Jurassic Park III: Island Attack

Game Boy Advance

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7.5

Konami picked up the Jurassic Park III license and produced a trilogy of games for the Game Boy Advance, all of them with some decent gameplay. Island Attack is arguably the best of the three, playing somewhat like a portable Resident Evil. The bewildering point is that the game has very little to do with the movie plot wise, making the license seem like a waste of cash.

You've crashed on the island... yes, the one that's overrun by the meat eating dinosaurs. You're alone with no weapons at your disposal but somehow are able to contact the coast guard and they're on their way to the shoreline. Your mission is to get there and get the off the island to meet them for the rescue attempt. Of course, the dinosaurs are going to make every attempt to impede your progress.

The game is presented mostly in a 3/4 view (does every GBA game HAVE to have this view?) giving it a semi-3D feel. The controls are precise and make moving your Alan Grant look-alike easy to maneuver. Aiming can become a problem when surrounded by a pack of blood-thirsty raptors, but the targeting arrow makes things bearable. The odd quirk is the need for button mashing when breaking open boxes or pulling open doors. Whoever made this decision should be quarantined from the video game world for life. Motorcycle stages are presented in a side view fashion as are some of the more action intensive stages. These are made to played through quickly and tend to have a tough difficulty level, which makes them seem slightly out of place.

Having all pre-rendered backgrounds makes the game look downright spectacular on the small GBA screen. All of the dinosaurs are 3-D rendered sprites, which works with varying results. The T-Rex looks great, but the new Spinosaurus looks deformed. Your character is well animated with a decent amount of believability and hungry raptors have a cunning look that's pulled right from the movies. It can sometimes be hard to tell what dinosaur you're in a battle with, but it hardly makes a difference when blasting them away.

It's shocking to play through a game based on a movie and have none of the music from the feature film. John Williams score for the JP flicks is awe-inspiring and it's an outrage not to hear it in the game. Instead, a basic horror movie theme plays the entire time and it loops on a consistent basis. The dinosaurs have their specific screams and roars and the ambient sounds round out the package.

Playing through this game is like playing through some of the 8 and 16-bit Batman games. Take out the lead character and plotline, and you could easily insert a generic character into the lead role and the game still works. The license is only there to sell more copies. The game still plays well enough that some of the missing movie items won't bother most people, but it could have easily been enhanced if it followed the movies storyline. Otherwise, the game shows off some great sights and plays like a lighter version of Resident Evil, definitely enough to keep most people playing until they reach the coast.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:57 AM