Review by KFHEWUI
"A solid title that does have its flaws"
65,000,000 years ago, a meteor crashed in the Yucatan Peninsula, and this killed off the dinosaurs and altered Earth's ecosystem. In the year 2000 A.D. an earthquake shakes the Yucatan Peninsula and part of the peninsula crumbled away leaving only an island shaped like the meteor that crashed years ago. A research center was built on the island which is properly named Dinosaur Island. 17 years later, an ESER (Emergency Sea Evacuation and Rescue) member named Eliot is vacationing off the coast of Dinosaur Island when there is another quake. Energy shoots from the island forming a barrier around the island, and Eliot is attacked by flying creatures. Eliot jumps into the water and awakens on the docks of Dinosaur Island several hours later, and he begins his search for survivors.
Blue Stinger has a unique story, and it is an interesting tale. If there is only one flaw with the story, it would be the ending, but finding out about Eliot and Nephilim's story is interesting though the ending is unsatisfying. The ending leaves it hanging, but the creator of Blue Stinger passed away several years ago which means the chance of seeing a sequel is slim.
The music is good and creates a tense atmosphere, and the sound effects are decent. There is voice acting, and it is passable however the lip syncing is terrible. The sound effects are decent, and enemies have their own vocal sound.
For the most part the controls are solid and the layout is good, but the one major flaw with the controls is the swimming controls which are nightmarish. Thankfully there is only a short swimming sequence.
Blue Stinger looks nice. The enemies look unique, and the textures are clear. The animation for the enemies is not bad however the walking animation for the characters is strange. It looks like they tried to make the movement realistic, but the movement is strange. Eliot (or Dogs) will step forward and their hips will sway however they move their legs forward by swinging their legs forward in an arc.
The game play is third person, and the levels are usually straight forward with locked doors and side paths that lead to different areas. Along the way there are some puzzles to solve and key cards to collect to open locked doors, and there are monsters to fight.
The combat has melee weapons and guns, and the weapons include pistol, shotgun, crossbow, and bazookas with melee weapons like mace and stun rod. R is used for weapons while X is used for melee attack. Eliot starts out with no weapons and can only punch, but shortly finds a pistol.
Combat is quick and easy to grasp, and the enemies start as mutated humans and eventually include giant bugs and creatures. The weaponry is great and can include overkill weapons like stun rod, but some of the enemies can be annoying like the bugs that shoot electricity.
The game has some unique bosses including a giant snail like creature that has a jeep for a shell, and most of the bosses are not too difficult in fact they feel too easy except for a blob creature which is very cheap and has some annoying attacks. Dying during this fight is easy, and there is not a save point near the boss fight so it can lead to a lot of replaying the area which is very cheap.
Along the way there are a few different tasks to do besides exploring and collecting key cards like having to rush against a clock to find an antidote to cure Eliot. There is also an ill-fated swimming sequence which is poorly designed, but thankfully is short. Lastly there are a few save civilian sections like near the beginning of the game where Eliot has to activate the brakes for a train which is optional.
Eliot is the main character, but there is a second character to play as named Dogs. Dogs can use larger weapons like a mace and do more damage, but at the same time he is slower. Eliot cannot use weapons like the mace, but he can swim and is fast. The characters can be swapped at any time from the pause menu.
There is one major problem with Blue Stinger which is the camera, and in large areas it is not a problem. In small corridors, the camera can be a nightmare making it hard to see where to go.
The game has three difficulties, but the replay value is low. There is bonus concept art on the disc, but it can only be accessed by using the disc on a computer.
Blue Stinger is not a bad game, but it does have its flaws like the troublesome camera, cut scenes that cannot be skipped, and lack of replay value. If you can look past the flaws, Blue Stinger is a solid title.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/08/12, Updated 04/24/13
Game Release: Blue Stinger (US, 08/31/99)
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