Written: 7.15.15 Acquired: 1.20.06 Status: Cart only Price: $4
Who didn't love dinosaurs as a kid? Jurassic Park hit theatres in June 1993 and became a critical and commercial success. Just four months later, OCEAN released a game based off the movie (although more based off the book to be accurate). It featured an overhead action adventure section as well as a first person mode. Wait, Zelda meets Wolfenstein meets dinosaurs? It sounds like a wet dream for any robust 9-year-old kid growing up. Dream being the key word OCEAN, uh, finds a way... to mess it all up didn't they, Malcolm?
WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH
I was so obsessed with dinosaurs growing up. In first grade we took a field trip to this museum that featured amazing dinosaur animatronics. I got to see my favorite, the t-rex, in all its glory. It was the feeling of absolute awe overtaking you, sweeping you off your feet and recreating the wonder and terror that roamed the earth more than 65 million years ago. It's an experience I never forgot. Several years later, Jurassic Park hit movie theatres nationwide in the summer of 1993. I have a confession. As much as I loved dinosaurs, I somehow missed the theatrical run. On my list of "Small Childhood Regrets," it definitely ranks up there. My brother and I didn't watch a lot of movies in the theatre growing up. We were too busy content renting and playing the latest video games. Our first movie in theatres? Super Mario Brothers. Do we know how to pick 'em or what
Made on a budget of 63 million dollars, it became the highest grossing film of the time, toppling E.T. on its way to a nutty 914 million. The movie was an adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. The plot was rather simplistic: on an island off the coast of Costa Rica a preserve has been built to host cloned dinosaurs. It was to be the theme park attraction of the ages. But of course, as Ian Malcolm prophetically stated in the film: LIFE FINDS A WAY. And sure enough life does. And then massive dino shit hits the fan. A simple concept that worked on so many levels thanks in no small part to its groundbreaking usage of computer generated images. The CGI was stellar for its time, and even to this day many feel it holds up particularly well. It's an epic film with many memorable breathtaking scenes. Like when Dr. Grant and the kids Lex and Tim rest on a tall tree limb overlooking an ominous night sky -- complete with brachiosaurus enjoying a midnight snack!
My favorite part had to be the famous raptors in the kitchen scene. It's one of the most (in)tense movie scenes I ever saw. Just the sheer terror of being trapped in a kitchen with two wild ferocious raptors stalking their next meal is enough to make my heart skip a couple beats. That part where the one raptor's shown standing as upright as she can, snorting at the air like some kind of sick twisted savage war cry, gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I see it! And perfectly positioned in that same shot was poor little Tim, his face a frozen rictus of horror. The raptors in Jurassic Park were genuinely scary. I rewatched it last week and that scene still freaks the hell outta me. What an amazing movie. As for the game, it fell under the "I wanted to play it 20+ years ago but I never did" file cabinet. Thanks to Jurassic World, which came out last month, I decided it was time to quell at long last a 20+ year childhood curiosity of mine. It was largely a bittersweet experience...
Ocean reputedly spent a six figure sum to acquire licensing rights
You can play this game using the Super Nintendo mouse as well
Sick as hell in the film but perfectly healthy here. In fact, perhaps a little TOO healthy. He only appears in a few sections of the game and each time he'll rumble through. You can't kill or sedate it, so better get the hell out of its way
Ah, Mr. Raptor. Arguably the star of the original movie. True to real life, they hunt in packs and if not dealt with immediately can slash you to bits and pieces in no time flat. I recommend using either the rocket launcher or bola on them. The shotgun takes 2 or 3 shots to put them down, and by that time you might be put down first. Raptors love to hide in the thick of dense trees, revealing themselves only after you have crossed over into their territory. They may seem tough at first, but once you know where the ammo and raptors lie, it's easy
The classic T-Rex. Ever a perennial favorite. Even though he may only show up twice during the entire game, and always in the same fixed locations, his presence is still strongly felt. The music changes in a T-Rex zone to this bone-chilling rhythmic jungle beat, and when the king comes barreling out of the left side of your television screen, you just might soil your underoos. Escaping the jaws of death at the very last second is always a major adrenaline rush
You'll need plenty of weapons to deal with these crazy bastards. Let's take a look at them now
KEY TIP 1: The cattle prod is most effective against Compys. Remember that
KEY TIP 2: You can carry two weapons at a time. I highly recommend rocket launcher and bola
KEY TIP 3: Even when carrying two weapons, you can always press SELECT to switch to the cattle prod. Don't forget to do that when running across a group of little angry Compys. Trust me
Jurassic Park is a non-linear open world action adventure that can be viewed as sorta a sandbox survival horror game, if you will. Trust me, it isn't nearly as awesome as that may sound, but it's certainly playable. You won't find set stages or levels here. You have two modes. The first is this overhead mode. The second is whenever you enter a building the game will switch to a "3D" first person perspective. Unfortunately these bits are rather plodding, clunky and confusing. In general the game is very confusing if you go into it blind so here's some help. I recommend using a guide
There's something real unsettling and creepy about these critters
Get ready to get lost if you don't have a good memory or a map
By the way, who doesn't remember the dramatic kitchen scene?
Sure could have used your direction in this game, Mr. Hammond
Sorry, there are no vehicles to be found here. Backtrack by foot...
Be ready for much denied access [Sounds like my marriage -Ed.]
I highly recommend using a guide. Otherwise, you might go nuts
Not sure if you have to collect all 18 or not... but I won't chance it
These text boxes are way too damn big. And speaking of which...
At least you can quickly get rid of these boxes by pressing L or R
Of course not. You're way too smart for that T-Rex...
... or maybe not
If you didn't learn from the movie... NEVER LISTEN TO NEDRY
See? STAND STILL MY ASS. Raptors will kill unmercifully
WHAT A DAMN PRICK [Hey, I sorta like his sense of humor -Ed.]
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
Jurassic Park was well received by the critics of the time. EGM gave it scores of8, 8, 7 and 6. GameFan lauded it with ratings of 95, 95, 92 and 89%. Super Play thought very highly of it, enough to reward it 89%. However, reception amongst retro gamers have been a lot more polarizing. In fact there seems to be more people who dislike this game. Reasons for this mainly include the clunky first person sections as well as the ridiculous amount of backtracking and ID cards required. It's interesting because I can't think of many games that were scored highly back in the day that gamers more often than not do NOT like today. This also marks the first SNES game in which I completely disagree with the Big 3. Usually, one of EGM, GameFan or Super Play "gets it right" as far as I am concerned. Here, they all praised the game and I gotta say I disagree Super Play loved it enough to place it at #84 on their Top 100 list
Of the "big 3," this opinion most closely matched that of my own
JURASSIC PARK is one of the most epic badass summer blockbuster hits to come around in a long time. The idea of a game that mixes elements from Zelda and Wolfensteinis one enticing combination indeed, especially when you supplement to that equation dinosaurs. But sadly, it's really not Zelda meets Wolfenstein. What you're left with then is an uneven experience. The overhead bits are above average while the indoor parts are below par but if you play it using a guide, you JUST MIGHT get a bit of enjoyment out of it. The visuals are decent enough. The sounds and music are well done; raptor roars and the like are convincing and even, a bit frightening. The music switches from one zone to another with each theme befitting that part of the island. It's just too bad the game as a whole fails to capture the film's magic Jurassic Park's filled with epic moments. The game, not so much
It's too bad that the game lacks a save feature. It's quite long and the insane amount of backtracking and finding ID cards put a real damper on the whole thing (although mitigated somewhat if you play with a guide, and really, that's the only way I recommend playing this game). Sadly, shots like this suggest lots of action but in the real game, dinosaurs are actually few and far in-between. They stay stranded to their pre-determined positions, and jump out predictably after a second playthrough. They don't chase or stalk you like they did in the movie. They just jump out at you as you pass by, and if you run for it they don't give chase. They just saunter back to their hiding places, like a bunch of high school kids working at the local Halloween haunted house. It takes away from the intensity of the game. It's actually not hard as the game provides plenty of ammo for survival. The real challenge comes in the form of endurance -- can you put up with all the slow clunky first person sections, gathering all the ID cards and powering through this game in one long sitting? If so, you just might enjoy it. For the rest of us, it's more frustrating than fun
Graphics: 7 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 5 Longevity: 4
... not to endorse this video game
"I swear if you say that one more time, I'll find a way to hurt you"
Hey, come on now, Ian Malcolm. This game isn't THAT terrible...
That can's in honor of one, Dennis Nedry. May he rest in peace...
I spent 4½ hours recently beating this game in one long sitting. Probably never doing that again! While I did find some odd sense of enjoyment out of it, it really isn't a good game by any stretch of the imagination. But is it playable and enjoyable? It can be but I recommend using this guide