Jurassic Park CD: Hundstrasse Plays Another Jurassic Park Game…

My only guidance was a few grainy images from in a well-thumbed issue of ‘Mean Machines Sega’, but as a child I had made up my mind that the Sega CD’s Jurassic Park Game was the definitive way to experience first-hand the wonder of John Hammond’s ill-fated theme park…

For those of you who havn’t picked up on the subtlety with which I’ve mentioned it in the past, ‘Jurassic Park’ is one of my favourite films. It’s enchanting, exciting, and mysterious, but most of all it is set in a world with blurry edges everywhere making it feel real and expansive rather than enclosed. The characters are all larger than life and caricaturish, each with a distinctive personality and matching wardrobe. Unfortunately it’s a franchise which has never really found its place in the videogame world to the loss of gamers everywhere as it is a setting that is more than ready. Arguably my favourite JP game was the recent ‘Lego Jurassic World’ which made both the ‘list of top 5 games I played in 2015’ and also my recommendation for ‘the best game for non-gamers’. Having said that, there were aspects to the flawed TellTale offering that I also found enchanting, mainly the devotion to the source material and plot (even if the gameplay was weak… to be super-nice to it…). At the time of writing that article, I mentioned the mysterious draw of the SegaCD Jurassic Park game, so one idle Friday evening I set out to play it.

As my opening paragraph alluded, this is a game that had been on my radar for some time; as a child the SegaCD was an enigmatic system where everything seemed to be FMV based (Full Motion video.. as opposed to what?… Half Motion Video?… No Motion Video?) relying on actors and grainy footage to cobble together some kind of game. I’m going to avoid criticising the technology too much, these early CD games were necessary for the development of the medium, havn’t stood the test of time (I think that the controversial ‘Night Trap’ is possibly the only one with any kind of following), but even by these standards, this is a pretty terrible game, so let me walk you through my experiences of it…

Continue reading “Jurassic Park CD: Hundstrasse Plays Another Jurassic Park Game…”

Jurassic Park: The Game – A Beautiful Disaster

Movie tie-in games are trouble… More than any other design angle, taking a movie (or series of movies) as the inspiration and basis for a game is a treacherous path seemingly filled with more dangers than even the oft-lamented ‘Series Reboot’. Whatever angle designers come at it there is are a sprinkling of hurdles designed to induce failure, and given that most movie tie-ins are for big budget or cult-classics, the failure can rarely be swept under the carpet. In some alternative universe, I can imagine myself sitting, head on desk, having just been told that I need to develop a movie-game, with a sense of dread rising up through my body. This parallel-me is faced with a list of dangers such as: pleasing long time fans of the franchise; effectively and consistently building on someone’s creative work; stretching a two-hour movie into a 20+ hour game; Maintaining the standard of writing and storytelling; possibly meeting a movie release schedule… oh, and making a fun compelling and rewarding gaming experience… See?… trouble…

Continue reading “Jurassic Park: The Game – A Beautiful Disaster”