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Jurassic Park

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Reviewed by Dr. Mabuse The majority of video games made after movies suck. They are designed not to introduce anything that wasn't seen in the movie, so that you're supposed to get the feeling you're playing the movie itself. That's why I was surprised when I played Jurassic Park. It has almost nothing to do with the movie. Jurassic Park is an overhead view game where you run around and fry dinosaurs. It also has a number of first-person scenes similar to early first-person games like Wolfenstein. The game has multiple objectives: first you have to restore power, then you can travel over most of the island. You have to find security cards in order to get computer clearance, you have to exterminate a raptor nest, and you have to collect eggs all over the island. It has the feel of the book more than the movie, and it gives you a better understanding of both. That, and it's got some freaky dinosaurs.

Graphics 8 out of 10

The graphics were pretty good. For most of the game you are looking down on your player character from above. Games like this don't require a huge load of graphics to be effective, as has been proven by games such as Zelda. Still, Jurassic Park does have a lot to offer. The layout of the island is fun to explore, and is logical in its construction. It actually feels like you're walking around the real island, and not just a video game interpretation of it. The dinosaurs themselves are impressive. The programmers combine animation, sound effects, and surprise to give you a scare. If you have the misfortune of running into a tyrannosaur, it will get your heart pounding. When you're inside the buildings and have the first person view, the graphics quality is significantly reduced in exchange for a 3-d landscape. The dinosaurs look a bit less real, but the effects are still impressive. Darkness is used effectively, and there are certain places where you need to wear night vision goggles, or you'll find yourself in pitch blackness. Also, if you leave the game paused long enough, weird things start to happen.

Music and Sound 9 out of 10

The music is very eerie. It contributes to the mood of the game very well, and makes you keep a wary eye open at all times. The sound effects are good. Each dinosaur has its own sound effect, as does each weapon you use. And when the tyrannosaurus attacks, you can hear the rumble of its footsteps before it appears and scoops you up.

Game Challenge 8 out of 10

This game does not have a save function, which it desperately needs. Overall, it is a hard game because you have to go through all these ordeals before you can escape. The psychological factor takes its toll, and sometimes this game is a little too much on the nerves, where it would otherwise be a fairly easy game.

Game Play-Fun 7 out of 10

To be honest, this game could be a little more fun. Some parts are a little tedious, and sometimes it's a little difficult to figure out what you're supposed to do. But as I said, it's one of the most psychologically challenging games I've seen, and it ranks up there with the NES game Faxanadu for freakiness. It is a one-player game, but sometimes it can be fun to watch.


I was only frustrated with certain parts, where it's hard to figure out how you're supposed to do something. Sometimes computer consoles are too well camouflaged, other times you can't figure out how to get security clearance, and in the raptor cave, it's hard to figure out how to set the bomb.

Replayability 6 out of 10

This is the kind of game that, once you pass it, there's really no need to play it again. You can just put a notch on your belt and go on to the next one.

Game Value 7 out of 10

I guess I've seen some pretty good deals on Super Nintendo games, but it's tough to say how much is a fair price for something that isn't considered vintage, or fashionably out of date.

Dinosaurs 10 out of 10

The dinosaurs are graphically and behaviorally interesting. Some behave much like real life. Hypsilophodons hang out in open areas, and if you get too close, they start a stampede, creating the best shooting gallery you can find outside of Duck Hunt. Pachycephalosaurs charge at you when you get too close, and velociraptors jump out of the undergrowth, and if you don't shoot them with something heavy, you're ground beef. The game affects you in a very psychological way, particularly with the tyrannosaurs. If you're not prepared, you may get a shock when the ground starts shaking, and then a T-Rex bursts out of no where and eats you. There are actually only two places where the T-Rex will attack, and if you are careful not to go down these two paths, you'll never have to worry. But if you don't know that, you'll walk through the entire game in fear that it's going to come and eat you.

Overall 7 out of 10

Is it just me, or was Jurassic Park a really terrifying movie? I went to see it in the movie theaters, and yes, I was alone, but even when I watch it now it gives me the creeps. The video game has the same effect, surprisingly. It gives you a story to follow, and it has monsters that do a little more for me than the Blargs in Super Mario World. The only reason I don't give this game a higher rating is because it can get so intense you just have to turn it off. And because I hate what the success of Jurassic Park did to Michael Crichton.

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