Sound of Thunder is not a racing game. It's an action
game based on a sci-fi movie which was, in turn, based
on a sci-fi short story by Ray Bradbury. The movie
has been held up for a summer release but the game
doesn't have time to sit around and wait. In keeping
with the slogan of the title, Time is not on your
the future, time travel has been perfected. Time Safari
Inc. offers dinosaur hunting expeditions to the past
where adventurers can track prehistoric monsters.
To take part in the adventure there are three rules
that must be followed: You can't change anything;
you can't leave anything behind, and you can't bring
anything back. In one fateful incident, a butterfly
is accidentally killed which changes the course of
evolution as we know it. As the time line catches
up with present day an assortment of mutated creatures
begin to appear. These creatures are the result of
a natural selection process that is different than
the one we evolved from one. To correct this situation
a group is assembled to go back and figure out what
Ryer is the playable character. To save mankind he
must kill the present day mutated threats, solve various
puzzles and return to the past to fix the problem.
The creatures are imaginatively rendered and stimulate
your imagination to imagine "what if?"
eliminate these creatures you will have various weapons
at hand which include rifles, a grenade launcher and
a grenade that stops time. A lock-on targeting system
ensures that you will be able to negotiate the top
down, 3D perspective favored to view the environment.
Aiming has been simplified. It doesn't take much skill
to take out the threats which in some cases is a good
thing since some of these beasts hunt in packs and
will surround you.
is of the essence and it's a commodity that you don't
have much of. The environment literally changes around
you as time waves reach present day. During the puzzle
phases you will have to move boxes around to access
areas safely and throw switches. As the time waves
change the environment, certain paths and areas will
change causing you to adapt your strategy to the new
environment. It's an interesting concept that works
and really forces you to panic.
core of the gameplay tends to get a little repetitive
but there are enough diversions to keep it from getting
boring. One such diversion is the use of vehicles.
It's not an amazing addition and the game could have
easily done without it since the engine is not designed
for it. The vehicle pauses for a micro-moment every
10 seconds or so as it leaves one area and enters
another. The screen doesn't scroll smoothly; it sees
each area as a different room and tries to link them
together. The result is very choppy and annoying.
It's a good thing this doesn't appear in every level.
can feed a group of four hungry gamers off of only
one cartridge. A four-player Deathmatch is available
for only the price of a handful of Link cables. It's
a really good mode with smooth moving sprites and
an environment that has just the right amount of obstacles
and open area to see your opponents. The area is somewhat
confining but it does the job. There's even a co-op
mode in which one player can drive the vehicle and
the other can shoot at the creatures. It's not nearly
as good as the four-player mode thanks to the stop-and-go
motion of the vehicle.
characters are well rendered. They animate very smoothly
in real time. There's not much background music but
when the action starts it kicks in and really helps
to get the blood pumping.
is one of the few times that a GBA game has actually
piqued my interest in seeing the movie that it was