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Jurassic Park Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 20%
Jurassic Park
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  • Review Score:

  • D
You would think that a movie like Jurassic Park might lead to some amazing games. After all, this was a story about interesting characters going off on an adventure through an island full of dinosaurs and other dangers, sounds like a great plot for a video game. Sadly the Jurassic Park found on the Sega Master System doesn't quite live up to the potential of the script.

Back in the mid-1990s Sega had a Jurassic Park game for each of their consoles - Genesis, Game Gear, Sega CD, etc. While none of these games were stellar (the two Genesis titles being the best), they all managed to try something different with the license. This Sega Master System version plays like a cookie cutter 2D platformer ... only with any sense of excitement or exploration stripped away.

You play one of the scientists lured to Jurassic Park to study (and verify) the various dinosaurs that were created out of extracted DNA. In a plot point you can see half a world away, something terrible goes wrongs and all of a sudden it's you versus a full island of meat eaters. Now it's up to you to travel to each of the areas on the island and bring order. This is going to be a long day.

Before you even get to run alongside a dinosaur you have to drive, which involves a rather funky 2D rail shooter that has you shooting at the bird-like dinosaurs before they swoop down and destroy your Jeep. Shoot enough of these attacking creatures and you'll be forced to fight a boss (such as a T-Rex), which usually involves a lot of shooting the head. Survive all this and it's off to one of the worst playing 2D action games you'll ever see.

Jurassic Park is slow. It's also unfair, poorly conceived and no fun at all. This is the type of game that feels more like an exercise in generic game making than an inspired experienced based on a fitting movie. The real sin of the game is that the dinosaurs tend to attack you from off the screen, which means that you'll take a lot of cheap hits before making it to an even cheaper boss.

Another problem is that your weapons aren't all that effective. There are three you can select at any time, but none of them seem very effective for killing the dinosaurs. Your standard wave gun is simply too slow to do any good (especially when you are attacked without warning from off screen), your dynamite doesn't work as it should, and don't even get me started on the flare gun. These weapons are just useless, especially when you're dealing with the extremely difficult boss battles.

On the bright side each of the levels are unique and (for the most part) interesting. In one level you'll be climbing up mountains (and using caves), in another you might be finding your way through the forests, while in yet another you will be fighting dinosaurs in the middle of what appears to be a forest fire. You won't want to spend much time in each level, but it's nice to see a variety of different looking areas to be bored in.

Jurassic Park is a pain to play, it's the type of game you wouldn't play even if you got it for free. If the Spielberg directed movie was anything like this game it would have been hard pressed to even make $100 at the theater, let alone $100 million. With it's terrible controls, boring levels and entirely too difficult boss battles, this is one park you don't want to visit. This is not the worst Jurassic Park game on the market, but it sure comes close.
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