September 17th, 2002 :
Dinosaur Battles Review | Steve
@ 7:26 PM | The first thing that struck me about "Jurassic Park: Dinosaur Battles" was the remarkable similarities between the game and "Scan Command." They are in fact, the same game. Dinosaur Battles literally is Scan Command, just without the scanner. Rather than 'collecting' DNA pieces by scanning bar-codes, Dinosaur Battles gives users all 500 DNA puzzle pieces straight from the beginning. That said, I wasn't as impressed with the game as I could've been.
At first I found the game entertaining, then it became frustratingly addictive, then it simply became frustrating.
The game is quite simplistic. Players move their dinosaurs around the map going from location to location in search of items and key battles. Battles involve RPG-like attacks (powered up with DNA puzzle pieces) executed like a real-time fighting game, the result is not pretty. Rather than boring turn-based fighting, the creators tried something new, and for that they get brownie points. The fights and attacks, however, are often inconsistent and unbalanced. Battles are usually decided in the first few seconds, and can get excruciatingly aggravating when moves are dodged and missed. In short, the real-time movements just don't reflect the simple mathematical functions operating behind the scenes and the final outcome is frustrating to watch.
The frequency of the fights is another negative aspect of the game. Fortunately, players can exit the battles and do not have to complete them. And, while the story of the game stays basic (as not to go over the heads of its younger audience), there are many moments where fans will be provoked to roll their eyes at the plot.
There are positive elements to the game. While simple, it is sufficiently entertaining, the dinosaur renderings aren't half-bad (better than Trespasser), and the story contains a few comical elements tossed in. All in all, I feel my time playing the game was well spent, however the game can't help but give off a cheesy recycled aura.
"Dinosaur Battles" is directed toward a young audience (7+), and children will probably get a good deal of entertainment out of the game (provided it's not too difficult for them). I think I can faithfully recommend "Dinosaur Battles", as long as you don't already own "Scan Command" (remember, it's the SAME game) and $20 ($16 on Amazon) is not a lot of money to you. If you're looking for some cheap (although juvenile) entertainment at a modest price, "Dinosaur Battles" is probably a good investment.
September 14th, 2002 :
Fox Airs TLW Again | Steve
@ 3:17 PM |
Malcolm at JPdatabase chimed in today to mention that the Fox network will show "The Lost World" Sunday night at 7:00pm EDT/PDT. Fox bought the rights to show "The Lost World" soon after the movie was released. Fox's original airing of TLW included the deleted board room and Kenya barfight scene. The 2-hour and 10-minute film will run three hours until 10pm. It's not clear, however, if Sunday's airing will include the deleted scenes.
If a show is a 'repeat', networks are allowed to air up to 7 minutes of commercials per half-hour. Thus, for a 3 hour slot, Fox is allowed 42 minutes of commercials. So, 180 minutes of television, minus 42 for commericals, leaves 138 minutes for a 129 minute movie. My bet: cutscenes.
September 9th, 2002 :
Dinosaur Battles Information | Steve
@ 11:09 PM | The friendly people at Universal Interactive emailed me today with some interesting new information on the elusive "Jurassic Park: Dinosaur Battles" video game. First mentioned in late August on Dan's page, details about the game have been sparse. According to the email, Dino Battles will be the "most exciting Jurassic Park PC game yet... ...This 3D, real-time action game features authentic Jurassic Park dinosaurs fighting each other in thousands of different battles all over Isla Sorna."
Acording to my contact Rebecca, the game hasn't been given much money for any sort of marketing campaign, hence the lack of coverage from many of online gaming sites, and why until as of late, fans have heard practically nothing about the game. Rebecca, however, sends along some media from the game, including:
Dinosaur Battles (rated 'E' for everyone) ships tomorrow, September 10th. Also, make sure to stay tuned to for our exclusive review of the game.
September 6th, 2002 :
More HHN Details | Steve
@ 10:21 PM | JPDatabase and reader Mike Suspinski noticed that the official Halloween Horror Nights wesbite has launched with some vague information on this year's haunted houses and mazes. According to the site, Jurassic Park will house "Project EvIlution":
"Deep within the jungle, top secret genetic experiments have gone horribly wrong, creating hideous mutants half human, half dinosaur…and all evil."
Meanwhile, Jurassic Park will be home to an attraction based on NBC's hit reality gameshow "Fear Factor." The locations of the Jurassic Park maze and Fear Factor attraction haven't been revealed, however the site states that the only attraction open in Jurassic Park will be the extra-creepy Jurassic Park River Adventure. By process of elimination, the Triceratops Encounter queue line will most likely serve as one of the mazes, and on my visit to the park last week it was noticed that the "Thunder Falls" restraunt had been "Closed for future attractions."
August 24th, 2002 :
Jurassic Park Plans for HHN | Steve
@ 5:58 PM |
As October draws near more details about Universal's plans for this year's IOA Halloween Horror Nights attractions have been floating around. Theme-park news website Screamscape.com reports on some of the plans for 'Islands of Fear':
"Watch out for Half Human and Half Dinosaur mutant creatures stalking the park and take a very dark special ride through the JP River Adventure. A couple of haunt concepts are floating around the rumor mill right now. One claims they will use the long pathways of the Triceratops Encounter for something called Extinction while another talks about using the Camp Jurassic area for a maze called Fear Factor."
A more recent update from the site reveals a few changes, however:
"We [have] a new list of current names and locations... ...Evil-ution will reside in the Triceratops Encounter... ...Fear Factor may be built in the Thunder Falls restaurant... "
In related Islands of Adventure news, an April article from the Orlando Business Journal features a previously unmentioned blurb about a 'super-coaster' coming to Jurassic Park:
"Finally, in a separate announcement, look for a super-coaster -- the first addition to the thrill ride-oriented Islands of Adventure park since its 1999 opening -- to be built in the Jurassic Park area. Three concepts are being contemplated, using three different ride systems, including one system that goes forward and backward."
Tickets and dates are available on the Universal Orlando website. Also, if you'd like to be part of the HHN cast, call Universal Orlando Public Services to apply, you must be 18. Thanks to our ride informant Sean for the details.
August 24th, 2002 :
Project Genesis Bits | Steve
@ 5:58 PM | Dan has been busy lately keeping up with some of the various Project Genesis updates and previews. Some of the highlights from Dan include:
"[The game] is looking very nice," according to rep Andrew Heath. "The missions and scenarios for the game are all in, and there are some very cool features that will make the game a must have." The title apparently has been decided, but will remain a mystery for awhile, as Universal Interactive has not given Andrew permission to announce it (An anonymous source posted matter-of-factly that the title is "Operation: Genesis."
"Gaming site FrictionlessInsight.com has posted a pretty lengthy and interesting look at an early version of Project Genesis (which they call simply "Jurassic Park"). The author suggests that "[The game has] broader appeal than most world-building titles (usually things with Sim or Tycoon in the name) by adding action-filled missions that add variety to the play of Jurassic Park."
And in other game news, one of Dan's readers "noticed a new Amazon.com entry for a PC game called Jurassic Park: Dinosaur Battles, from the infamous Knowledge Adventure, makers of the much-hated 'Dino Defender', 'Danger Zone', 'Scan Command' set of JP3 'Edutainment' titles."
Looking for news older than this? Check out the