dead machine (Made by Sega) and out of the corner of my youthful eye, I noticed the Time Crisis Machine was gone and in its place was this dual screen twin gun game called Time Crisis 2. My little mind was blown away, I was in awe of its graphics, the way the character models looked less blocky like the first game and that this machine was 2 player so I would pester my mum and my brother to play with me and it was so cool.

I got my first next gen console upgrade the PS2 for my birthday in 2004, I found out that I could play my PS1 games on it so I started playing Time Crisis on it, after a few months of owning the PS2 I found out that Namco had ported to the PS2 Time Crisis 2 with a new gun called the Guncon 2 which I never owned until now, I was very happy to find out that the game does work with the original PS1 Guncon 45 which was a plus as I had 2 of them so myself and my brother would play them almost all the time to see who could get the highest score.

The next Chapter

Going back to the time of buying my copy of Time Crisis 2 (My mum bought it as I wasn’t old enough at the time to buy it myself), I found out from the person serving my mum that there was another game in the series, Time Crisis 3, again my mind was like “What, really they made another Time Crisis?”, lets just say that when hearing this I needed to play it. The person serving told me and my mum that the shop did not have any copies in so they would send an email when they got one in. A few days later mum got the email saying they had some in so after school went into town and mum bought it and when booting it for the first time, the grey screen for calibrating the Guncon, found out it also used the original Guncon 45 which I was very happy with as trying to find the Guncon 2 cheap back then was almost impossible. I then found and played the arcade version of Time Crisis 3 a few days later (thanks to my brother wanting to see the beach) and I have to say that Time Crisis 3 is possibly my favourite of the Series.


Time Crisis Continues

Time Crisis 4 on the PS3 was the next one I would get after playing the arcade version in 2011 around 5 years after it was released in arcades and 4 years after it came out for the PS3, I never had the light gun now called the Guncon 3 because instead of taking the video output into a video cable on the gun it now was a USB camera sensor that used sensors made up of 3 red LED’s on both sides of the TV, so I never had the chance of playing it properly until a few yaers ago when I got a boxed copy with the infamous Guncon 3 with working sensors and when playing it for the first time with the gun, then I got another Guncon 3 so now I can play 2 player which when playing with my brother it is one of the best experiences of Time Crisis I have had since Time Crisis 2 and 3 on the PS2 and the CRT.

As a plus having 2 working CRT TV’s in 2024, I can and still play all of them and I still find them very enjoyable, just like going back in time playing them at home for the first time, especially since I have 2 PS2’s with the iLink cable compatibility so I can play with another person on the 2nd CRT which makes it feel like the old arcade experience.

While at University I found out that Bandai Namco had made Time Crisis 5 (which never came to a home console, even though so many people would ask Bandai Namco to port it to PS4 using the Move controller as the gun).

I was surprised to learn that in 2018 someone dumped the arcade board online and ported it to PC so I did play that version and I have to say playing with a mouse as the gun felt wrong, after playing with a light gun all these years this Time Crisis felt off, the game is great don’t get me wrong but having to play it on PC due to not having the arcade unit in the UK sucks. 

(A side note as of writing some arcades in the UK now have some of the machines but they are mostly north of where I live so a little too far away for me to play).

And that’s why Time Crisis is one of my most loved Arcade and home light gun experiences and game series and here’s hoping that Time Crisis 5 makes it to some sort of home console or the original is made into a VR game.

I have done videos on most of the series on my YouTube channel (Yes self plug here) and here is a link to my Playlist of Time Crisis gameplays captured from my PS2’s and PS3’s original hardware; https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkEfATEGyAHNfIIXMSYfEO8YnMy8mPXKC


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Thank you for reading.