Jurassic Park

Game Gear

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5


Jurassic Park (E) [!]-01.gif (6734 bytes)Surprisingly not just a toned down 16-bit port, this portable rendition of the classic 1993 "Jurassic Park" film is an original mixture of play styles. Part light-gun shooter (without the light gun) and part action-platformer, this little game offers basic, unoriginal styles of play. It's not spectacular and it doesn't try to do anything unique, but it's a decent title that struggles in spots.

Picking which dinosaur pen you'd like to clear first, players enter into a driving mode where they have no control over the car itself. Instead, they'll protect it, blasting away dinosaurs dropping on screen from multiple angles against heavily detailed backdrops. The users cursor responds quickly, and it's enough to beat anything tossed on screen.

Boss battles are where things begin to weaken, the specific requirements to actually damage each creature unknown. The game's code seems finicky enough not to recognize a hit even though it just worked a second before. They're not necessary to defeat, but you'll arrive in the basic horizontal scrolling action stages with minimal health if they're not taken down.

These platforming sections put up a fight too. Though it looks similar to classic speedy action titles like Contra, this is a more subdued and leisurely paced style of play. You'll be able to appreciate the graphical detail this way, and quickly realize that in some sections enemies (and even the player's character who has nothing to do with the film) are obscured.

Jurassic Park (E) [!]-02.gif (6783 bytes)Power-ups are obtained in the driving sections, so anything needed must be secured there. These stages are sometimes mixed between straightforward platforming action and maze like progression. The latter becomes frustrating as the path to the exit is rarely (if ever) obvious and dinosaurs attack relentlessly.

It's definitely a game that will require multiple attempts to make it through alive. That leads to both repetitious gameplay and a sometimes on/sometimes off soundtrack, none of which has been taken from the movie. If the gameplay was stronger overall, this might not be such a problem. Unfortunately, it's not, and the generic style quickly becomes the game's biggest hurdle.

Those looking for a portable version of the Genesis game will be disappointed here, even though on the first look, they seem similar. The play variety is nice, and there's a chance if Jurassic Park stuck with only a single style, it may have become something worth playing enough to see the end. Obviously, it's not, and that makes it a title for platforming fans and die-hards of the films series.


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Last updated: Saturday, October 01, 2005 08:10 PM