I could probably pad a review of Time Crisis: Razing Storm with a couple hundred words of flowing, waxing nostalgia about how brilliant and significant the original Time Crisis was all those years ago (I have just done it inadvertently - oops), but it would have little bearing on Razing Storm. Instead, it's probably Metal Gear Solid 4 that Namco is riffing off, packing its game with leaping mechs, a washed-out desert future, and sickeningly overbearing melodrama.
Razing Storm's core mechanics hearken back to the late '90s, though, specifically the point in time where Namco's distinct style was vogue as opposed to bland and monotonous. Back then the developer's games were bar-raising technical powerhouses, but we're in late 2010 and Razing Storm would have looked old a few years ago. The brief arcade campaign has a few standout moments, but the overall presentation looks dated and leaves much to be desired.
The most significant problem is not that Razing Storm is a lazy, uninspired mess - which it definitely is - but that Namco has clearly exhausted the creative impetus they had in their glory days. Razing Storm's focus on destructible environments adds a little colour to the levels, but the shooting galleries are pedestrian and unambitious, and the whole game suffers from a disparate campaign of generally middling quality.
Razing Storm also suffers when compared to slicker contemporary productions, such as House of the Dead: Overkill or Dead Space: Extraction. Time Crisis has always been a little hokey in tone, but this takes the proverbial biscuit: alongside the lurid blasting, the game pads out its thin content with wooden voice acting, poor characterisation and a laughable script, though the most pressing problem is the pitiful terrorism-obsessed plot. There's an abundance of grimacing moments, such as when characters discuss their dead wives with all the passion of somebody being asked if they'd like sugar in their tea, and the whole plot feels like it was lifted straight from Hideo Kojima's reject pile.
In an attempt to keep up with the Joneses - and assuming the Joneses cannot get enough of first-person shooters - Namco has also added a Story mode, repeating the mistakes it made with Time Crisis 4. Here you use the Navigation controller (or a DualShock 3) to steer your path while aiming and shooting with the Move. It's an absolutely dire stab at pseudo-FPS action, with completely broken controls, more excruciatingly long cutscenes and some truly uninspired level design. It's hard to fathom how such an unremittingly awful mode ever came to be, and I can only suspect some kind of demonic involvement.