Jurassic Park Rampage Edition (SMD):

Spoiler Warning for Jurassic Park Rampage Edition… I guess… This post is part of my ongoing quest to explore Jurassic Park games.

A few weeks ago I embarked on the 16-bit Sega take of ‘Jurassic Park’ for Sega Mega Drive… and if you didn’t read that one then at least give it a quick Bristol flyover as I’m going to be referencing it quite a bit... My overwhelming opinion was that it is ‘ok’. It does the job. It is technically a 16-bit Jurassic Park videogame that does the minimum to meet that standard and stave off being referred to as a ‘bad game’. But nothing about it really stood out, either as a game, or as an homage to the most Jurassic of Parks.

Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition is a direct sequel to that game, and one that I have technically played in the past thanks to a Blockbuster rental on some otherwise uneventful weekend in the 90’s. I was always a little confused as a kid by the ‘Rampage Edition’ subtitle. It didn’t seem to be clear if it was a new game, or just an amped up version of the original. Having picked up it up on eBay I was kind of amazed how much of it came flooding back to me once I put the cartridge in. Yes, this is a new game which, despite superficial graphical and genre similarities, one that is quite different from the original Mega Drive outing. I’m not saying that the developers, BlueSky, have time travel technology, but it seems a little too convenient that I write a piece about the JP game and there just happens to exist a sequel that addresses all the negatives.

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Jurassic Park (SMD): Rooaaeeggaaaaarr

Part of my ongoing quest to play lots of Jurassic Park Games, this article also contains spoilers for Jurassic Park on Sega Mega Drive

Jurassic Park on Sega Mega Drive“, jam that into a shellsuit and you might have to sit down for all the early 90’s that it is emitting, but that’s just how I like my JP experiences.

With a permanent inhome location for my retro consoles (aka ‘The Retro Nook’) I decided that it was time to undertake the first platforming title in the ongoing JP exploration. Resurrecting my childhood Mega Drive II is always fun, but knowing that I now have a space to leave it permanently setup is even better. The icing on the cake has been the acquisition of a good quality shielded component cable (from retrogamingcables.co.uk … no, this is not sponsored, I just like them that much) and an OSSC line doubler gifted by the amazing Kim & Pete at LaterLevels (I cannot say Thank-you enough!). When these powers combine, they produce a magnificent and crisp image that finally matches my retro-vision memory of the console. Without wanting to disappear too far down a techtalk rabbit-hole, I also play with added scanlines courtesy of the OSSC because I genuinely think it matches more closely my own idea of how a 16-bit system should look.

This shiny new-old setup now deserved a fresh-aged experience, so I picked up the original Jurassic Park title for Mega Drive and (after a little contact cleaning) jammed it in to be greeted by a T-Rex Roaring “Sega”, those iconic park gates opening, a flash of lightning, and flickering torches, all in grimy, dithered, graphics. My JP experience so far has taught me that the Jurassic-park-ness of a game is often set, or at least telegraphed by the title screen and so far the SMD JP was performing well. The game lets the player pick between two scenarios; Alan Grant or Raptor. I opted to begin with Alan Grant, hit the start button, and watched the opening cutscene showing the tour LandCruiser being attacked by the T-Rex…

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Mad Dog McCree: Slippery Shoes & Sticky Floors

Erm… Spoiler warning for Mad Dog McCree .. I guess… Does that need a warning?…

If movies, T.V., and the unreliable 4-year-old-me memory are to be believed, the U.S. in the 80’s & 90’s was a haven of amusement complexes and arcade machines, which the U.K. never seemed to latch on to. As a kid growing up in the U.K. my gaming, like so many, started with home computing before moving on to SEGA consoles. Arcade machines were rarely seen out in the wild beyond a small handful sitting nervously amongst fruit machines or penny falls in seaside towns, and popping up sporadically in the foyer areas of larger cinemas. The only place I could guarantee a reasonable selection of arcade machines was at a bowling alley, so take my hand and join me back in the early 90’s as we push through the double doors and on to the garish carpet of Anytown’s bowling alley*. Past the newly opened Quasar laser tag, past the Addams Family Pinball machine, toward the arcade section, and marvel as you set eyes on a huge rear projection TV cabinet. A solitary tethered pistol in the holster, the words ‘Mad Dog McCree’ emblazoned across the top, and some grizzled prospector onscreen enticing you to part with whatever small change you had in your pocket to try and take down the outlaw.

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Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis – I Don’t Know Why It’s Called That…

Long time readers will know that I’m on a quest… one of the slowest burning quests in history maybe, but a quest none-the-less… to play all the Jurassic Park* games out there. So far I have played ‘some of them‘, But hey, who’s keeping track? I’ve sampled a good variety, including PnC, platform, FPS, and, whatever the heck you classify the DOS one as, but I’ve yet to try a park builder, which is where Operation Genesis comes in.

I’d been keeping my eyes vaguely open for a copy of JP:OG for a while now, but with my recent retro-gaming kick I happened to spot a copy of the PlayStation 2 version going at the same little online shop where I picked up a GameCube so I decided to give it a shot.

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Somewhere Beneath the Sea: Bioshock 2

Warning! Contain Spoilers for Bioshock 2 and the DLC ‘Minerva’s Den’

The City of Rapture is easily one of my favourite game settings. That art-deco undersea metropolis not only provides a unique backdrop for some fine first-person horror, but is inexorably linked to the plot through the vision of Andrew Ryan, its in-game conceptual architect. I like this setting so much that I’ve revisited Bioshock several times in the past few years, and replayed Bioshock Infinite an equal number of times to justify replaying the ‘Burial at Sea’ DLC in order to get back to the vistas of Rapture.

However, until earlier this year, I had never completed Bioshock 2. There was a failed attempt to play it a few years ago which petered out a couple of hours in and left me generally poorly disposed to this oft overlooked child in the Bioshock Trilogy. I think there were key barriers to me wanting to pick it up again. Firstly, without the original team at the helm, I wondered just how good that sequel outing under the sea would really be, and secondly, I didn’t want to play as a Big Daddy. Sure, they make a great imposing ingame element, but the lumbering sections imitating a Daddy towards the end of the first game certainly didn’t warm me to the concept. Plus there is an undoubted emphasis on melee combat, something that I tend to avoid in first person titles, which I ultimately ignored in favour of firearms. That being said, the draw of rapture is strong, and one of the biggest plus points about leaky-corridor-simulator 2 is that there is indeed more Rapture to discover here. So, I hung up my misgivings, greased myself up, and slid in to an oversized diving suit to give it another shot.

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