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Disney's Dinosaur
"Stick a Disney logo onto the box of a game of Ludo and it would still sell like the proverbial hot cake. So with this in mind we take a look at 'Dinosaur' the Playstation game."
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Developer  Sandbox Game Type  Platform
Distributor  UBI Soft Review Date  Sep 00
 
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Review:
 
What's the similarity between Dinosaur and The Lion King? Both were movies created by Disney, featuring cool graphics and including awesome sounds. but that's about where it ends. The story line for Lion King was 'class', whereas Dinosaur was 'crass'. Lion King was a resounding success at the box office, while Dinosaur almost passed by unnoticed. But does that stop the Disney Interactive marketing machine from steam-rollering onward? Not in the slightest! Stick a Disney logo onto the box of a game of Ludo and it would still sell like the proverbial hot cake. So with this in mind we take a look at 'Dinosaur' the Playstation game.

It's difficult to categorize precisely which genre Dinosaur would slot into as it's another of those strategy games that covers most styles of play. There's a bit of investigation to do, a few puzzles to solve and a fair amount of combat to get through, but overall I would slot this into the 3D-platform category.

Following a brief browse through Encyclopedia mode (an animated history of dinosaurs) a mighty impressive FMV cutscene takes us into the game proper. Sliced straight from the movie reel these FMV's appear throughout the game, but don't really seem to have any purpose other than to spruce up the visuals. Still... they're nice to watch.

While Dinosaur is not the worst game to look at it does suffer from many annoying glitches. On the positive side the creature animation has been fairly well handled with multiple types of miniature dinosaurs strutting around each level. Working against this are the cramped playing environments. In most instances you begin on a small island, which, I assume, the game character in your control should be allowed to walk anywhere. Sadly this rarely works out because of glitches and polygon seams that constantly snag both friend and foes. The camera position is also very unhelpful (top down/ three-quarter angle), which cannot be adjusted to expand the view. This leads to many unnecessary confrontations and pointless journeys leading to a dead end. This means you are constantly backtracking and returning over covered ground.

The sound effects are okay with competent character acting reading out the lines of text that appear on the screen. There is also a nice music score that adds to the overall feel of the game.

The gameplay involves controlling three main characters, a monkey, a baby dinosaur and a pterodactyl, each with different abilities. The idea is to interchange between characters and occasionally combine forces to reach the levels mission objective. I remember a game called Lost Vikings successfully attempting this style of gameplay and in Dinosaur it just about comes off. If only there were more to the game than the list of tedious tasks on offer. For example the baby dinosaur may need food. So the monkey sets off in search for a fruit laden tree. Of course there are a wide range of creatures in the way that simply love the taste of monkey meat so our little furry friend must fight his way through them so he can feed, not himself, but his new found little friend (as if.). Each character has a range of attack including tail whips, dive beaking and tossing rocks at enemy skulls.

Sadly it all gets very boring and after four levels I switched off.

Features:
 
11 Stages

Multiple Characters to control

Flying, climbing or jumping

Based on the Disney movie

Multiple Mission Objectives

One on One With a Prehistoric Monster

FMV scenes cut from the movie

Options:
 
• Number of Disks: 1
• Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 1
• Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 1
• Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
• Link-cable compatible (max players): No
• Split screen multi-player option (max players): No
• Other accessories: None
• Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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Summary
Martin   "The kids might just go for this, but I don't know how long they could stick with the tedious gameplay and frustrating snags. I suggest that a cheap second-hand copy of Lost World would be a far better investment than shelling out for a full priced version of Dinosaur."
Graphics  12/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  6/10
Lastability  13/20
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