Cartridge Capers: Jurassic Park

I haven’t played many games in the past week or two, but this is one cartridge that I’ve gotten into the machine a couple of times (I’ve been playing the original Final Fantasy as well). So how is a game built around a classic movie?

Image Source: Wikapedia

Now, I don’t have the same nostalgia that a lot of people my age would towards Jurassic Park. I didn’t grow up watching those movies, but as an adult, I’ve enjoyed going back and watching them and have seen Jurassic World which I liked as well. So, has that colored my view of the game? It’s possible that I might enjoy it as well as some because of that, but thus far, I’ve found the game fairly entertaining.

Let me say that I’m not that great at these older games. While most people probably have few issues with them, I have plenty of troubles trying to aim the gun and just navigate through the world. Doesn’t help that I don’t remember where anything is in the world either. But even with that, this has been a fairly fun game. You run around zapping, tranquilizing, and shooting with grenades(?) various dinosaurs. And you get facts about them as you travel around which can be helpful.

The goal of the game is to escape the park or at least get the park back to normal enough that you can escape, and again, I haven’t done well at this objective. I tend to do better a finding the eggs than anything else, because that’s one of the side  quests, finding dinosaur eggs. Really, my goal of the game is to zap dinosaurs, but I probably won’t do well beating the game that way. It feels like there isn’t enough direction to start the game as to what your goal really is, because you’re mainly just tossed into the world. They expect you to identify from your knowledge of the movie what is going on, and continue from there.

Image Source: Wikapedia

That lack of direction isn’t great in this game, because it’s generally open world so you can wonder far before you realize you’ve probably headed in the completely wrong direction and are just running away from T-Rex for no great reason. So that is a fairly major knock on the game because it is  a top down view and you’re wandering through the world, fleeing dinosaurs and such, it means that you can really do nothing in the game for a while. I will say that I had to look on Wikapedia to figure out what the main plot and goal is actually supposed to be, and I still haven’t found where I need to go exactly, because I’ve been fleeing from dinosaurs.

That said, being able to zap the dinosaurs and take down the small ones is a fun time. I probably should feel bad about killing such majestic creatures, but then again, they are trying to eat you. If I was better at aiming the cattle prod, that would make it easier for me to get through the game, but I’m not great at it. The one thing that I haven’t figured out to do and I’m not sure if it’s possible is figure out how to cycle through your weapons as you get them. I’m pretty sure that you just pick up something, use it until it’s gone and you get back to using the zapper. The downside to this is that you need the electricity from the zapper to open up some gates and move a bridge across some water so you end up wandering around some more looking for dinosaurs to use your ammo on. I’ll probably research that to see if I can swap weapons, but if you can, it isn’t intuitive.

Image Source: Wikapedia

Finally, another downside to the game is going into buildings. I realize that the top down view isn’t the best for inside a building, but going into a “goggle” view, since you don’t just have a pure first person view of the whole screen is annoying. The controls are fairly touchy, and while you only have straight ahead to shoot a dinosaur who might show up in front of you, it might take a little bit to get your aim actually right. I would prefer if they had just kept it down and used some sort of fog of war or a view where you could only see the room you were in, instead of changing it to first person.

So, is this a bad game? I don’t think it’s a bad game, because, like I said, it is fun shooting the dinosaurs, and exploring is fun as well. That said, the game needs more direction from what it gives you and while open world can be fun, this is too open for the type of game that it is. I would say, give it a try and give this game a rating of Play on the (Buy/Play/Pass) scale, but it is fairly close to just being a pass. Again, not a bad game, but not great as well. I’ve sat down and played it a couple of times, and I’m sure I’ll play it more, because of zapping dinosaurs, but I’ve played better games for Cartridge Capers and better ones even based on movies for Cartridge Capers.

Have you played the SNES Jurassic Park game? Did you like it? Or did you mainly just find dinosaur eggs like me?


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