Review by Pikachu1918
"Had lots of potentail, too bad it failed to meet them."
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, the title speaks of potential and great wonders awaiting any player. Well guess what, that potential was left at the drawing board. I'll explain along the way why this game has fallen flat on it's face as far as I'm concerned.
Story line: 4/10
Now as we all know Jurassic Park is the name of three movies, all of them resolve around the idea of a zoo filled with living Dinosaurs. I don't know how to explain this, but it appears as though the game happens before the movies, where you're the one designers of Jurassic Park. As far as the game is aware, there was never any disaster on the original island. The only thing that hints that you're taking over after the first one is no mention of either the first Public Relations official, and the Computer Specialist. However, several other characters who die in the book & movie pop up in the game. There goes it's connection to the movie.
Controls & Interface: 2/10
Lets now talk about the controls of the game. In most reviews controls don't make or break a game. For Jurassic Park, this is where it falls flat on it's face! Despite doing several tutorials, I found the controls both difficult to understand & problematic to use. It seems like no where during the design of how the player handles the game did the people at Bluetongue consider the difficulties in going from one end of the island, to another in the blink of an eye. Since situations will arise that you as a player must handle directly. In fact during my game, several emergencies happened at once, and since I either had to click tab then find it, or zip around the map slowly via mouse, I couldn't handle them all without some failures. On a closing note, trying to get an idea how guests feel about your park is hard at best. Since some of the comments you'll see are saying you're doing a perfect job, but you're public relations person says you're doing a horrible job. Hence I blame the interface for this lack of communications.
This section is totally devoted to gameplay. Now I separated the controls from it, since I felt that the gameplay as a whole deserved better. Now as I mentioned earlier, the game has a long tutorial, which gives you a good feel for the game, but it doesn't help you learn how to care for the dinosaurs. Which is a big problem for you as a player, since when you play the main game, dinosaurs are fighting/dying and you don't know why. The manual fails to cover this fairly important part of the game. This problem with ''typos'' in the manual extend to the controls of helicopter you fly around in to save guests in danger, or to control the dinosaurs. Since in the manual it'll state, press 2 to select sleeping shot. Well you'll press that key until doomsday, it won't work. One of the sole aspects of the game where there isn't a problem is mission play, since there the player is given reasonable goals, and if you completed the tutorial, you'll have a blast either saving V.I.P's, taking photo's of dinosaurs in the wild, or better yet rounding them up and bring them in for examination. There are some bugs, since sometimes you'll be asked to drive a land rover around the park, but it hasn't exited the shed, and it's jammed in good.
Something which this game does have that I've never before are rides & an inside view of the things you're guests are using to view it. Which does help in running it, which is the sole reason why this part of the game is getting a better review than the others. It's also one of the features in this game that is easy to work with.
I'd like to note to any reader, that it's very hard to set up the island, since you can only have certain amounts of things, and you can only set up fence lengths by 3s of all things.
Graphics & Sound: 9/10
Graphics & sound, this is where I suspect a majority of the work for this game went. Since no where have I seen dinosaurs done in such detail for a 3-D environment. If you're driving a jeep and hit a smaller dinosaurs, you'll kill them. You'll hear the thump as they go flying into dinoheaven. Not that this is all Jurassic road kill, the plant & guest also got some decent work done on them. However, some of the work looks cheap. Like they were trying to firm up the images, but didn't get a chance to. The dinosaurs sound & act real enough for me.
These are my closing notes concerning Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. This game has plenty of potential, but the consumer doesn't get the full potential. The game in some parts looks beautiful, other parts look like they were put together with nothing more than duct tap. My recommendation is don't buy Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, unless you're a huge fan of the franchise, find it for under $20, and can tolerate the consistent errors this game presents to the player.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/03, Updated 03/10/09
Game Release: Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (US, 03/10/03)
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