Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dino Crisis 2

The Concept has changed, but it's definitely for the better.
Review By Millers C

The original Dino Crisis joined an array of Titles on the now crammed Survival Horror Genre. From the ‘Legendary’ Resident Evil Creators came a game that strayed a long way from the familiarity of the Resident Evil games, that Capcom are now renowned for. Firstly, a congregation of the Jurassic kind has replaced the marauding army of the undead. Your new adversaries are Dinosaurs, and I can’t really think of a game that has properly used Dinosaurs to their advantage-Till Dino Crisis. Secondly, There was a move away from the muddled Fixed camera scenarios that we used to see in the bleakest of Alone in the Dark games and has had to make room for the rolling camera that worked well in, say Tomb Raider. Butthis came at the cost of Visual dominance, and as the graphics are not pre rendered. This looked so well in the Resident Evil games. 

Finally, It introduced to us a new level of interactivity to the Survival Horror series,where you decided which route to take and how to complete puzzles. These tasks ranged from lifting Boxes with a crane to Moving pipes via a control room wall of levers. All of this led to a vast amount of non-linear gameplaythat warranted the ‘Complete the game once more syndrome’. Regardless of it’s faults, Dino Crisis came across as one of the more superior Survival Horror titles around, and nestles neatly behind Resident Evil and SilentHill in my hall of fame. But in the space of 18 months, has the franchise really gone down the pan or has an exceedingly good sequel been produced? For the Sequel, we see the welcome return of the original heroine, the feisty Regina and a new Playable character (A variety Sorely lacking in theoriginal) called Dylan. 

The events of Dino Crisis 2 occur about a month or so after the disastrous incident at Ibis Island, where there was a DINOCRISIS. The reason for the terror was a failed experiment involving Dr. Kirk’s Third Energy research.In true X-Files Fashion, the seemingly typecast Corrupt US government has decided to carry on with Kirk’s Research and yet another mistake has occurred on a Military facility/Research Center/City where theseexperiments were conducted. Somehow, these Places have been transported back in time and are now overrun with Dinos, yet again. So, the Government (They’re busy aren’t they) has called in a rescue squad called TRAT, the leader of which is Dylan and their advisor Regina. Basically their mission is to retrieve the data of the incident and rescue the survivors. But in true Resident Evil fashion, nothing is what it seems in a world of Betrayal, Carnage and Dinosaurs. 

Dylan is a tough Military type, and his loyalties lie with the mission and his comrades. His character is slightly clich├ęd, but still remains a likeable character, and one that is pivotal to the plot. Regina, on the other hand is as annoying as she was in the original, however I draw that basis on her voice actor. She is still a likeable enough character. Throughout the game, you will have sequences of events that ultimately lead to the change of character. It’s like fear effect. For example, Regina is trapped in a sealed room and You take control of Regina who lets him out. Of particular note are the different skills that each character possesses. Regina has a stun gun that can short circuit the electronic locks that Dylan cannot bypass. Dylan too has his own saving grace, a machete that can cut through the vines that have a tendency to coil over the more important doors. Variety like this is always good and in fact was sorely missed in the original. The main problem with the storyline in my opinion is that many of the questions from the first game remain unanswered. For example, Rick and Gail are not in the game. Why not? What happened to Kirk? 

The end result left me puzzled. Moreover, the plot is slightly muddled in places, however, this will result in major spoilers and you will thank my decision not to go into more detail about it. You’ll just have to find out for yourselves. In a striking move, Capcom have changed the concept of this game, and have moved it from the more taxing Puzzling elements to a more action oriented arcade style game. Whether you fans from the original take time to embrace the transition is up to you, however I think you will find that the decision is a superb one. Throughout the game, you are given points for the amount of dinos eliminated in one room and ow well you performed overall. Get out without being scratched and expect a big bonus. This system is actually of central importance throughout the game. Scattered throughout Dino Crisis’ 5-6 environments are computer terminals, and these act as your bank, your storage block, armory and saves, so instead of trundling around to get the much coveted Rocket Launcher/Flamethrower, those with enough Credits Acquired can get them much earlier on. It is, in fact essential to wipe out as many dinosaurs as possible because bosses such as the Gigantosaur take a little more than attitude to beat. 

Also gone are the days when you would scrape up ammo for guns, because this terminal can give you that as well. Kudos, to Mikami san for incorporating this grandiose, (Well it is great, lets leave it at that) feature. To say that Puzzles have been abandoned completely is simply fiddlesticks.Puzzles, although not on as fine a scale as in the original, still form a big part of the gameplay. They may not require the biggest use of Grey matter, but it is there. Finding keys for example is still the same as it was before and in one scenario, you need to fiddle about with a grating system to catch a miniscule, mischievous, if fleet of foot dino.Of considerable note, is the excellent amount of Sub games available. After every mini episode on one part of the game, you will have a fun mini game to take on. These are not merely bonuses, but in fact actual parts of the gameplay and use first person modes and driving. 

One fun game lets you fire at Rampaging Triceratops’ from the back of a Jeep. These nice and welcome touches show just how long Mikami San and his Cohorts took to make a fun and varied game to the genre. This also keeps the pace going (And Story), and wants to let you play for just that little extra longer. However some new aspects of gameplay include a very irritating underwater scenario, which is mandatory. It is time consuming and Hard to control and becomes quite a drag. And that is the main problem. Dinosaurs regenerate quicker than something that regenerates quickly. You will often find yourself treading over the same roads multiple times and will face the same dinos multiple times, and as I said earlier it becomes quite repetitive and eventually boring and this is a great shame because the game really does play superb. When you start up Dino Crisis 2, you will notice that the game has changed again graphically, but this time it is beneficial. The Pre Rendered backgrounds are here to stay and are back with a vengeance. The backgrounds simply look brilliant, and are different from the classic Resident Evil Style. 

There are Jungles, Cities, Cornfields and Silos and all that add up to stacks of variation. Character models have had a facelift, with Regina and Dylan looking a lot more life like and the new motion captures make the movement of Regina and Dylan a lot more fluid (And looks good). Regina and Dylan can now move with their guns drawn and Even Run. This is a welcome addition and makes it a lot less frustrating than the limited original. This is simply an arcade game and the dinosaurs involved take a lot less to kill, enabling a lot faster paced action that can only benefit this type of game. The Dinosaurs of course steal the show. 

They are all modeled brilliantly and are more reminiscent to the ones who featured in Jurassic Park. Creepy. In this game you have much more Creatatuious Ass to kick, with new dinos including the fearsome Gigantosaur and the Allosaurus, all of which are introduced to us in the cool Dino files, where you will learn about your enemies. There are 12 Dinosaurs and files and get them all and you will be in for a treat.Even though puzzle heads and the more faithful fans of the genre will scoff, Mikami san has introduced to us a new concept that pays off in spades in the all important gameplay area. Although it not extremely difficult (There are 3 Difficulty modes), there is plenty to come back for, and a faster paced style of gameplay that should please most gamers. Laugh at your Shallow friends who will miss out on a tantalizing experience. I’d give it 9.5 if I could. Purchase it now.

SYSTEM: PC, PlayStation



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