SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
Capcom

PUBLISHER
Capcom

RELEASE
09/99

Dino Crisis Review

By: John Doe


First a word from Gerald the Velociraptor. "As many of you know this game depicts dinosaurs of various species acting violently towards humans. I can tell you that this behavior is not in our nature. I am personally more interested in stamp collecting and Japanese game shows, then I am chewing on you guys. You people have been duped by the propaganda-spewing swine at Capcom to believe that we are meant to be feared and hunted. Why can't we just get along? Let me ask you what you would do if some broad walked into a room with a grenade launcher pointed at your head and then started firing before the words "Hey how are you doin' baby?" could escape your lips? You'd be a little cheesed too. I was talking to Harold, a zombie friend of mine who has a time-share condo in Raccoon City and he says it's all "shoot first, ask questions later" with you people down there too. What's up with that? I think you guys need to look inward at who the real troublemakers are. C'mon, put down the guns and give peace a chance. Peace out."


Highs:
Lows:

Dino Crisis is a twist on the survival horror genre made famous with the Resident Evil games. If you aren't familiar with the Resident Evil games then you are wasting a perfectly good PlayStation. The game plays identical to the aforementioned RE games and fans will definitely need to have this game. Dino Crisis is worth every penny and minute you spend with it.

In this game you play the female lead, Regina, whom along with her team is sent out to infiltrate a secret research base. Instead of the living dead, Regina and the gang will have to battle with various dinosaurs like Raptors, Compys, Pterodactyls and of course the B.M.O.C., (Big Monster On Campus) the T. Rex. If you are thinking that you've heard this all before, the game is obviously modeled after Billy and the Clone-asaurus'. Umm, I mean Jurassic Park. In fact, Rick, one of the agents even remarks, "this is just like that movie." The game adds some replay value with branching objectives, usually involving arguments between the compassionate Rick and the by-the-book-chip-on-my-shoulder-I'm-mad-at-my-parents-for-giving-me-a-girls-name, Gail. Whew, that last sentence almost broke my grammer and spell check function. If Regina sides with the Rick, the story goes one way, if she sides with Gail, it goes another.

In Dino Crisis the controls are pretty much identical to Resident Evil, except you can walk with your gun readied and there is a 180 degree instant turn button for taking off in the other direction. Due to the camera angles and static backgrounds there is still no analog control, but the digital pad works just fine. Newbies however, should expect a fairly lengthy learning curve. Going through doors still consists of an animation sequence that serves as a speedy time-killer while the next room loads.

The graphics and animations are excellent. All of the levels are fairly dark and give you that enclosed feeling of anxiety. The camera angles are cinematic to a fault at times, causing a paradox between game character and game player. Clearly at times the game character would see a creature straight in front of her, but you won't know it is there until the game designers want you to see it. Truly brilliant and effective, not to mention pants filling scary. If you ever have time to notice the animations of these creatures, you'll marvel at how fluid and lifelike they move, for creatures that you've never seen before, that is. The backgrounds are now in 3D but aside from allowing greater freedom of camera movement you won't notice much of a difference. However when that camera closes in on you as you run down a hallway with huge windows on one side, you'll want to lay in the fetal position and cry because the thought of that T. Rex bursting through is just too much to handle.

Although the puzzles at first glance seem like the usual fare, you'll be happy to know that they are more related to the reality of the story and make sense within it. A lot of puzzles involve getting various machines to work on the island, such as cranes and power generators. You'll even have to think "spatially" while trying to move huge crates with a crane to clear a path, which has all of the elements of a great puzzle game intact! And aside from just "finding the code key" for a certain door (which you'll find scattered around in appropriate places and not encrusted in the beard of a wax dummy or something equally retarded) you'll have to figure out how to use that code key. The code key puzzles become increasingly challenging and will have you scratching your head until a flash of brilliance takes over.

DC's music is fantastic. It is the best music I've heard in a loooong time. When the action kicks in, the music will terrify you. The sound effects are excellent as well and as you might expect from a Capcom survival horror game, the dinos are better voice actors then the humans. Actually the voice acting isn't bad. It's definitely above and beyond RE1.

Complaint Dept. As wonderful as Dino Crisis is, there are still some areas that could have been improved upon. In the past RE games, whenever you came across a document, once read, it would be available to read again and again. Not so in Dino Crisis. So you must actually write down pertinent information such as passcodes and numbers. This element drove me nutzoid. How dare they change a key aspect of the gameplay! I played through a lot of the game before I realized this needed to be done, which meant I had to do a lot of backtracking when my Rain-man like mind for remembering numbers started to fail me. Only then did I search my inventory for the documents, and discovered the horrifying truth! Shame on you Capcom. A word of warning: Write down almost everything!

This game was a treat from beginning to end, and with three different endings it will have you playing for awhile. Beat the game three times and enter Wipeout Mode, a time limited game where you must seek out and destroy some dinos. As much as I enjoyed the game, there are (unbelievably) people out there who don't care for Capcom's survival horror games. You probably won't like this one much either unless you want to play the best Jurassic Park game that isn't a Jurassic Park game, if you catch my drift. On a personal note, I can tell you that I much prefer the undead to the dinosaurs. I find them much more terrifying. Perhaps the next game could incorporate both. Now wouldn't that be something? All in all though, this is a great game, which will entertain and freak you out all at once. Highly recommended.

OVERALL
8.5

GRAPHICS
8.0

CONTROL
8.0

MUSIC/FX
9.5

FRUSTRATION
6.0

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