Who in their right mind would not want to build their own theme park where the main attraction is extinct animals? Having creatures larger than life at your beck and call is a geek’s greatest wet dream. Finally Universal Interactive has answered the prayers of some gamers in creating the first console Jurassic Park game that lets you do exactly what you wanted to do in the first place. Jurassic Park Operation Genesis is more than a typical simulation game with dinosaurs but it also has it’s fair share of problems. Let us take a journey into the world that is known to everyone on the planet and create our own fantasy park!
Eat The Tourists!!
We all know the first thing you are going to do when you boot up this game is let the dinosaurs eat the visitors, sure it’s demented, twisted and flat out disturbing but we all must see if it’s possible. It’s like playing the Sims, we must kill in order to be human it’s a natural occurrence. But after that you will find yourself engrossed in creating the greatest park known to man, earning a 5 star rating becomes an obsession. This game has an addictive nature that is only surpassed by the likes of The Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon. The premise is simple, start off with some scientists and a small budget. Create a general area to create dinosaurs and send your team to dig up new DNA. Once obtained the DNA can be used to create new dinosaurs, the higher the percent of the DNA you find the longer the dino will live. You can also research things such as vaccines and treatments to keep them healthy and the visitors coming back for more.
Separating the dinos is key to creating a successful park, placing all carnivores in one pen will result in territorial disputes and cause them to kill each other thus losing the interest of some park goers. The best approach is to allow the dinosaurs to hunt and kill just like in the wild so placing a few herbivores in the T-Rex cage will go a long way in attracting more visitors. It’s also a good idea to give them proper viewing areas to see the dinos so plan on spending money before you can make it. There are many ways to make your park attractive and I am not going to bore you with the details just know that there is plenty to do and at first it seems a little overwhelming but after you get the hang of it you will come to realize that for a game of this type it is a bit shallow. This does not deter from the overall experience but it does make you yearn for a sequel..and soon!
Look At That Xbox Water!!
The visuals in JP: OG are far from stellar but they get the job done. With so much going on it’s easy to lose track of what you are doing so toning down the visual aspect was a good idea. The Xbox version has little touches such as gorgeous water and a slightly smoother frame rate, but it still chugs from time to time. The dinos are pretty low poly but like I stated before there is so much onscreen it’s completely understandable. While not the visual tour de force you would like it to be JP is not all bad. The sound, while not invigorating, will keep you entertained. Especially if you like the music from the films, well at least the title track because you hear it a shitload of times during the game. The voice overs are poorly impersonated versions of the movie counterparts but passable nonetheless. To put it simply this game lacks from a technical standpoint but that isn’t what games are about, well at least not to hardcore gamers right?
Passing The Time…
The bulk of the game is definitely the park creation but what else does JP: OG offer when that gets old? Well there are pre-set missions so to speak that will unlock new items in the free mode of the game. These can be anywhere from completely mind numbing to flat line status. In most cases you only play them to unlock new features for the main game, which is loads more fun than these boring missions. You are basically given a scenario that you must complete such as tranquilizing certain dinosaurs or taking pictures ala Pokemon Snap. Sure they are stale and pointless but at least there is something else to do in the game. One of the coolest things about JP: OG is that you can venture onto almost any attraction in the park, for instance you can take the helicopter for a spin or just sit in the tower and watch Raptors eating goats. The amount of detail in the game and the freedom you have is definitely a step in the right direction and with a sequel this game could easily be a classic in the making.
Hold On To Your Butts!
In the end JP: OG is your average simulation style game with a theme that will hook many a gamer. Taking the best elements from others of it’s kind and blending a quality title that will be enjoyed by fans of the game style and the movie. Worth of a purchase if you are a huge fan but others are recommended a rental. You may get all you want out of the game for 5 bucks but if it grabs you then take it for a spin when it drops to 29.99. It’s more than worth that trust me!