Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Graphics: 7.5

Sound : 0

Gameplay : 7.5

Multiplayer : N/A

Overall : 7.5

Dinosaur Action Game (c) Disney

Well I must admit I was absolutely not expecting something like this out of the box, Dinosaur is extremely well done and thought, hardly a boy or an adult that did find the movie engrossing will dislike this title. In the game you take the role of three dinosaurs, an iguanodon, a lemur and a pteranodon, all reviving in full 3d glory courtesy of UbiSoft. Indeed, when I read about Ubi Soft being the actual producer of the game I was expecting something more than from most of Disney's games. Each of the three has his unique features and abilities and can be moved, controlled and grouped trough the use of a pad and 7 buttons (yes pretty too many, they could choose easier solutions for the control system). Zini, the Lemur is not really strong, though is the only one that can cross huge leaps and throw items, extremely useful in most situation where there's a lot to think. Aladar instead, the fat pteranodon is able to charge enemies and objects or give a tail shoot, pretty useful in most fighting situations, though some enemies are really too though for the whole group, often you will just have to find a way through them. Last but not least, Miss Flia, the pteranodon will be useful to explore and light fires, often she'll have to clean out the track for the other two to follow.

Level design is the big down leap of the game, they're completely linear and there will not be any single reason in the world to play the game again and again to exploit new routes. Levels last from 10 minutes to an hour and there are various checkpoints spread over them, a nice addition is that each dinosaur will start back, if dead, from the last one he did touch. Even if pretty small, there are lights representing the 3 dino-characters on all the checkpoint stones.

The single thing that did surprise me more is that they introduced so many concepts from the RPG genre, still keeping the game mostly about action and small puzzles solving. I've already explained that every single dinosaur has its own capabilities, just like fighters, wizards, thefts into classic RPGS, but Ubisoft did go further melting rpg ideas: every dinosaur has its own energy points, Zini will start with fifty, whilst Aladar will have an hundred from beginning. Furthermore the dinosaurs develop experience points and acquire levels, each step will raise the maximum level of energy points a dinosaur can reach. Like all respectable rpgs here you'll be able to team up the dinosaurs to avoid moving one, switching to another, reach the first one and so on... Well, summing up they did get some of the best titbits of the rpg genre. The game is seen from an external view, mostly like isometric games, though everything is a 3d model and camera slightly moves.

There's an inventory too, though there are only few objects and they can't be combined together, honestly the approach to the inventory is that of action games rather than rpg.

Hardly Dinosaur can be compared to any other game, sometimes I thought about Silver, still the game is really faster paced and has not all that impressive array of weapons. From another side Dinosaur remember the alikes of Commando, but still only a bit for the landscapes and the point of view; Overall Dinosaur introduces a new gaming genre, there's no revolution of course, still it proves that there are many free roads in today’s traffic of RTS, Rallies and various other unoriginal games.

Graphics are not going to ruin you just to get a better pc and they really get their work done, there's no impressive effect like i.e. the sky in sacrifice, still everything is done really well, 3d models of the dinosaurs are excellent and their physics are not bad at all. Music melts fine into gameplay, it's really slow and hardly reflects a musical genre. Sounds are just good, they will not help your kids to grunt like a perfect dinosaur.

Along with this good game, Disney choose to pack a worthy encyclopedia with 3d models of all the dinosaurs you will meet along the game together with a text description, it's not the encyclopedia Britannica of course, though it adds the 3d feature over most classic books, simply a worthy plus for the package, though so often children knows everything about dinosaurs and nothing about their native language and math... but that's another story... I guess... Dinosaur: The Action Game, solid gameplay, clean graphics, music that blends perfectly, another good game added to this great gaming Y2K.

Graphics: 7.7/10 (Nice 3D Models)
Playability 7.6/10 (Balanced)
Controls 7.4/10 (So Many buttons)
Overall 7.7/10 (Original)


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