Minty took a trip to Jurassic Park and wishes
he got the last boat off the island
Well it was last year when http://telltalegames.com/ announced they had teamed up with Universal Studios to create games of two of the biggest and best film franchises of all time. First came Back to the Future, which was a great game, great use of the licence and very funny to play, you can see the review here http://polypwn.com/2011/07/back-to-the-future-review/and now we have Jurassic Park which in all honesty hasn't turned out to be the game we had hoped for, especially concdering how good Back to the Future was.
Story and Presentation
Well the story and presentation are pretty good. The game starts off halfway through the first film when Dennis Nedry is trying to escape the island with $1.5 million worth of dinosaur embryo eggs, sufice to say he doesn't meet his contacts (because he is horribly killed by a Dilophosaurus) so they come looking for him and find the cannister that is now buried under the mud.
So you control the mercs who are here to collect this cannister and the game carries on far after the end of the first film with you running around the island playing not only the mercs but also a rescue team that come to the island to rescue everyone and Doctor Harding, the fella who was looking after the sick Triceratops (who by the way looks sod all like the guy from the film)
As is typical with Telltale games the game is broken into 5 chapters, each one lasting between 2-3 hours, so it's one long story split up into 5 chapters.
The story is authentic, it uses locations from the film such as the visitors centre and the docks, but most of the setting of the game you wont have seen in the film, but it all takes place on the island
You get to see different pens for the animals, the T-Rex from the film is still loose and makes his apperance felt throughout the game, Velociraptors are still running loose (even though they all died in the film) and you get to see a couple of new dinosaurs to introduce even more peril.
The story is told pretty well with cut scenes and hints dropped throughout the game, each character has a reason for being there and doing what they do, I found most characters likable, except for the old nutcase doctor who I didnt like or trust from day one as she just seems shifty like shes up to something, but it all works out pretty well in the end.
The graphics are pretty good for what the game is, since it's a TellTale point and click game it's not going to use the latest graphics engine and is designed to run on iOS hardware (which is one of my gripes with the game, explained later).
The disnoaurs look good, the T-Rex looks great, the Dilophosaurus is just like in the film when it's feathers come out and it spits slime all over you.
Character models and animation is pretty good, and it looks great when the dinosaurs fight, which they do in a few cut scenes, fight or just chase you everywhere.
You have the exact same cars as used in the film, the staff cars and the visitors cars which run on the track on the road, the game has a few other visual cues from the film such as Mr DNA, he doesnt do anything but it's nice to see detail like that in the game. If you're familiar with any TellTale game you will know what to expect from the graphics, nothing amazing, but nicely detailed and animated and does the job well.
The sound in the game is really authentic, anything that makes a sound in the game that was in the film is exactly like the film, It's got the main title theme from the film at certain points in the game that are meant to be spectacular or majestic like in the film, then there is the music designed just for the game but sounds like it could have been in jurassic park.
The sound effects of the dinosaurs are exactly the same, the roar of the T Rex, the Velociraptors and even the inquisitive sound and scream made by the Dilophosaurus.
Voice acting is generally pretty good, there is a lot of dialogue in the game, you get the usual multiple choice option when speaking with a character, usually you end up going through them all so it doesnt matter which one you pick, but the actors do their lines very well, my favourite are Billy and Oscar, the Mercs.
Gameplay is my biggest problem with this game, this is the part I was talking about when I mentioned about it being designed for iOS.
When playing the game you can clearly see it was designed with a touch screen in mind. If you need to click on anything on the screen it's got a big magnifying glass next to it for you to click on, and to search the scene you move the screen around and magnifying glasses pop up when you get close to something that you can see, not typical of other adventure games or even other TellTale adventure games where you could hover the mouse cursor over various parts of the screen to investigate (impossible to do on a touch pad) then click on it for more information, instead it's all there, little to no investigation. Though it does make it easier as it's very hard to actually miss anything, easier and less satisfying.
As well as that, on some puzzles you have to click and drag the mouse to perform certain actions such as opening a door, not really a problem but seems pointless when using a mouse.
There is also a hell of a lot of button mashing, a lot of the game is quick time events. So the characters do all of the running around and what not, you just have to make sure they time it right without dying (and yes you can and will die, a lot, unusual for a game like this but fun) On some events you have to time the button press carefully to make sure the character moves where and when they should, such as left for a dodge or down for a duck, then you just sit back and watch, it's like playing an old FMV game only without the FMV.
You don't walk around different screens like you do in other adventure games, where you can walk around the game, see whats what, and spend time on each screen going back and forth and working out how to use puzzles from one screen to the next. Instead when you get to an area you get an iconshow up at the bottom to let you know where are mutiple screens for that one area to investigate, you can then click on one to see whats going on within that screen, it's interesting at first but feels confined later on as there is very little walking around the screens to investigate what;s going on, and once you are past them you can't revisit them.
The biggest problem with the game is lack of inventory, seriously, there is NO inventory!! you can't carry anything, you cant use anything with anything or combine something stupid with something ridiculous to make something even more absurd to get past a screen, there is none of that and because there is none of that there are very little puzzles. Just some where you have to talk to people in a certain way to continue anda few other slightly more taxing puzzles. The best puzzle in the game is one where you have to work out how to get cars onto a rollercoaster to ride it, other than there is little to tax the brain.
About the 8 to 10 hours it takes to finish the game, there is no multiplayer (to be expected anyway) and little worth going back to again, unless you just want to see the dinosaurs again. There are some amusing parts of the game which are well worth watching, but the rest of the game didn't do it for me. I didn't find anything worth going back for.
You may enjoy it as it's a nice simple game to play through and you won't get stuck or frustrated. But compared to other….well….point and click games it can't compare, even next to TellTales previous offering Back To The Future, which is a far better game overall and is well worth playing.
I really thought TellTale were going to make an amazing game out of this, they have made a good effort, it's authentic and humerous, but it's not really a game to play, it's more like an interactive movie.
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