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Review of Dino Stalker
It all begins in 1943 over the Atlantic Ocean when a dogfight goes badly wrong for Lieutenant Mike Wired. When his plane is shot down in flames he finds himself bailing out, but before landing Mike is magically warped into the future where dinosaurs once again rule the earth. He must survive against an onslaught of countless prehistoric beasts through various terrains in his effort to find out the truth to this weird situation.
Dino Stalker has specifically been designed for using the G-con light gun peripheral, but it works equally as well with the PS2 analog joypad. It bares many similarities in gameplay to Time Crisis, the gun shooter we all know and love from the arcades (and PSOne).
What sets this title apart from it’s nearest competitor is the ability to ‘occasionally’ leave the rails and wander in a free roaming nature virtually anywhere within a specific environment (similar to regular FPS’, such as Doom, Quake etc.). This makes a pleasant change from continually being hurried through each stage at a pace determined by the camera, which advances regardless of the current enemy situation. Of course the clock is always ticking, therefore it retains the element of urgency essential to this type of shooter.
I stress ‘occasionally’ because only some of the action takes place on land where this freedom is possible. Levels vary between land, sea and air so when your character is on a boat, in a jeep or parachuting through the skies the format reverts back to being partially interactive (i.e. he pivots 360°, looks up and down, but forward motion is computer controlled). This makes for a wonderful mixture of adrenalin pumping action that doesn’t cease until the credits roll.
Graphically the sets look very good using interactive props to enhance gameplay. Most of the scenery can be destroyed to reveal power-ups (health, weapons, time bonus), including trees that can be torn from their roots, overhanging boulders pulverized, supply boxes smashed open, discarded oil barrels blown up, even desert-baked skeletal remains can be annihilated. The creatures look pretty impressive too and the frame rate never lets up for one second as a multitude of raptors, T-Rex and countless more flesh hungry beasts try their ultimate to add your character to their lunch. Whether it’s Pterodactyl swooping from the skies or Plesiosaurus rising from the sea it’s all superbly animated assisting the fear-factor to be jacked up to terrifying heights.
Between stages there are several high quality CG movies linking one part of the story to the next. Should you fail the current challenge then buckets of rich, red blood splatters across the screen leaving no illusion that you’re dead meat.
I found it difficult to take note of the music and sound effects, but only because it blended into the overall ambiance of the spectacle splendidly. I mean… when did you ever come out from a really good action movie praising the soundtrack or the dialogue? Simple… when it all slots perfectly together, you don’t.
The gameplay basically involves staying alive and shooting virtually everything that moves… and often things that don’t. Staying alive is imperative to progress, although using the free ‘Continue’ feature, or simply loading from the last save point may overrule death. The main advantage with loading is that all previous weapons and health packs are retained.
Once a level has been completed a score is awarded and a ranking given. I’ve no doubt that a final high ranking score will unveil some extra characters and game modes in true Capcom fashion.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Dino Stalker' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
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