Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

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ewhac
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Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by ewhac » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:59 am

Ever since we started this series, we've been studiously ignoring the elephant in the room... or, rather, the dinosaur. Until now.

Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive (3DO, 1994)

We hope you enjoy it.

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by a31chris » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:52 pm

Enjoyed the video. However now after watching this I don't think I'll bother getting this game. That is too bad too as I love Jurassic Park and Dinosaurs.
What came after the Jaguar was the PS1 which for all it's greatness, ushered in corporate development and with it the bleached, repetitive, bland titles which for the most part we're still playing today. - David Wightman

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by goldenband » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:49 am

I enjoyed the video, and it prompted me to finally try the game out (I've had a copy for over a year). I beat Normal within a couple hours, but Advanced is much tougher, and I've only saved 3 of 11 people so far.

The raptor/maze levels are certainly the highlight of the game, but are actually fairly easy once you know where everything is -- it's just a matter of moving fast and, when necessary, baiting the raptor all the way to one end of the main hallway (or the other). If you're fast enough, the raptor will never enter any of the maze-like areas, which makes things easier. It also helps to memorize which way to turn when you leave a subsection, in case the raptor's arrived by the door. I can make it through the spitter levels about 20% of the time, but I haven't yet been able to beat the hardest driving scenarios -- they're just too unforgiving, and some obstacles are almost impossible to see in time because of curves in the road.

One thing that's incredibly irritating is that as far as I can tell, there's no way to go back to the main menu from inside the game. That means that if you kill a character and want to restore from a saved game, you literally have to reboot the console! Since a warm reboot via the quit option entails navigating through multiple menus and screens, including the high scores and credit screens, it's faster just to power off/on as soon as your character gets killed -- but that puts extra wear and tear on the system, and still entails 2-3 minutes of waiting just to avail yourself of the most basic functionality: the right to reload from your own saved game.

What on earth were they thinking? Were they deliberately trying to discourage people from using their own saved games, or was it just carelessness? Either way, it's a good thing I can do work on my laptop while I wait for the @#$@# thing to reload...

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by Martin III » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:19 am

Hey, it could be, and often is, a lot worse. There are games which take longer to beat than Jurassic Park Interactive and have no save function at all (I'm looking at you in particular, Sonic 3D Blast). In fact, console games which let you load from within a game strike me as a rarity. Even today, the notion of letting the player access a menu with "Load Game" from anywhere but the title screen apparently never occurs to most developers.

Anyway, this is another great video with some interesting and amusing commentary. There are plenty of developer interviews out there, but how often do we get to hear what developers think of the games that their co-workers developed?

The gameplay footage has lowered my impression of Jurassic Park Interactive still further. Watching it, I found myself thinking "Is that all there is?" Eight minigames sounds like a decent amount when you read a review, but watching someone play the game it really strikes me that a player can explore everything JPI has to offer in about a half hour. The five hacking minigames seem like cheap bonus diversions rather than something which should be a part of the core game. The other three look okay, but I can't imagine they hold up after more than a couple play sessions. The 3DO Company is lucky they had Crystal Dynamics to give them good pack-in games.

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by Trev » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:13 am

Martin III wrote:Hey, it could be, and often is, a lot worse. There are games which take longer to beat than Jurassic Park Interactive and have no save function at all (I'm looking at you in particular, Sonic 3D Blast).
Great example - 3D Blast was far too long to have no save function!
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by goldenband » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:36 am

Martin III wrote:Hey, it could be, and often is, a lot worse. There are games which take longer to beat than Jurassic Park Interactive and have no save function at all (I'm looking at you in particular, Sonic 3D Blast). In fact, console games which let you load from within a game strike me as a rarity. Even today, the notion of letting the player access a menu with "Load Game" from anywhere but the title screen apparently never occurs to most developers.
Just to be clear, I'm 100% fine with only being able to load from the main menu/title screen. The problem is that, once you've started a game, the only way to get back to the title screen is to reboot the console! You can't even select a different difficulty or start a new game without rebooting.

That might be workable on the Genesis, where rebooting is near-instant and there's a reset button on the system, but on disc-based systems with boot screens, it's a no-go. Here, it just seems like whoever designed and playtested the UI didn't have time to finish the job; there are other UI flaws as I mentioned in Trev's review thread, and IIRC gammadev noticed a couple problems as well.

And sure, there are lots of games on cart-based systems that had no business going without savegame or password functionality. Kid Chameleon is a famous example. Fortunately the 3DO had built-in save memory, and so it's natural that a flagship title would be built to use it. Too bad that the menu/UI system gets in the game's way -- though as you say, the amount of content in JPI is really quite modest anyway. Beating the game on Advanced really brings that home: it's extremely repetitive.

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by Martin III » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:42 pm

goldenband wrote:
Martin III wrote:Hey, it could be, and often is, a lot worse. There are games which take longer to beat than Jurassic Park Interactive and have no save function at all (I'm looking at you in particular, Sonic 3D Blast). In fact, console games which let you load from within a game strike me as a rarity. Even today, the notion of letting the player access a menu with "Load Game" from anywhere but the title screen apparently never occurs to most developers.
Just to be clear, I'm 100% fine with only being able to load from the main menu/title screen. The problem is that, once you've started a game, the only way to get back to the title screen is to reboot the console! You can't even select a different difficulty or start a new game without rebooting.

That might be workable on the Genesis, where rebooting is near-instant and there's a reset button on the system, but on disc-based systems with boot screens, it's a no-go. Here, it just seems like whoever designed and playtested the UI didn't have time to finish the job; there are other UI flaws as I mentioned in Trev's review thread, and IIRC gammadev noticed a couple problems as well.

And sure, there are lots of games on cart-based systems that had no business going without savegame or password functionality. Kid Chameleon is a famous example. Fortunately the 3DO had built-in save memory, and so it's natural that a flagship title would be built to use it. Too bad that the menu/UI system gets in the game's way -- though as you say, the amount of content in JPI is really quite modest anyway. Beating the game on Advanced really brings that home: it's extremely repetitive.
Oh, it's not just on the Genesis; the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast has no save function either.

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by sneth » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:35 pm

i never knew this was supposed to be such a blockbuster title.
Wow did they screw that up.

Sometimes throwing money at a project doesnt guarantee success. That problem is still happening to this day.

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Re: Let's Play/Drown Out - Jurassic Park Interactive

Post by a31chris » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:07 pm

I love the SNES cartridge version of Jurassic Park and I love the Genesis CD version of Jurassic Park. Those games really give the feel of running around in the movie with lots of adventure. And dinosaurs!!

This game looks like they took unrelated games, 3d breakout and space invaders and threw dinosaurs in there.
What came after the Jaguar was the PS1 which for all it's greatness, ushered in corporate development and with it the bleached, repetitive, bland titles which for the most part we're still playing today. - David Wightman

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