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Dino Crisis

Dino Crisis Dino Crisis
by Capcom USA

Platform: PlayStation
ESRB Rating: Mature
ASIN: B00000K1VE

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Editorial Review: Note to Parents: Realistic violence, gore, horror

An abandoned research complex on a remote jungle island, a team of special forces operatives, a horde of vicious velociraptors, and one big, mean Tyrannosaurus rex constitute the setting and cast of Dino Crisis, the latest masterpiece from the makers of Resident Evil.

You play as Regina, a member of a four-person team sent to retrieve an expatriate scientist. Your radio man became a midnight snack for the T.rex, so it's up to you and your two remaining teammates to explore a dino-infested research station, rescue the scientist, call for a helicopter retrieval, and escape with your lives. Along the way you'll uncover the grizzly remains of those who got in the dinosaurs' way, and you'll unravel the mystery of how a top-secret energy research project turned into a Jurassic nightmare.

And about those dinosaurs: they're all over the island. One instant you'll be walking along a second-story balcony, admiring the view, the next instant you'll be dodging a T.rex as it smashes its huge maw through the concrete walls. Velociraptors chase you down blood-spattered corridors, flying reptiles circle the outdoor areas, and your only weapons are your pistol, whatever else you can salvage, a dwindling supply of ammunition, and your wits.

Packed with clever puzzles and heart-pounding surprises, all superbly presented with realistic graphics and horror-movie camera angles, Dino Crisis is a triumph of survival-horror gaming. --Mike Fehlauer

Pros:
Great sound effects and music
Well-integrated, varied, and clever puzzles
Awe-inspiring, terrifying dinosaurs
Branching story line improves replay value

Cons:
Doors impervious to explosives

GameSpot Review: When you're Capcom, there's no such thing as too much of a good thing. This is evidenced by the impending deluge of Resident Evil/Biohazard spin-offs; Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Oni-Musha (the RE-style samurai game), and now Dino Crisis. A brand new excursion into the world of survival-horror, Dino Crisis is a fresh experience that abandons that creepy Umbrella laboratory for a taste of Jurassic Park. Not only that, but Dino Crisis is unique in that it so closely borrows from the RE series. But in regards to the storyline, this game is not related to it Resident Evil at all.

Conceived and directed by Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind the RE games, Dino Crisis will be very familiar to anyone who's played the Resident Evil games. The dramatic camera perspectives, the control scheme, and the eerie settings are all classic Mikami. However, instead of slow-moving zombies shuffling after you like drunks staggering home, you're faced with velociraptors and other big lizards with lightning-fast reflexes and huge appetites.

"This isn't a joke, you idiot! We were just attacked by a big-ass lizard!" says Dino Crisis femme-fatale, Regina, to her computer-expert cohort, Rick, who, at the time, is trying to unlock electronically secured doors throughout the base where you've been searching for the missing Dr. Kirk. Your other teammate, Gail, is missing, and the last you heard from him were some aborted screams and the sound of gunfire.

As you might now know, the backgrounds in Dino Crisis are fully polygonal as opposed to prerendered CG stills, like they are in Resident Evil. Perhaps it took Capcom all this time to get up to speed with the PlayStation hardware, but this makes all the difference in the world. Despite being completely 3D, the game still moves at the same speed as its brethren, without any slowdown. The game's graphics are also very sharp and appear to be running in a medium to high resolution. The character models are very well done, with excellent light-sourcing effects, giving Regina and her posse a very solid feel. The use of polygonal backgrounds enhances the feeling of fear even more than Resident Evil. For example, when you're walking down a hallway, viewed from a typical RE-ish perspective, it becomes even more tense when the camera angle suddenly pivots to an overhead perspective or swings to a worm's-eye view. The engine also allows for shifting camera positions rendered on the fly, keeping Dino Crisis moving along at a quicker tempo than Resident Evil's. Thankfully, the camera, with all its flexibility, is not abused or overused by any means. It is used sparingly, and only to enhance rather than to distract.

Since the game is completely 3D, it is not as easy to pick out necessary clues as it had been in Resident Evil because everything looks uniform. In Resident Evil you'd be able to tell what to look out for since the polygonal details would stick out from the prerendered backgrounds. In Dino Crisis, you must really be on the lookout for anything and everything. The camera angles are vintage RE, designed to provide the maximum tension possible. If that weren't enough, the soundtrack is designed to provide chills and thrills as well. The simple act of walking down a hallway becomes a terrifying exercise in fear when the violins start playing. If you're not too chicken, this game is best played in the dark with the volume up.

As previously stated, the controls in Dino Crisis are virtually identical to Resident Evil's, with a couple of crucial enhancements. Since the basic control configuration works well enough, potential problems arise since velociraptors are a lot quicker and savvier than RE's zombies. As a result, adjustments to the combat system were necessary to avoid an unwanted Regina-burger. When you press the R2 button, your character does a 180-degree turnabout, allowing you to put some space between you and your pursuer before turning around and filling your opponent with lead. The second enhancement is the ability to walk with your gun held out, primed to fire. While you walk slower with your gun outstretched, it sure beats making a sitting duck of yourself each time you want to fire your weapon. With all this meat-eating terror stalking the hallways (and windows and air-vents, etc.) it would get annoying to have to manage the ribbon-saving system found in Resident Evil. Instead, Dino Crisis features save rooms that prompt you to record your data whenever you attempt to leave or pass through one of these rooms. The number of times you save (or continue, should you die) affects your final score/rating and should be used sparingly.

The details in Dino Crisis are excellent too. If she takes a little damage, Regina will hold her side, limping a bit. If she takes a lot of damage, she'll be absolutely stagger around. She'll also drip blood on the floor, adding to the realism in Dino Crisis. Fortunately, there are plenty of power-ups (health kits, weapons, etc.), and an accessory-customization system similar to the one in Parasite Eve. Other things like head tracking, and auto-aiming sort out any additional combat-oriented complaints from the RE series as well. Interestingly, analog support does not seem to be featured, although the Dual Shock action is intact. Loading times between rooms are also severely reduced, due to the polygonal environments that take less space to store in memory.

So, from the looks of things, it appears as if Capcom has another winner on its hands. Dino Crisis is less disturbing than the RE series, but possibly more frightening since each of the creatures in DC hold about the same shock value as the Dobermans did in Resident Evil. While cannibalizing its own library could have backfired with a "been there, done that" aftertaste, Dino Crisis walks away under the strength of its own merits. The control improvements and graphic reinvention make DC its own game, with little owed to Resident Evil. The storyline is sound, and the replay value is high, with three different endings to reveal and a multitude of secrets to find (multiple costumes, a timed dinosaur hunt, mini Regina and giant Regina, etc.). With Oni-Musha, Nemesis, and Code Veronica on the horizon, Capcom might have this genre all to itself. While games like Carrier, Blue Stinger, and Alone In the Dark 4 will try and crowd the limelight with similar offerings, for the time being, it looks as if Capcom is king of the survival-horror hill. --James Mielke

From the Manufacturer: Your most primal fears grab you on this new journey into survival horror from the creators of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2. Suspicious and terrifying... the world's most renowned scientist has disappeared and you've been recruited to investigate on a mysterious, remote island. Suddenly, out of the mist appears a predator, which has haunted mankind's imagination for centuries... experience pure terror! --Beautifully rendered graphics in a fully 3-D polygonal environment. --Photo-realistic, chilling graphics add to the already heart thumping storyline. --Match wits against the most terrifying creatures that ever walked the earth. --Control the fate of special tactics agent, Regina, as she searches for the missing Dr. Kirk.

Customer Reviews:
kill or be killed, December 12, 2002
Reviewer: james barrows from marshall, ar United States
That's the name of the game here. A great action and suspense game with great graphic gore. I have only one drawback to this game, and that is the movement of the characters, it took a while to get used to that,but overall it is a killer game, well worth a look.

Awesome, October 24, 2002
Reviewer: Eric Mathias from Ishpeming, Michigan USA
The controls are easy, It makes you relate to resident evil, and there is tons of gore and scares. What more could you ask for in one game?

Easy Game in Resident Evil Tradition, July 16, 2002
Reviewer: Brent Jordan from Philadelphia, PA
I found this game entertaining, and completed it rather quickly. It is obviously just another segment in the "Resident Evil" series with a different theme; however, on just about every level, it's a couple of notches below Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Nemesis and Resident Evil II, in terms of overall enjoyability. My main complaint is that this game, particularly after having completed these other games, is just a little too easy. The enemies and bosses are MUCH tougher and more challenging in the Resident Evil games. If you are looking for a good survival horror game and haven't completed one of the three RE games I mentioned, I would recommend them all higher.

Awsome game!, June 26, 2002
Reviewer: An amazon visitor from Lake Tahoe, California.
An awsome game! The graphics are amazing, and what I found most impressive about this wonderful survival horror game is the fact that even the gameplay itself is like watching a movie. Just seeing Regina walk down a darkened cellar as things that tear and claw human flesh are active about, is an impressive cinamatic event and almost an FMW sequence within itself. The gameplay is fun, but at times a little frustrating, but almost every game is a little frustrating. A lot of gore, and although I'm not into gore too much, I still thought that this game was an awsome event, and it's something that you don't wanna miss out on. It's games like dino crisis which show off the wonderful and moneys worth of a playstation one, even if the system is considered a little outdated, which I don't think is true at all, since I believe that Playstation is still worth playing. Get the game, it is so incredibly fun that it is unbelievable.

One of the best survival horrors ever made!, June 19, 2002
Reviewer: Hailey Brown from the little cottage on the hill
This game may be one of Capcom's best! The detail is picture perfect, with blood splatterd walls and mangled corpses that slowly ebb away your confidence as you continue through the dark facility. This game makes you fear for your life as you get into the feel of it. It is best played in the dark with a wide screen TV to add to the effect. I have never played RE, but I think I will after playing this game. The game can be almost Silent at times, then suddenly you open a door to another room and ghosty music blares, at that point, you know your not the only being in that room as you hear the distincive raptor growl and footsteps racing towards you.

You are on the edge of your seat through the whole game, never knowing what will happen next. You could be walking down a balcony when suddenly, the vibration function kicks in on your controller (if you have that kind, its best if you do) as a gigantic T-rex steps into view. You run towards the nearest door only to find out the door has locked, to your horror, you realise you must keep Mr. Rex at bay as your lucky computer buddy in the control room tries to open the doors.

This is an all-and-out wonderful game with multable endings. I recommend this to gamers who want to give themselves a scare as they have fun at the same time. ;)

Decent Game..., April 30, 2002
Reviewer: deconstructed from United States
I'm not a Resident Evil fan in general. I played Resident Evil 2 and finished it, but was far more impressed by the Silent Hill series. Dino Crisis however I found rather entertaining: there are pleanty of puzzles to keep you thinking while moving throughout the game. I finished it in two days (probably 6 hours playtime or so) and I'm not the best puzzle solver in the world.

Don't look for anything new, this is basically just Resident Evil with dinosaurs (no more or less advanced.) But as a non-Resident Evil fan I was able to enjoy this game. My only complaint is really aimed at these games in general... these games really need to work harder, the old "find 10 keys" just doesn't do it anymore. All they do is make you go back and forth over the same map unlocking a door only to have to fly back to the other side of the map to unlock another door... why not change it up some, or retire the survival-horror series in general?

Really terrifying, intelligent dinos, detailed cinimatics, March 27, 2002
Reviewer: sitebender from Lake Villa, IL United States
Steven Spielberg proved that Dinosaurs could be menacing and terrorizing and this game only adds to it. This game is similar to Resident Evil (also from Capcom), but more dangerous, because the dinosaurs actually run and jump over things to eat you, unlike sluggish zombies. Rather than stalking screen to screen like with Resident Evil, you can now run through a room and the camera will follow you, making for great chases (Dinosaurs chasing you), but unfortunately this leaves the player at a great disadvantage, because the camera is focused on the player, not the room, so Dinosaurs constantly get the edge lunging onto the screen. A huge plus to the game is the production, because hard work went into making this game and story excellent. The cinematic scenes to start with are of a higher quality and are very detailed, from breezing hair, brushing plant life to seeing the scales on a dinosaur. The dialog is not cheesy or over acted as in other survival horror games. There are nice visual details which no screen shot can show, such as the lighting effects are realistic, a light sources (computer screens, ceiling lights) illuminate on whatever the source hits. An unfortunate detail of this game is that whether you are bitten, clawed or pounced on, you can actually bleed to death without proper medical supplies. Another downfall of the game is that the item screen is not as neat and tidy as Resident Evil's screen. This new system is rather difficult to use. Finally, with the start screen there is no cinematic introduction that will tip anything in the game to the player.

The hottest game with the hottest main character ever!, February 27, 2002
Reviewer: Tyler
Dino Crisis is a game for people that like to be scared. Frightening sequences like a T-rex busting into a room in a second story building to eat you in one bite to a velociraptor jumping down from the ceiling of an elevator onto you are a small sample of the scares you will face. The storyline is interesting and unique, but young people will probably not understand it fully. You are Regina, a very attractive redhead with a wardrobe that will make you say yum! This is overall a masterpiece and I really enjoy it.

An awsome game with an awsome main character!, February 26, 2002
Reviewer: Tyler
DinoCrisis is a very short, but well put together game. I beat it in about 2hr. 15min. I like this game because of the action, puzzle solving, and the main character. Regina is first of all a great name, but throw in her looks and well...whoa! She is HOT! This is the best game in my Playstation game library. I really like it. It is very gory and the scares are pretty non expected so always be ready for your heart to jump! This game is so good I had to write two reviews for it!

Resident Evil anyone?, December 28, 2001
Reviewer: Jason Colucci from Maple Heights, Ohio United States
Let me give it to you really short and sweet! Did you like Resident Evil? Then you will like Dino Crisis; it's Resident Evil with dinosaurs. All Capcom did was change the characters and instead of shooting zombies you get to shoot and kill raptors and other dinosaurs that are trying to eat you.

I myself am a fan of Resident Evil so for the price this is a cool game. The same problems from RE come with Dino Crisis however.... lack of ammo!! Besides this it's a fun game, lots of puzzles to figure out and lots of shoot first ask questions later type of fun.


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