Thursday, January 2, 2020

Jurassic Park: Dino Defender: The Future is in Your Hands

Nothing like a game you're excited about for the last of one year and the first of another. Finally got Myst IV, so now I can begin the end of that great saga of adventure games...oh, and I guess this thing too. At least I can cross this game off my unfinished list. Its not that I'm dedicated to finishing all games I've ever played, but it is better that way. I'm not doing this because of that, I'm doing it because I figure survival horror games deserve to be with your regular shooters. I have loose standards for survival horror games. Any action game with a tight controlled amount of ammo & health and adventure game puzzles fits. No matter how little that limit is. Its definitely like Alone in the Dark in a lot of respects. You've got combat, much less difficult combat than to be expected. Platforming that no sane person would ever make if they had any talent*. Puzzles that are usually less difficult than perceived.
Right, pteranodon** or whatever knocked me down last time. For some reason there's a path to my right that is blocking me. I hear them. Lovely. The little ones. Now, where are they? Are they up he-
Can you hear that? That's the sound of exactly where I gave up before. This thing is going to get me even if its the last thing it does. And it doesn't seem like there's any escape. Climbing over the spot where he swoops does let me through, but going to the next screen kills me.
After some trickery, it turns out he can't get me on any climb, I reach the "compsognathus" dinosaurs. The little ones. These fear me, which is good, because I fear them more. A choice placement of the supply box and they're gone, but I'm still screwed. I go left, more fun with the pteranodon, if I go right, I fall to my death.
The answer turned out to be up my alley. Mad jumping dash from the top cliff. A few lucky jumps and I'm through. Another mad run into a wall...fortunately outside of the pteran's reach, and into a crawlspace.
Given the flying dinosaur's bloodlust for me, I suspect this is another trap. I won't be able to stop him until I reach the high ground where a supply box lies. Oh, this is going to suck. Lower area, fall to my death. Why is it even there, then?
Is this a trap? I check, carefully. Its not. Is the box a trap? No. You know, how do they even keep the flying dinosaurs? Surely they can fly away now, if not before. Huh. Jurassic Park is unrealistic. I never knew that.
Little ones. So I'm just an intruder here? Great. These prove to not harm me in any way, but their momma is up top, eager to feed her young. Very tricky. You watch her fly past, then enter the next screen, she jumps you. You rush past, she follows you in a way that prevents you from stunning her. That's actually clever now.
Wanna know how I did it? Mad dash, then jump into the wall. The pteranodon just flies right up. That's stupid. It'd never work in real life. You then crouch, so on her next attempt she misses you, then the call box followed by the stunner. I don't feel clever, I feel like I cheated somehow. To get up to the next power box you have to take a running jump off the upper ledge there. Because up takes stuff from supply boxes. Unnecessary.
I guess now we find out if that pteranodon is the same one from the start.
Oh, there's going to be some better ending for getting all the dinosaurs. The area to the right just contained a single "velociraptor" in an easily captured area. This part here can shove right off. If you treat it like some challenging series of falling rocks, you'll likely fail. Its actually really lame. No matter what size the rock is, you get hit in one single location. This location is only where the little stones fall. Meaning, they chose poorly when they made their action game with Macromedia.
Ooo, I smell another pteranodon. Hang on, there's not a big one here. Don't tell me...
A trap? Not even a little bit. I didn't get any shots of it, but on the next screen there's a rock bridge that falls if you walk on it. The developers being clever fellows, thought that making the bridge collapse on the other end too would make a bit of challenge. They're right, but do remember this is superficially a children's educational game. Knowledge Adventure, not actually any knowledge.
You know, if I'm getting this antsy about a pteranodon, I should have gone back and checked. There's only two on this level...Only, the game doesn't always tell you what enemies you'll face. The little pteranodons chase after me as I climb down a series of precarious cliffs. Are there even any baby animals who will chase a bigger animal that's running away from them? Oh, yeah...
T-Rex, now we're cooking with gas. I know what the next level will be about.
Children's educational game for 6/7/8+. Ol' king dino here is very annoying. Any attempt at trying to get past him turns to failure. Waiting, going down, hanging on the left ledge. Almost to the point where I give up, I finally get past him. You see, when you go down, if you go down in the wrong place, the T-Rex gets you. When you think you can go down, you need to go right, then go down. There are six levels here, they sure are trying their best to make them last.
Straight from 2 to four power boxes. Interesting choice. Once you get down there doesn't seem to be an imminent threat.
This guy, of course, isn't imminent. He's just waiting for you. Looking for you. He waits a lot. After a while, I thought he was alerted by sound or something clever. No, just a long timer.
Wow, an hour and a half on what's essentially twenty screens. They really got the most out of these. Not in a good way.
Oh, look, its the entrance to Jurassic Park. Cool.
Oh, no, its a T-Rex. I didn't see that coming. How horrible. Will I survive this unexpected turn of events? Tune in next time.

*I say this as actually liking Lester the Unlikely.
**That's what the game says they are. Who am I to judge?

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