I remember the days when dinosaur games were at their peak. Turok titles and Dino Crisis series were one of my favorites. Capcom didn’t have much but they knew how to make a game when it came to Dino Crisis.
The interesting thing is that I never had a PlayStation One; I’d play Dino Crisis, Tekken 3, Final Fantasy IX and tons of other titles through PlayStation emulator software. In fact, I tried Bleem, VGS and PlayStation Emulator. Oh, man, now I wanna talk about Bleem and VGS which is going to take the discussion elsewhere.
It’s exactly 3:30 in the AM here. At this hour of the night, I am sitting in front of my laptop, writing stuff about my childhood gaming days. Most of these games have gone for good. To be honest, I have not seen many titles from today’s developers that would actually pique my interest.
And I am not the only one complaining here; there are tons of individuals who think on the same lines. The quintessential baddie: Dino Crisis 1 and Dino Crisis 2, they were the kind of games that you’d want to play over and over again. Or maybe if you have something against the millennia-old creatures, there must be some title that you were in love with.
Dino Crisis – The Extinct Franchise of the Golden Era:
Today, dinosaur games are a rare breed. The game developers are following a formula while competing with one another. Except for the very few titles, games have the usual run for your life theme, a post-apocalypse theme, maybe a couple of zombies, some tyrants, and the protagonist. Where’s the fun?
The FPS formula is similar. Gaming companies do not have original concepts. I have seen tons of FPS titles where except for new guns, louder explosions, and different characters, the overall game setting is practically the same old fucked up environment. First 15 minutes into the game and you are up to your neck with that shit.
I wanna talk about Turok 2 and Dino Crisis 2 for the reason that both of these games scored almost 90 on Metacritic. Even Dino Crisis One had a decent 73, which is, in fact, a poor score when compared to the latest gaming titles. But I am talking about the time when the dinosaur concept was new and a rare breed.
To say that Dinosaurs are completely off the game industry today would not be true. Telltale Interactive did aim at releasing dinosaur titles. You remember the disastrous Jurassic Park game series. It averaged between 50 – 60 score; hence indicating the lamest of all attempts of creating something. I don’t know why game developers of this much caliber are hired?
Or perhaps, there’s a game company with too much money to spare. Maybe the guys at the top floor get bored every once in a while, so they say, hey why don’t we waste our company’s resources, customer money and customer time by releasing something completely shitty? It’ll be fun!
Then there’s Tomb Raider; a very small part of a big scale adventure. When they released the arcade version of Tomb Raider at the Xbox Marketplace, I was excited to see the Dinos in it. At least, Tomb Raider’s dinosaur had a bit of ferocity for old times’ sake. However, dinosaurs are always discouraged; they always come up short and never ever make the main event in current games.
Why Not the Dinosaur Games Anymore?
Bah… that’s a tricky question. If it was up to me, I’d have made it mandatory for game developers to release at least one dinosaur title per anum. But no one listens. Don’t even think about pitching the idea of EA Games, Eidos (practically extinct by now) or some other big name from the gaming industry.
Thinking of talking about dinosaur games with Square Enix? Lols, I would love to see that title coming to life. The problem is that Square Enix does not have originality anymore. They don’t make games for adults; they make a game for kids. They have literally fucked up all the latest games except for the very few at hand.
Look at what Square Enix did to Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy series. Where’s the fun in that? The other day, I had a friend over at my place. We were talking about the old Tomb Raider and the latest installment in the series. I still remember his words from a few days back, “Casey, the latest Tomb Raider runs all by itself. You have little or no interaction with the Lara Croft that once used to be fun to control. The element of mystery and full-time tomb exploration is gone…”
We come back to dinosaurs again. What is the main reason behind the big fellas not being able to make it to your high-end LEDs? We have dinosaur movies; why don’t we have the games? The most that developers have offered so far are dinosaur games with FPS element in them, some survival horror games with ONE dinosaur in them, an adventure game with an occasional dash of dinosaurs… and that’s about it.
The game plots are predefined. The levels are probably designed 1 week before the release! Not to mention the fact that the lizards are terribly developed, it leaves us with nothing to hope for. For Christ’s sake, dinosaurs have feelings too! They are being used as a gimmick to add an element of twist to the game.
Remember the last Resident Evil installment? If you chose to play with Wesker, there are a few levels where you have to kill a big badass mofo. Why didn’t Capcom replace the big guy with a big dinosaur? Okay, if the idea of a dinosaur seems absurd in Resident Evil, how about an oversized mutated lizard? That would have been pretty cool too.
The only exception in dino franchises is this one game: Jurassic Park – Trespasser. Telltale put lots of time and probably a small amount of money into showing dinosaurs at their true potential. They did strive to present the extinct creatures through in-game visuals, a dedicated storyline and prop accommodation.
Telltale also made a few mistakes. Dino Crisis 2 and Dino Crisis 1 environments were mostly confined to tight places where you had to move fast. Back then, the game possessed the elements of survival and horror at the same time. Telltale, on the other hand, forgot all about horror and relied completely on survival.
Survival in what sense? If you must know, think about Jurassic Park: Trespasser gameplay. The weapon arsenal is used to defend yourself. You are also looking for supplies and any other means that would make your “survival” a little easier. Telltale wanted to make the perfect dish because they thought that they had the ingredients.
It is sad to say that Telltale set the entire house on fire, in an attempt to cook up a dinosaur game. The main characters have a physique that defies all laws of physics. She holds out her arm like a steel rod and pokes at objects. Honestly if this bitch was for real, she’d have seriously injured people just by touching them!
The fact of the matter is that none of the games compare with Dino Crisis 2 and Dino Crisis 1. If you had feelings for Trespasser, I would very much like you to flush em down the shank. Jurassic Park – Trespasser was a monumental failure, where none of the other developers have dared to tread again.
We are all aching for a special game; something developed in Cry-Engine 3 environment and dedicated to our four-legged friends that once walked the earth over a million years ago. What we need is a sound idea, a good publisher and some decent media buzz for a dinosaur game to get popular once again.
Sigh… only if they knew how to reconstruct the T-Rex; slime dripping down his jaws in a lush Isla Nublar…
What do you think? Let us know through the comments section. Do you have any idea to help us stop such games from getting extinct? Share them right now and we’ll make sure that someone from the gaming industry listens to your voice.