Jurassic Park 2 - The Lost World
It's inevitable. If a movie is wildly successful, a video game is likely to follow. And with the success of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the game has followed closely on its heels. But the game comes with a twist: Instead of being the human, as in most games, you get to play most of the game as a dinosaur, testing your skills as a T-Rex, Velociraptor, Compy, and human. Thirty-one levels are available—if you have what it takes to make it through alive.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a combination side scroller and shooter depending on the level you are playing. The graphics and sounds look like they're straight out of the movie. The concept is cool and original. And this is the first PSX title from DreamWorks Interactive. But there's another twist: there is one word that best describes Lost World and it starts with an F. No, unfortunately the word is not "fun" but rather "frustrating." I have never been so frustrated while playing a game as I was while attempting to play this. The controls are so lose and unforgiving that you will find yourself plummeting to your death quite frequently. Even simple tasks like jumping from one platform to the next becomes an unwanted challenge. This may sound a little harsh and unforgiving, but it is accurate.
I really wanted to like Lost World, so let's start with some positives. The type of gameplay changes depending on which character you are using. The character you are using is predetermined by the level so you don't have the option of choosing characters. In the beginning of the game, you play as a Compy. These early levels are your basic side-scrolling platform type levels. You guide you little dino through out the jungle, battling to stay alive. But the first level of the game is where you are introduced to Mr. Control Problem. You must jump from platform to platform in order to climb your way out of a cavern. This is typical stuff—except for the fact that half the time you hit the jump button, nothing happens and each platform feels as if it is covered by a layer of ice. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to know exactly what to do and how to do it, but not be able to because of poor controls.
If you manage to make it through level one, you get to play as the human. This was one of the better levels of the game. You are out to hunt the dinosaurs, and you are armed with various weapons, depending on what you find scattered throughout the game. You have access to tranquilizer darts, grenades, nerve gas, and a flame thrower. These levels had a Tomb Raider feel to them without the freedom to explore everywhere. One cool thing you had was called a Piton. This was basically a grappling hook that you could shoot up into rocks and swing to reach higher platforms, ala Batman. Of course you have to watch out for the stalagtites hanging down from the rocks or else you will have a spike lodged into your midsection.
After the human level, you play the Velociraptor. This dino has great leaping abilities and some serious claws. You will battle your way against humans trying to stop you. Of course, after you have killed one them, you can treat yourself to a McHuman to help restore your life. The best part about the Velociraptor was their raking attack. You would knock a human down and rake away with your sharp claws... the human is screaming for help, usually to no avail. I know this sounds demented, but it is actually nice to see someone actually taking on the humans instead of saving them.
Then, you have the T-Rex level. This level allows you to play as the baddest dino in all of the land. You can smash through obstacles, jump, roar, and eat everything alive that is stupid enough to cross your path. It was amazing how many other dinos would challenge you, but I will say that it was true to the movie. The Velociraptors would always hunt in packs. They circled you, and while you were scarfing one, another would attack from a different direction. But there is nothing like picking smaller dinosaurs out of the air with your mouth as they try to attack you. Playing Lost World as the T-Rex (and making him do his T-Rex roar) was very cool.
The game does have its moments that give a glimpse of what could have (and should have) been. The whole concept is an excellent idea. I like the fact that you are not thrown into the human-save-the-world-role. It was refreshing to actually play as dinosaurs because this opened up new ideas that you couldn't do with humans. For instance, you are armed only with your body (mouth included). The best part is, after a fight, you eat your slain opponent to give yourself a health increase.
Another cool thing that gives a glimpse of the game's potential: each level has a DNA key. If you find all of the DNA keys in each level, you will be treated to a special ending. Great. The only problem? The DNA keys are usually not located on the pathway. This forces you to go explore. That causes a dilemma. Do you want to risk exploring and falling off a ledge by no fault of your own or do you want to just make it to the end so you can go on? That is a question you will have to answer yourself once you start playing. But if you're like me the answer will become quite clear: screw the DNA.
Another flash of what should have been is the level graphics and design . I could not wait to see what the next level would look like. The whole environment was very well done and on the levels that you did not have to scale platforms I found myself getting into the game. Every noise in the bushes made me jump and wonder what was coming after me now. Unfortunately, there were just not enough of these moments around.
It is such a shame that with graphics this good, the gameplay could not have been better. If it were, we could have been talking "game of the year." Unfortunately, many people will not be around long enough to really appreciate the graphics in this game. You can tell that great pains were taken to ensure that the graphics were movie-quality and believable. I found myself sitting back surveying the scenery and enjoying it far more than playing.
The dinosaurs were all incredibly drawn. Each and every one looked awesome. Sure, you won't be as startled by the graphics as the movies, but as far as game graphics go, these are some of the best I have seen. The T-Rex is huge and detailed, and the game never misses a beat even when there are multiple enemies on the screen at the same time. Overall, the graphics are the saving grace of the game.
I really wanted to like this game. It had all of the ingredients to be a winner. Unfortunately, the terrible control problem made the game more frustrating than fun. It is really too bad because I think a lot of people are going to miss some of the best graphics around. I guess the lesson here is that graphics don't guarantee the game. You will enjoy the different environments and the ability to play as different characters. Hopefully, Dreamworks Interactive will learn from their mistakes and release a sequel that addresses the control issues. I would really like to see this type of game work.
Download Jurassic Park 2 - The Lost World
It's appropriate that possibly one of the bestlooking games to come out this year is based on possibly one of the best-looking movies to come out this year. The Lost World video game by DreamWorks is due out soon for the PlayStation (the Saturn version is being made by Sega-see last month's cover story), as is The Lost World movie by Steven Spielberg.
The world-famous film director himself overlooked the video game project in the beginning [he even took his children into the DreamWorks studios to get their opinions on the early betas).
But now as the game is nearing completion, Spielberg has left the gaming experts at DreamWorks alone to do what they do best. The game takes place four years after the events in the first Jurassic Park film. A second island (which was abandoned by the scientists) now serves as an overgrown home to dinosaurs left unchecked. You might think that it is your job to go in and take care of these ancient creatures, but The Lost World not only has you playing as one of two heavily armed human dinosaur hunters (Turok, anyone?), but as any one of three ferocious carnivores as well. You can play either as a compsognathus (the smallest of the bunch), a raptor or even the mighty tyrannosaurus rex. Each separate character has its own set of movements and attacks, giving the game plenty of variety. All of the enemies will be unique as well. And with the attention being paid to the little details in this game, you may wonder how close you are to the real thing.
For example, when playing as a T-Rex, you may run into a pack of humans armed with flamethrowers and rifles. You might decide to step on them or ram head-first through their ranks. You may even want to eat a couple of them or just toss their bloody carcasses into the air. But first, you'll have to catch them. These intelligent enemies will run away from you the minute you turn to attack. You might hear them screaming for help (or for more ammo!) as your massive, ultra-realistic-looking body lurches forward for the kill.
It's too early to tell right now, but The Lost World may be the video game industry's summer blockbuster. Watch for this highly anticipated title soon.
- MANUFACTURER - DreamWorks Int
- THEME - Action
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
One of the vital ingredients in any decent platform-action game is control, an ingredient needlessly left out of The Lost World. Since the recipe is incomplete, the game rates lower than its potential. It's unfortunate, since The Lost World has almost everything else going for it. The animation is silky smooth; the backgrounds are rendered beautifully. The sound effects and music work together to re-create the perfect Lost World atmosphere in your living room. The respectable enemy Al is a welcome addition to the genre. But the frustration you'll get when you play this game for a few hours may make you forget about all of the frills and thrills. You will miss jumps, you will fall to your death, you will step on sharp objects...you will get frustrated. This is all due to the imprecise controls, the seemingly inaccurate collision detection and the tough level designs. After a while, you may decide that looking for secrets down hidden paths is just too tough, so you'll just run straight ahead to the end of the level (which can be a challenge in itself). If you practice and learn the level layouts, you may enjoy your Lost World experience ...if you are the patient type. The Lost World is definitely in the upper echelon of 2.5-D action games. Just make sure you don't have an ulcer or high blood pressure.
From the get-go I liked the way this game looked-the intro with all of its cool tech-jargon along with great graphics were awesome. So then there's the game itself. Once again the graphics and animation were sweet, but the control was too sensitive. You'd jump on a ledge, barely hit the D-pad and fall off Still, it's a solid game with cool secrets.
With its ultrarealistic dino animation, flashy cinemas and "guest star" secret ending. Lost World is a slick package. Too had the gameplay isn't so hot Some stages are ridiculously unforgiving-especially the human levels, where you suffer too many one-hit deaths despite having a full Health Meter. Your dino's animation often makes for loose control, too.
Without a doubt, this is a highly respectable game, though limited in gameplay. The variety of animals is good, but I bet several fans would have liked to have used a few more. My biggest problem is the human level, where even the slightest mistake means certain death. I never knew a rocket launcher couldn't take out a T.Rex! A little realism is in order.
Just when you thought 16-bit games were facing imminent extinction, along comes Sega with another remnant from that lost world known as Genesis gaming. But this game is no Sega savior—it's just another dinosaur destined for the fossil files.
- Falling rocks and steam can kill a dinosaur. Try to lure the Raptors near the walls in the cave section.
- Use the password CIVIL WAR to play in a pseudo-death match against a friend.
Tracks of my Fears
Lost World's gameplay is a throwback to the original Jurassic Park for the Super NES by Ocean. You play via a top-down perspective, hunting and capturing small dinosaurs while avoiding bigger dinosaur predators (like Raptors) across five levels. You also help lost dino scientists and fight evil hunters.
Some of the levels give you a break from the weary overhead action, like the chase sequence where you blow up maniacal motorcyclists while shooting at a fleeing dinosaur. Most of the game, though, is straight-up boring.
Controlling your character is simple—you shoot with one button and change weapons with another. However, this extremely slow game could really use a run button to speed things up. The cheesy interface that accesses the map will make you snicker; but remember, if this game had appeared, say, three years ago, it might almost have been cool.
The graphics and sounds won't impress 16-bit die-hards. Don't expect dynamic sprites or flashy cinematic cut scenes here; instead you get muted colors in simple backgrounds and extremely small sprites. The sound, especially the painful motorcycle squealing, will also leave you as flat as a Montana dinosaur dig.
The Lost World is just that: A game from a world long gone that seems just plain lost in modern times. It's so old it's new; but Jurassic Park is a place to visit, not to stay.
- To get the Stegosaurus into the trap, dart him, and then run. Once you enter the trap, you'll be rewarded with a jeep.
- Every time you capture six dinosaurs, you get a health box containing armor, an extra life, and gas canisters. Re careful snaring the sixth dinosaur—if you activate the Drop Box near a wall, it will explode and leave you with nothing.
A month after it stomps its way onto movie screens and 32-bit systems, The Lost World: Jurassic Park should rumble over to the Genesis. As in the PlayStation and Saturn versions, you play as different characters, including a raptor, a T-Rex, and a human hunter, while trying to survive 20 levels of action/adventure on an island overrun by dinosaurs. Sega claims the new "Morf-X" technology will make this smoothest, most realistic animation yet on a 16-bit system. We'll see.