Retro Rant: Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues
So, last time we looked at the SNES version of Jurassic Park, a fun game set during the events of the first movie that is completely confused as to if it wants to be an adventure game or a Dinosaur version of DOOM. This time were looking at the sequel, Jurassic Park Part 2 The Chaos Continues, which is set just before the second movie, on the original island. The opening animation begins by showing us some executive telling a scientist that he wants control of Jurassic Park, and that Ingen, the company that made the park, must be eliminated. He works for a company called Biosyn, and its hinted at but not confirmed as the company that hired Denis Nedry. This is followed by a load of commandos dropping from choppers into a jungle, and a raptor slashes the JP logo.
This time were actually given an options menu and a difficulty setting. That video was pretty cool, what sort of game are we getting into? More Doom? More adventure?
Oh! We’ve been given a level select screen, mocked up to look like a PDA device with orders and intel on it! This is new. We’ve got a lot to choose from. “T-rex rampage”? No too early for that, lets try, “protect the Galliminus”.
Suddenly we are thrown into the action! We are playing as Alan Grant again, only this time he’s a lot more commando looking! Is that body armor!? How many guns is this guy carrying?
That’s what I ask myself as I take in the 2D platform style level before me. A health bar, and ammo counter and a weird JP logo with numbers under it. I move forward, and men in yellow suits, that kind of look like Big Bird with crash helmets dart towards me, firing red dot pixel gunshots at me. Ah, I get the feeling I’ve played this before.
This time the game thinks its Probotector or Contra (if you’re reading this outside of Europe). So I play along, I enjoy this type of game. I don’t really see what it has to do with Jurassic Park but I’m shooting away, trying out all the guns. Weird the white ones don’t hurt humans! It turns out that they are tranquilizers to be used on dinosaurs, ant the number counter above the logo is the Parks’ stock. If you use lethal weapons on the dinosaurs, with the exception of raptors and T-Rex, its game over. So you spend a lot of time trying not to kill the dinosaurs, preserving them, so they can die when the island gets blown up in the end. Erm…
Any how the backgrounds in this game look really good. Nice forests, mountains and caves, decent on the eyes. The raptors and dinosaurs look pretty good too, pallet swaps indicating older or stronger dinosaurs. While the humans look like… melted block monsters. Like really, the melted block monsters hop around with machine guns and flamethrowers!
At the end of each normal mission, were given an emergency call and have to complete a timed level, trying to find a scientist, escape a dinosaur or flee from nerve gas. They’re a bit more challenging, usually providing a mix of enemies to keep us on our toes. I’m still amused by that first level, where Sam Neil shot down the helicopter what was swinging a cage at him while dropping cluster bombs. No, really. In the next level, you are on the back of a jeep, hurtling through the forest firing everything you have at a T-Rex that’s following you. The jeep drives of a cliff (poor driver) while you jump to perfect safety by grabbing on to a nearby vine. While your ultimate maneuver is, posing… so enemy bullets pass through your arm. Makes sense right?
The music in this game fits whatever it is supposed to be, perfectly. Its a mix of typical computer game tunes and action movie score.
I tried out this game with a turbo control. Remember those? Its absolutely awesome because you can turn the weak tazer weapon with the slow charge that gets you killed, into a machine gun tazer that can mow down dinosaurs in seconds without killing them and lowering the stock count, which really really matters (except in the end when it was pretty pointless).
I suppose since the game is ultimately so different to the first part, there can’t really be a proper comparison. I enjoyed both games, for different reasons. Both games were also completely insane, for different reasons. I’m not sure if either game really captured what Jurassic Park was, or what the game wanted to be. I would recommend trying this one out if you get a chance though, not a bad way to spend an afternoon if your looking for something a little bit arcade platform that has the added bonus of extra dinosaurs.
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