Hey everyone, did you know that Spielberg’s 1993 dino-movie classic was put back into theaters a few weeks ago featuring a fancy new 3D facelift? Oh…uh, me too! I still haven’t gone to check it out myself but from what I hear, the movie is just as effective as ever and the conversion is actually really well done. Maybe I’ll go see it this weekend before my local showtimes go extinct. Haha-eh. Anyway, to celebrate this momentous occasion I’ve gone back and cleaned up my review of the SNES adaptation. And by cleaned up I mean I actually went in, fixed up some grammar, edited some lame jokes and took out a healthy chunk of F-bombs. My God, what’s wrong with me?
I never owned or played this game back during its 16-bit heyday but recently came across a copy and the other night decided to finally have a go at the little bastard. The idea was to drink a ton of beer and with the help of our old friends over at gamefaqs, actually try to complete the entire game in one sitting. The following post is a brief visual re-enactment of how it all went down:
Right away, the magic of Mode-7 graphics provide a cool little rotating island in the ocean that fades into the screen above. I tried to find an image or video clip of it but you can check it out by using your imagination.
After hitting start, there’s a digitized voice that says “Welcome to Jurassic Park.” This is a pleasant welcome and as it turns out, also a warning of the horrors that await you. Walking around a bit you’ll find some ammo and guns and stuff lying on the ground but guess what? You have to press a button to pick them up instead of being able to, oh I don’t know…walk over them. This really bugged me at first but then I realized it’s because you can only carry 2 different weapons at a time. Meaning it would really suck during the heat of battle if your strong weapon flipped out for a shitty one during your evasive maneuvers. It makes sense in general I guess, but is a detail that could easily be improved on if the game had the decency to include an inventory screen that would allow you to map your weapons. That’s right: You’ll never know how much ammo you’ve got stashed away or how many eggs and I.D. cards you’ve collected because this gun-heavy action adventure game failed to include an items menu. Hive five there, Ocean.
Roaming around a bit reveals that the control isn’t very good as your character moves in an almost Star Tropics level of stiffness (the first one, Zoda’s Revenge improved this a ton). Upon fighting the first dinosaurs you encounter (a small pack of Compy’s), you’ll quickly realize that:
1. The enemies in this game are super fast.
2. You can basically throw diagonal aiming out the window.
and 3. You want to throw your Nintendo out the window too.
And just like that! Barely a few screens into the game a couple of Velociraptors hop out of the trees like some kind of nightmare surprise party and shred yer ass apart real quick. You haven’t even had enough time to sort out which weapons are the most ideal to carry around or gotten a handle on the stubborn controls before some dinosaur is shitting you out. I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about this scenario far too often. Time to head into the visitor center to take a look at the fancy first person stages.
Apparently these levels are compatible with the SNES mouse that came with Mario Paint but if I’m ever drunk enough to see how that works I’ll probably wake up in a jail cell. These parts of the game do allow you to pick up ammo and health just by walking over them however and you can max out your weapons by exiting and reentering the buildings over and over again. Not that you could ever tell when you’re full because again: No inventory screen. Honestly, this first person stuff is a nice addition for variety sake but still running on SNES hardware which means getting any kind of real enjoyment out of it will require plenty of patience and understanding. As a kid who’s only experience with Doom was a red SNES cart, I actually did kind of like this aspect of the game.
After finding an egg and an I.D. card on the roof there’s nothing left to do but head back outside and into the jungle again. The FAQ I was following told me that I needed to start collecting more eggs in an area to the west and after heading there, my buzz had settled in comfortably and my patience was wearing thin. Specifically with the aiming. After spending the next hour or so getting myself stuck in Raptors’ toothy grins and electrified to death by these randomly placed electrifier things I’d had enough.
Then this happened:
Which was as good a time as any to throw in the controller and resume putzing around on the internet. Now to be fair, Jurassic Park does have some good stuff going for it. The vibrant graphics in general are nice and detailed and the animation is pretty good. Well, aside from Grant’s jump that makes him look…shall we say, “special.” It’s just that visual pleasures aside, no inventory screen, the lack of a map and extremely “specific” controls made the game an incredible chore to deal with. In fact the best part of the experience was when I realized I hadn’t paid any money for it.
Will I ever take another crack at Jurassic Park for the SNES? Nope, but I’m glad I did at least once if only to check it off my bucket list.
Mr. Face say this game BAD.
Mr. Face never wrong!