Dino Crisis 2 (PlayStation) review
"The game looks better than its prequel, but it just makes it a bit more awkward to navigate in the 2D world. Since you can't go ''anywhere'', like in a 3D game, it's sometimes hard to judge exactly where things are, where you can go, etc."
When I first heard that there was going to be a Resident Evil-style game from capcom where the enemies were dinosaurs instead of zombies, I thought it sounded like just about one of the dumbest ideas for a game I'd ever heard. I read good reviews of the game, but I could'nt ever bring myself to accept the fact that the game might actually be good. About a year later, when the sequel was released, I laughed even harder at Capcom... Except, this time, I just had to play the game after reading such great reviews, so, I rented it. And to my surprise, the game isn't at all as bad as I thought it would be...
+ The graphics in Dino Crisis are definitely the high-point of the game. It switched from the first game's 3D backgrounds to 2D ones, much akin to those found in the RE series, and FFVII and FFVIII. The game looks better than its prequel, but it just makes it a bit more awkward to navigate in the 2D world. Since you can't go ''anywhere'', like in a 3D game, it's sometimes hard to judge exactly where things are, where you can go, etc. This aside, the backgrounds look astounding. The polygonal characters are also very detailed, and has smooth-as-silk animations. Dino 2's graphics are definitely some of the best on the system.
+ The gameplay in Dino Crisis 2 is kind of a low point, yet a high one at the same time. I've heard DC2's gameplay described as ''Like Resident Evil'', but it is actually far from it. When I first started playing Dino Crisis 2, I felt like I was playing some arcade style shooter, because for every dinosaur I killed, I got some mysterious kind of ''points'', and the dinosaurs seemed to just keep on coming, even once I killed around 10 or so of them.
The control is a bit like Resident Evil, except less awkward, and you can shoot while running. You hold down R1 to bring your gun out, and X to shoot it. There is no run button--your character is always automatically running. The menu can be accessed easily, and so can the map.
In Dino Crisis, instead of finding all of your ammo, weapons, and recovery items, you ''buy'' them with the points you've earned. While this is an interesting twist, it feels a bit out of place in a Survival Horror game. Every now and then, you come across a computer which acts as both a save point, and a shop. There's just something about buying your items in a game that make it seem like less of an accomplishment. While there are items such as key cards which can only be found in the field, most of your consumable items are purchaseable. This is a plus and a minus. The conveniance of the stores makes the game easy and quick, but the lack of difficulty makes it seem like you're not really doing anything. While the latter is true, if you play the game on hard, it actually is quite a bit of a challenge.
Overall, the gameplay is actually a plus. Enemies come back after you've killed them, items are easy to find, ''running out of ammo'' doesn't really exist, the game has an ''arcade'' sort of feel... All relatively bad things, but, for some reason, it's fun as hell! Blowing away those dinosaurs and watching blood and guts fly everywhere has never been better! The storyline lacks any real creativity and envolvement, and seems like a wannabe Jurassic Park, but in the end, it doesn't really matter, because it's FUN!
- The sound seems extremely out of place. In parts of the game which may otherwise be relatively creepy, rock and jazz music it's playing...BIZZARE! The voice acting is also Resident Evil-esque.
- Extremely linear gameplay lacks depth and difficulty. You're constantly having to switch between two characters who can each only go where their tools allow them to go. The player has to get used to two different inventories, and has to get used to backtracking a whole lot. This can get tiresome, especially when those freakin' dinosaurs just keep on coming back!
While Dino Crisis is a mixed bag, of sorts, in the end, it comes out as a plus. The graphics and fun factor may be the only real plus, but they're good enough to make everyone happy. Some things about the game really just seem like stupid ideas, like the idea how dinosaurs just keep on coming back, but no game is without flaws. At times, I simply couldn't stop laughing at Dino Crisis, like when the ''mission objective'' changes, and when you have to chase a small dinosaur called a ''compy'' around in order to take a stolen key card from it, but for some reason, I can overlook these laughable downfalls. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I only had to pay $5 for this game, but... I'm quite pleased with it, and even though it has so many problems, every time I kill a dinosaur, or see something cool, I forget about that stuff.
It might not be worth the $40, but it's definitely worth a rent, and if you can find it used, buy this game and have fun with it! Laugh at all the pathetic mistakes the producers made, and enjoy the chunk-blowing, dinosaur killing action!
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)
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