Check out our video review:
In the last review I went over Time Crisis: Razing Storm and Time Crisis 4. Two of three games on the Time Crisis: Razing Storm disk for PlayStation 3. Razing Storm had a shitty story mode, boring Sentry mode, and a fun, but extremely short, arcade mode. Time Crisis 4 was stripped of its first-person shooter mode from its 2007 port leaving us with only the arcade mode. While the arcade modes in both games were fun, it’s just not enough content to keep me coming back. Fortunately there’s one more game in this collection and that’s Deadstorm Pirates. Unrelated to the Time Crisis series, Deadstorm Pirates is a rail shooter where you blow away hordes of undead pirates in search for the ultimate treasure. But is it enough to save this collection from it’s already lackluster content? Well once again I loaded up my Sharpshooter and this time I fired up Deadstorm Pirates and hoped for the best.
You play as pirates Eric or Leah but I’m not sure which one when playing alone. You’re accompanied by a bunch of other pirates on a quest to find Poseidon’s Breath, the ultimate treasure. Just like the other two games you can play through arcade and ranked modes. You’re given three credits, or lives, to start with and in arcade mode, each “Game Over” grants you one extra credit. There’s five stages including the Stormy Sea where you defend your ship against invading undead pirates. The Cave which doubles as the enemy hideout. The Mountain Stream has you floating along blowing away enemy crabs and fish. The Great Whirlpool where you fight a Kraken and attacking ships. And last but not least is the unlockable final stage, Treasure, where you fight the final boss. Instead of forcing you to play through each stage in a specific order you can choose any stage from the get-go. You don’t actually need to play through the first stage, Stormy Sea, and beating the other three will unlock the final stage. However, playing through all five will give you a higher score in the end.
Your characters are equipped with Golden Guns. They seem to be automatic pistols. There is no reloading, ducking, or blocking of any kind so you’ll need to quick and kill the enemies before they kill you. Throughout each stage are treasure chests you can shoot to obtain treasure which gives you a higher score. Then there’s “Treasure Hunt!” where you approach multiple chests and shooting the right one grants you more health. Every now and then a green gem will appear and shooting it grants you the Special Shot ability enabling you to rapidly shoot green beams, decimating any enemies in your way, but only for a limited time. Then there’s the “Wheel Action” scenarios which are downright horrible and almost ruin the game. These scenarios require you to either rapidly rotate the motion controller in a circle, or quickly rotate it left or right. In these scenarios you’re usually steering or dodging attacks. The feature acts as quick-time event of sorts and it’s just fucking annoying. If you’re like me and use the awesome Sharpshooter peripheral, swinging this big piece of plastic all the time can become tiresome and tedious since this Wheel Action bullshit comes up often. Not only that but I found my swings to be less accurate when using the Sharpshooter so I eventually took out the motion controller, holding it in my hand instead. Wheel Actions appear in each stage, usually multiple times, which really sucks and rotating in the wrong direction or not fast enough will always result in you losing health.
Other than the ridiculous Wheel Action scenarios the game is pretty solid. The shooting feels great and it’s fun blasting away undead pirates compared to the generic soldier enemy types in the other two games. Most enemies are of the skeleton variety. Some have swords that charge at you, some have guns, and some throw molotov cocktails and axes which you can shoot down. Then you got flying reaper-type enemies with scythes, bugs, bats, ghosts, crabs, and fish. Then there’s the boss fights like a giant snake, Kraken, giant crab, and the final boss. What sucks about the boss fights is they all include a Wheel Action at some point which just blows.
Now the voice acting and dialogue here are far from impressive but I expected as much. Your crew is always with you and the old guy never shuts the hell up which becomes irritating. I wanted to turn around and shoot him. The sound effects are great and the music fits the whole theme of the game. There is a two-player mode where you can play cooperatively with a friend which I didn’t try and there are some unique two-player features like combining shots for more damage.
Ultimately, Deadstorm Pirates is fun and I think it’s definitely best game in this collection. It is a short arcade experience but offers a good enough challenge and is definitely more memorable than the other two games. The Wheel Action scenarios truly suck ass but I still had good time, regardless. Even put together on the same disk, none of these games can match the quality, replay value, or fun factor of House of the Dead: Overkill which is probably the best console light gun experience to date. So does Deadstorm Pirates make up for the collection’s already lackluster content? Not really but I would say it makes it worth the purchase. I think of this collection more as Deadstorm Pirates with two extra bonus games to play.