Guppy Team? What kind of team name is that?

Crime Crackers 2 [ARPG Using First-Person POV]

Crime Crackers 2

Japanese Game Front

A Famitsu Book of Crime Crackers 2?

A Crime Crackers (2) Game
Book With Famitsu's Logo.
Famitsu Has A Long History
With Video Games.

CC2 Original Sound Track

CC2 Original Sound Track

CC2 Sound Drama

CC2 Sound Drama

Donut Club?

Emilia and Leaza (CC1)
With Seria and Wendy (CC2)

Emilia and Seria

Another Cool Piece Of
Art From The
Talented Kokomai

Other important characters

Bates Hamil (Top-Left)
Dolf Fisher (Top-Right)
Crow Bask (Leader: Bottom-Left)
PAN-G (Bottom-Right)

Wendy Serves up some donuts!

Wendy And That Cute
Monkey Who Keeps
Showing Up

Kani Kani Card Club

Kokomai Has Several
"Kani Kani" Items

Kani Kani Channel

Kani Kani Channel Vol.3


Rukiah Of Villgust

-General Information-
Regions: Japan
Year: 1997
Publisher: SCEI (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc)
Developer(s) and Others: Media.Vision
# of Players: 1
# of Blocks: 1 block for saves
# of Discs: 1
Estimated Market Value as of 08/08/2008:
* $6 - $10 (U.S. Dollars/USD)
Fan Translated: No
Playstation Store: 600 yen - PS3/PSP (CERO "A" rating)
Other Info: Loads of talented seiyu leant their talents to Media.Vision during the production of this game. Some of the noteworthy folks are Junko Iwao (most notable for her involvment with Cardcaptor Sakura, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Chibi Maruko-chan), Yukana Nogami (Code Geass, Moldiver and Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid) Yuko Miyamura (Case Closed, Black/Matrix and Tail Concerto), Michiko Neya (Initial D, Magical School Lunar, and Eureka Seven's Talho), Kosuke Okano (Japanese Dexter's Laboratory, Saint Tail's Asuka Jr.) Kiyoyuki Yanada (Zone of the Enders, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040), and Kotono Mitsuishi, one of the most prolific seiyus there is. Additionally, Crime Crackers 2 has two songs; An opening song and an "Insertion Title". The Opening, Lady First, is sung by Junko Iwao, Yuko Miyamura, and Yukana Nogami. The Second song, "gin-iro no machi" (as I've heard somewhere), is sung by just Junko Iwao. According to this site, gin-iro no machi roughly translates into "A City in Silver" or "A City of Silver". Some sites state Junko Iwao's name as Jyunko Iwao and the credits list her name as Jyunko Iwao.


Okay, so maybe Crime Crackers wasn't exactly a great start for Media.Vision. After Crime Crackers received mixed vibes from gamers, Media.Vision wasn't exactly thrilled with making another RPG, so they took a brief break from making RPGs and instead, focused on a different idea. This "idea" would soon be known as the game Gunner's Heaven (Gunners Heaven) in Japan and Rapid Reload in PAL territories, a run and gun style game that possesses the wackiness and absurdity of Treasure's Gunstar Heroes and SNK's Metal Slug. While Gunner's Heaven wasn't quite as great as either of those, it was a short, but entertaining action title and since it was one of the first of its kind on the Playstation, it became quite popular for a time.

After GH, Media.Vision went back to RPGs and created the RPG that would truly put them on the road to RPG stardom, Wild Arms. While Media.Vision themselves probably didn't know it at the time, they had discovered gold when they made Wild Arms and the game is now a series that is known as one of the more popular RPGs available today. The year after WA was made (in 1997), there was some surprising news in Japan; Crime Crackers had returned to the gaming scene once again...only this time, it had learned a thing or two from their previous game and they sought to make big improvements, but were they enough to pull the Crime Crackers name out of the depths of mediocrity? It's hard to tell, but the game does have a slew of fans and the character designer of Crime Crackers 2, Kokomai, has many illustrations of the CC characters and still expresses a strong passion for the characters.


Okay, here's the deal: The game is a direct sequel to the previous game. This time however, the main cast is different and you no longer have to come to terms with flying the galaxy in a pink dolphin spaceship. Your cast now flys around in a "guppy" ship and the team is known as the Guppy Team. The team captian is Seria Hasselbag, a blonde haired sixteen year old girl who is virtuous and kind, but also a little naive. Her goal is to be as great of a Crime Cracker as Emilia F. Alcanett, the main heroine of the previous game. Emilia and her team are known throughout the Milky Way as S-rank bounty hunters at this point (although you could get SS rank in the previous game). Before I mention the other members of the Guppy Team, I just gotta interrupt with a question: Where the hell do these young, barely (or haven't) hit purberty kids come from with the money to afford all this stuff? A spaceship, guns, furniture, computers and possibly more??? And then you have...also, about that...Ah well. I guess if you put too much thought into it, it all just becomes worthless.

Moving along, you have Wendy Wilkinson, a maid with blue hair that works hard to provide care for Seria and her crew (particularly Seria though). Of course, she can't just be a maid, right? What would the point of that be? Okay, let me supersize your combo meal here; she's a maid with wings. She has straps on her back that when removed, reveal a pair of wings (possibly dragon wings). I should just point out that Wendy is very kind, but also very ditzy and clueless at times...and she also has some kind of art on the shoulder(s) of her outfit that look suspiciously like the Triforces of Courage, Power, and Wisdom.

Since this game would probably be nothing without some kind of catgirl or animal chick, I should introduce the next character, Shiza Kanagusk (Kanagusk is pronounced Ka-na-guu-sk). Sporting wild pink hair and a ponytail, Shiza is the tough gal of the group. She likes to tease people and train intensely to become stronger for battle. Shiza is very powerful; So powerful in fact that she can shoot an incredibly powerful energy blast that could rival Street Fighter Ryu's Shinkuu Hadouken. Whenever the Guppy Team gets into a tough situation, they can count on Shiza's strength to pull them out of the fire. Shiza is skilled in various forms of fighting, but her specialty is Kenpo.

The last two members of the Guppy Team are Jonmichael Hasselbag and Mardock Hooper. Mardock is a cat/dog looking guy with blue fur who happens to love eating biscuits and relaxing his old bones. He's the navigator of the Guppy starship as well as a handy Engineer skilled at messing around with junk. Jonmichael is a support droid and he aids the Guppy team. Sharing the same last name as the Guppy team captain, he acts as a father figure and trys to maintain order with reasoning as well as the wisdom of an adult. Whenever Jon isn't up to anything in particular, he can be found as a small floating robot. However, when it's time to take care of business, Jon transforms and packs a huge and muscular body. Jon is also needed whenever the Guppy team is forced to use their starship's "Dimension Blaster", a powerful laser that pierces through just about anything.

The five characters mentioned before are the main characters, but you also get three other people to join the Guppy Team: Bates Hamil, Dolf Fisher, and PAN-G. Bates is a member of the Galaxy Police who is sent by Silvia and D. Silvia and D are high members of the Galaxy Police and will communicate with Crime Crackers and other bounty hunters in an effort to bring justice to the galaxy and put criminals in prison. Due to a tragic event in his past where he lost a friend who looks a great deal like Seria (he looks at Seria strangely because the resemblence is uncanny), Bates joined the GP to prevent others from suffering misfortune like himself. Dolf (looks like a dolphin man) is a treasure hunter who believes in the classic philosphy that "Time is money!". He is also known as Iruka, a kind of nickname that he feels is cool. PAN-G is a cyborg who has lost her memory. Throughout the course of the game, she will eventually discover that she was once known as a human named Rebecca and that she is the daughter of the mad scientist, Professor Laddo, who has ties to the Galaxy Police as well as some shady dealings with others.

Lastly, you have the baddies. Your main enemy will be known as Kurasu no Basuku, or the Crow Bask. The leader is a guy who looks like a giant pirate crow and he comes around to annoy your crew in a battle machine called the Gun Crow. The Gun Crow comes in various shapes that possess varied forms of attack. Next, you have Jiea (pronounced Gee-yeah), a humorous dolt who has been watching too much Micheal Jackson, I assume. Dressed up like a smooth criminal with the same off-white suit and classic curly and wavy Jackson hair, Jiea is some kind of salesman who is taking orders from someone to cause trouble in the galaxy. He refers to Seria as his sweet honey, although Seria thinks he's a creep and he drives a sweet transforming car to fight you in battle. When you defeat him at a point in the game, he is interupted by a call on his keitai (Japanese cell phone). During this time, he blows your heroes off completely and has his own conversation on the phone! Jiea and Dolf are also rivals.

You will eventually meet three more people: Laddo (as a machine), Greydolf (who is actually a girl with the name of Vicky with ties to Bates' past) and a man known as The Conductor. The Conductor is the mastermind behind the string of crimes that your characters will crack and while he manipulates the others (Crow Bask, Jiea, Laddo, Greydolf) to do crime, he has a much more sinister plan up his sleeve. In the end, the universe is a stage to him to conduct his grand symphony, a symphony that involves chaos. I'll leave the other details as a mystery, but his real plan is to revive a horrible event of the past.

The impressive thing about the plot of CC2 is that the dialogue and cutscenes are significantly better than the first game and the game has over a whopping thirty five minutes of anime cutscenes with spoken dialogue that help to carry the plot out even further. Not too many games (even considering how many Playstation has) back then had that much movie time. To that, I say well done. Once again, Kokomai provides the quirky "kawaii power" character designs and I also congratulate Media.Vision for actually being able to get the cooperation of so many talented seiyu! For those who don't know, seiyus are Japanese voice actors/actresses. Like the previous game, Crime Crackers 2 has an original soundtrack by the talented Noriyuki Asakura.

--------SO MUCH TO SAY...WHERE DO I BEGIN?--------

Crime Crackers 2 lets you use eight different characters, which is more than double the number of characters that the previous game let you use (only three). You can also control four characters at once instead of three because the game introduces a new back formation character who goes behind you whereas the original just had the left and right characters. Each character doesn't possess a simple bomb anymore (Wendy can heal, Mardock can light darkness, etc.), but now, they have side weapons which act as a sub weapon besides your main gun or melee weapon. However, the characters don't get too many side weapons and they look similar to each other, except more powerful. Shiza's side weapon is one of the notable side weapons that change in appearance when used as she gets stronger ones. The game also introduces the restoration concept. Wounded characters that aren't fighting will slowly heal as you travel around.

As far as items are concerned, the items are more or less standard RPG stuff. Instead of individual stat growth items (like life meat and life milk of the previous game), you now get items that can be used on any character like the Level-Up apple and the Energy apple. Speaking of energy, the gun energy system has been changed and now side-weapons costs energy to use. Generally speaking, energy now functions as MP of traditional RPGs whereas it was needed to fire off your standard gun in the first game (unless you used the sword girl). The game has a couple of cameo items that make references to other Media.Vision games. Bates gets a flamethrower weapon named Moa Gault (Or Moor Gault), which is the popular fire elemental guardian that you could summon in various Wild Arms games. Seria gets a gun known as Rapid Reload, which is the name of Media.Vision's Gunner's Heaven in PAL territories (as stated before). You also find a key known as the duplicator, which is another Wild Arms reference.

CC2 has a few other important additions from the previous game. First, the movement engine has been fixed. Moving and attacking is easier now and you can even move freely while guarding. In an effort to counter this, you have a guard guage that depletes as you guard and you can't guard when it's empty. Unlike the previous game, there is an auto target feature where Seria can auto target enemies (and others can too with the right item equipped). Next, the game incorporates height, which is extremely important! Crime Crackers felt stale and flat because there was no feeling of depth. CC2 fixes that completely and even uses height to help incorporate a new "tools" sort of system that was clearly inspired by Wild Arms (the memory card manager system of CC2 is also setup like Wild Arms and there is a screensaver). You can equip a couple of side-weapons that act as tools. For example, you can get a side weapon to jump through the air or to locate treasure. Height even allows the game to incorporate new puzzle elements.

The game also uses a new "route" system. The system reminds me of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter's (or BoFV:DQ to the Japanese) story engine. Basically, the game now has a total of 30 acts (the previous had 16), but you can't play them all at once. You only have access to certain routes once other routes have been beaten. The more routes you beat, the more story you get to witness. It's like beating the game over and over to see more story. For instance, you can only access a certain route by beating a few other routes and getting the jump shoes needed to jump over that pit you couldn't jump over before. Jumping over that pit and beating the stage would lead you to a new route. The game has a total of nine routes (eight and one extra one after the others are done). The route system is interesting because it adds the possibility of exploring the personalities of the characters further due to specific events depending on the route taken. Also, beating routes raises your rank and the top rank is SS.

Finally, you can gain levels in the game like a traditional RPG and enemies have REAL item drops. You can gain experience by defeating enemies, bosses, and by collecting Sheriff Stars. Collecting Sheriff Stars is important because you get loads of experience if you collect all of them on each stage and collecting the stars on every stage unlocks a special movie at the end of the game. Don't expect to get everything at once though, because you can go back to get them later once you beat all the routes. You can also find shops that sell items on acts known as the TSS (Trance Shop Stands) so you don't always have to buy items inbetween acts like the previous game. However, the TSS are only meant for items, not equipment and you get different equipment inbetween acts depending on the route you are currently on.


Besides the various changes to the game engine, CC2 also manages to improve in the other areas as well, but some ways, to a lesser extent. The visuals of the game are leaps and bounds better than the previous game, if only for the height aspect alone, which also adds a sense of scale. It feels great to see a hill and know you can walk on top of it and look down at the ground below the hill. Hell, it's just great to know that you can look up or down period. The enemy models are cleaner and better modeled and there are more enemies to blast to bits. The environments are much more open (thanks again to the height aspect) and offer a superior level of freedom of movement that the previous game didn't quite have. The special effects are mostly simple, although they certainly get the job done. Some bosses have cool energy trails behind them when they move and when you encounter a group of bosses known as the "Gate Runners", they have a cool transformation sequence where they form a humanoid robot in a sort of Voltron-esque manner. The final boss can also use some special attacks that have pretty flashy visual flare.

The music of the game is also well composed, but also somewhat disappointing at the same time. I love this one Jazz tune that plays every now and then and the music of the first act is uplifting and motivating, but the number of stage tunes is pretty limited. It might not bother some if they haven't played the first CC, but the game also reuses music from that game too! Sure, the game has two songs (Lady First and A City of Silver), but I just wanted more action themed music...was that too much to ask for? Well, to answer my own question, it probably was too much to ask for. The game focused on putting so much time into the anime FMVs that they might have been running out of space to add more music. At the same time though, most of the movies were scaled down to a very small size so that the movies would fit on one CD, so music may have still been possible and I could just be inserting my own foot in my mouth.


Now that I've praised the game, I think it's also fair to tear the game down somewhat too. CC2 is not a game devoid of problems. Numero uno, the game is SHORT. You would think the opposite, but even given my procrastinating, I beat the game in about 20 hours and I had everyone at level 99 at this point. Mentioning level 99 brings me to numero dos; The game is TOO EASY. You might be able to find ways to challenge yourself (soloing, no armor, all that crap), but since I don't tend to do that in other games, I won't do it for this one in all fairness. Running through the game normally is an absolute joke. All you do is run around the boss firing caps in his/her/its bouncy booty and they die in ten seconds flat. Occassionally, the boss might require you to do something else, but the game still possesses an obvious lack of challenge. I only died in this game twice and they were story related deaths that lead to other routes. The guard bar recharges way too fast to really run empty (it feels like it's infinite) and the tool system isn't perfect.

In fact, you get these dash boots to dash across extra long chasms that your jump shoes can't reach and you want to know something? With the exception of maybe two or three times, you don't need those shoes AT ALL. Why is that? Be it intentional or an oversight, if you jump sideways at an angle, you can actually cover significantly MORE distance than even the dash shoes! I've even tested it throughout the game. If you master the sideways jump, you generally don't even need the dash shoes, unless you want all the Sheriff Stars. You also don't really need the side weapon that lights up areas. Unlike the previous game, the areas are never too dark where you'd really need light. The experience system is also broken, which is what makes it too easy to level up. The game utilizes an EXP system similar to Final Fantasy VIII, where you always need 1000 EXP to advance in level (Seria needs 1500). You can also get up to 99 of each item instead of 9, making the game pretty much death-proof. You don't even need healing or side-weapons thanks to the regeneration system. To add the icing to the cake, when your defense gets high, you can take attacks head-on and suffer no damage whatsoever.

However, when all is said and done, my only real gripe lies with the challenge, which is almost nonexistant. If you are the type that likes to unnecessarily challenge yourself, then Crime Crackers 2 will seem like perfection. I like my challenge to hit me head on and I feel that it's just more work to force a challenge upon myself. The game is short, but it is also extremely cheap and easily affordable online. Crime Crackers 2 is considered as a lost treasure in the Media.Vision lineup and it's not hard to see why. The music is nicely put together (though I still would've liked more), the game fixed many of the problems with the original game, added more depth to the characers and the storyline and has graphics that are a considerable step forward from Wild Arms...You need to see PAN-G's character model. I often wonder why all the characters in Wild Arms 2 couldn't have looked as cool...Ah hell, screw it. If you wanted to play something from Media.Vision other than a bucket full of Wild Arms games, you owe it to yourself to seek this game out. Try the first game out only if you want to know about the original characters.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

Title Screen Title Screen Title Screen Title Screen Title Screen Title Screen

This review has 415 extra images.

Audio Samples

Crime Crackers 2 Opening Movie Song: Lady First [1.94 MB]

CC2 - Music played on Act 1 [1.50MB]

CC2 - Night Life Jazz Theme [1.50MB]

CC2 - Main Boss Theme [1.57MB]

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