Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jurassic Park-athon Part 1: It Begins!

I think if I were to try to explain to someone significantly younger than me why Jurassic Park was such a huge deal, they wouldn't get it. I mean, it was a movie with dinosaurs that looked real, and that was mind-blowing, but to kids that have grown up with convincing CG, any movie could do that. Jurassic Park was huge multimedia blockbuster franchise with movies, comic books, and most importantly to this site, video games. Oddly enough, there was never a cartoon series like every other thing marketed toward kids in the 90's, not that weren't people trying to take advantage of the hype, like the people who made Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. That's right, before Tyrannosauruses were used for irreverent comedy and before Velociraptors were philosophers, dinosaurs were just plain awesome. Part one, of what I'm guessing will end up being a three part series, will be about the games from the era of the first film. Be sure to listen to the Jurassic Park theme while reading this, otherwise the entire article doesn't make any sense.

Jurassic Park (Game Boy)

 This is an overhead action game. You can shoot in eight directions, and you can jump, but jumping doesn't let you climb anything, it is more of just a dodge. Basically, you control Grant and have him running around, shooting dinosaurs, collecting eggs, and trying to unlock doors with keycards. With that and the limited ammo, I guess this is almost a precursor to Dino Crisis, the series that was basically Resident Evil with dinosaurs. The one thing that stuck out when playing was the soundtrack. It wasn't the iconic JP theme, but it was a rather exciting song.

Jurassic Park (Master System)

While there are a lot of JP games that are just variations of the same game for different consoles, this is one that I've never played before. It actually had a pretty nice cinematic opening that set up the plot. Apparently dinosaurs have escaped their cages because of some computer malfunction, so it is your job to get the dinosaurs to get back in their cages so that the park can open in time. Wait, there have been “many new victims of dinosaur attacks each day” and they are still worried about opening the park to the public. Hammond must be one cold mofo in this version. Anyway, this game is separated into two parts. In one Grant drives around in his car and shoots the hell out of some dinos, and in the other Grant gets out of the car and shoots the hell out of some dinos while dodging environmental hazards.

Don't mind the border, it's just part of the emulator.
Jurassic Park (Game Gear)

Okay, so this game is almost identical to the Master System version. This might seem strange at first, but the hardware of the Master System and the Game Gear were near identical, so there were a lot of games ported between the two, or presumably just developed for both concurrently. The only difference I noticed between the two is that instead of playing as Grant, you play as what I would guess, based on the walk animation, is a woman.

Jurassic Park (PC)

This is a weird one. When you start the game you are at a the crash site of the tour car, I guess after the T-Rex attack like in the movie. You play Grant and your goal is to randomly walk around the jungle and shoot dinosaurs. Well, not actually, you have to find Tim and the girl and a security card and get back to the Visitor's Center. I didn't get that far. I got the security card and Tim, but when I found the girl in the sewers, I couldn't get her to follow me. Then I was devoured by dinosaurs and after having played for like an hour it seemed like time to move on. I guess there are also Doom-like FPS parts, but I didn't see them. So yeah, these aren't my screenshots.

Jurassic Park (Genesis)

I'd like to think everyone has played this one. When I think of Jurassic Park games, this is the one I think of. It was cool because you can play as either Grant or a Velociraptor, and I don't know what else. You may have noticed the past tense, it's there because in retrospect this game hasn't held up. The controls are a mess and the game is awkward as hell. But, at least you can kill dinosaurs and eat them to replenish health, but sadly only when playing as the Raptor. Grant's a badass, I'm sure he could eat the shit out of some dinosaurs if he wanted. One weird thing about this game is that it actually has some parts based off of things that happened in the novel, but not in the movie, like when Grant is riding down a river on a raft and shoots a T-Rex in the eye with a dart gun.

Well, that was the first five of fifteen games based on the first Jurassic Park movie. This is going to be a long road. I guess if I was just going to play the games based on the first movie this would be a three part series like I predicted, but I'm going to play all of them, so this is going to be a much longer road. I hope I have the strength for it, because in all likelihood I'll be suicidal by the time I get to the games based on the third movie.

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