Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jurassic Park-athon Part 2: Rampage Edition

This is the 2nd part of my Jurassic Park-athon, where I plan to play every Jurassic Park game in roughly chronological order. I was trying to come up with a combination word like Chrontendo, but I've got nothing. Anyway, you can find part 1 here. Today I hope to get through all of the games from around the time of the first film.

Jurassic Park (Amiga)


In the last part I wrote about the DOS JP game, and after going through a bunch of effort to get the Amiga version working, I discovered it is exactly the same game. So, excuse my lazyness, but I'm just going to reuse the same screenshots. It turns out that the way to rescue the girl is to push a box in front of her and then push the box out of the sewer. I guess she can't swim, or she's just a bitch.

Jurassic Park (Sega CD)


Okay, so this one is different. It's a point and click adventure game, so if you ever wanted to click on some dinosaurs, this is the game for you. After a very long opening cutscene, or rather, series of short bits of text, you are crashed inside the park with the goal of finding a bunch of dinosaur eggs in under twelve hours. I don't understand why JP games always have to put a twist on the story. You'd think being trapped on an island with carnivorous dinosaurs with the goal of getting the fuck out would be more than enough premise to move a game along. It seems that game designers just couldn't make a game without forcing in collectables.


This is my first experience with a Sega CD game, and it has all the problems that people accuse Sega CD games of. It has a bunch of FMV and not a lot of game. The controls for moving around work okay, but it is very slow because of the way the game works. For the places with 2D backgrounds you can pan 360 degrees quickly, but moving from one area to another causes a transitional video that is either a series of still images, film of the real world, or a 3D animation. In a 3D rendered area, pushing your cursor to the side of the screen also causes a 3D animation that moves your view 90 degrees. The whole thing makes the game inconsistent and choppy. Also, I assumed a Sega CD game would have good quality audio because of the media, but it just sounds like Genesis music to me.

Jurassic Park (NES)


This version of the game is nearly identical to the Game Boy version, except it has color. It even has the same awkward mechanic that makes you walk faster in diagonals than on cardinal directions. The music is the same upbeat tune and you still have to wander around picking up dino eggs. It's a solid game, which is good because Ocean did not hesitate to reuse it.

Jurassic Park (SNES)


Speaking of which, the SNES version is the same basic game, but with more modern (well, 1993 modern) graphics and features. The graphics for the outdoor parts are acceptable 16-bit era sprites and backgrounds, but the real “upgrade” over the Game Boy and NES versions is that the indoor sections are now in a Doom-style 3D. These sections are sluggish and awkward, but that was more forgivable around the time the game came out. One odd feature is the Dolby Surround, which probably benefited about five people back in the day, but I can see how it might be useful in the 3D portions.

Jurassic Park (Arcade)


As expected, an arcade game of JP made by Sega is awesome. It may not be an accurate representation of the film, what with all the shooting you do, but it is a whole lot of fun. The game is pretty impressive looking for the time. With mixing 3D movement and 2D sprites and keeping things moving at a very fast pace it gets pretty frantic. You might expect this game to be a light gun game, but it's actually controlled with a joystick. It's a shame, but it wasn't the logical standard yet at that point. Since the machine had a moving seat, this is a game that you could only properly experience in an arcade.

Jurassic Park Interactive (3DO)


Like everything related to the 3DO, this game is a huge mess. The only nice thing I can say about it is that it has the iconic Jurassic Park theme. The game starts with a lengthy video of choppy live action footage. The point of the game is to get all of your very bad imitations of the JP characters to the bottom of the island so they can escape. You choose a character, choose a path, and apparently get into a battle with some dinos. This is about as far as I got. This whole thing is just an abomination. The only thing it is worth is a few laughs.

Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (Genesis)


The Lost World must not have came out fast enough for the game makers, because they started making stuff up for their games not long after the original slew of games. This is one of my favorite JP game just because of how absurd it is, and it doesn't hurt that they've really improved over the stiff controls of the previous Genesis game. While that game had you in mostly different levels depending on if you were playing as Grant or the Raptor, but in this one they play in basically the same stages. That means as Grant you get to shoot the hell out of some InGen workers or whatever they are. I just find that hilarious.

Jurassic Park II: The Chaos Continues (SNES)


While Rampage Edition was as direct sequel to that console's last JP game, The Chaos Continues is a complete departure from the previous title. It has a decently lengthy intro with cartoony graphics and a story about some company trying to replace InGen or something like that. This game is more like a Contra than the previous game. It's a side-view 2D shooter where you run around and, of course, shoot some dinos. The only unique thing about the game is that you get to choose different missions to undertake.

Jurassic Park II: The Chaos Continues (Game Boy)


Thankfully this game is not the same as its SNES counterpart, nor is it like the previous Game Boy game. It's just a simple 2D platformer where you play as Grant and, get this, shoot dinos in the face. A surprise, I know. There isn't much to say about it. It's a solid little game, and it happens to have that same hype tune the Game Boy and NES Jurassic Park games had.

And with that we've finally finished with all of the pre-The Lost World games. Be sure to come back for the next part of the Jurassic Park-athon, when we will explore games based around the second film and a JP fighting game.

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