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Dino Crisis 2 Review
publisher: Capcom Entertainment
developer: Capcom Entertainment
genre: Action Adventure
PII 233, 64MB RAM, 8MB Video Card, 230MB HD
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Jul 26, 00 (released)
|» All About Dino Crisis 2 on ActionTrip|
If you happen to be one of the PSX players who accidentally stumbled upon this page, you may as well wonder how come we published a review of a two year-old game. Believe it or not, Dino Crisis 2 appeared on PSX exactly two years ago. I have no idea what Capcom holds against Dino Crisis PC players, but I also recall the first Dino Crisis appearing on PC about the same time the second part appeared on consoles.
Anyways, we are in for another questionably pleasurable solving of dinosaur crisis. The story continues the plot of the first installment - even though the evil Dr. Kirk got eliminated, the government decided to continue research on Third Energy. This soon induced a catastrophe that would destroy an entire city, a military base and the research institute. Fortunately for humanity the S.O.R.T. and T.R.A.T. special units, or in other words Regina and Dylan are back in the area to deal with the pestilence.
Dino Crisis 2 looks and plays exactly the same as Dino Crisis 1 - it uses the classical Capcom interface used for Dino Crisis and Resident Evil serials. For those of you who are lucky enough not to have played any of these (Resident Evil is pretty cool - ed), this means you are in a quazy-3D world, you move forward or backward, or rotate left and right using the cursor keys trying to point your weapon at the enemy (or in this case dinosaurs), which, in spite of being highly unintelligent tends to pop up for behind you or from several sides of the screen at once. This may be too limited and far from interesting in comparison to most PC games, but these games still have a relatively large number of fans worldwide, making Dino Crisis and Resident Evil two of the most popular console games of all times (Dude, Final Fantasy, MGS! Dear readers, you can clearly tell that Dex is not a console gamer - ed).
As for the weapons, there are just enough of them, and I must admit, shooting them feels pretty good. You start the game with a handgun if you're playing Regina, or a shotgun if you play Dylan, with stun gun or machete as secondary weapons. You will soon get your hands on flame launchers, solid cannons, anti-tank guns, missile launchers and other... and I can tell you that playing with those weapons was one of the best things in this game. Not to speak of the mighty feeling you get from firing the missile launcher with guided missiles, or the incredibly powerful anti-tank gun.
However, the problem is that you have a very limited supply of ammo, which is more than can be said about the dinosaurs (there is an unlimited supply of those). The dinosaurs keep respawning as soon as you trigger them by standing in a particular part of the screen. This combination of limited ammo and an unlimited number of dinos is scary and frustrating. You can always use the secondary weapon which is in spite of the unlimited ammo pretty much useless. You will simply have to get used to saving ammo, and get better at avoiding dinosaurs.
Acquiring ammo is a bit different than it was in the first part; it no longer lies all around the levels, you will have to buy it at Extinct Point Service terminals, located on specific points on the map. This is also where you buy other necessities like armor, medicaments and weapons, and save your position.
Points used for purchasing equipment are gained by killing dinosaurs, resulting in simple calculus - the more beasts you kill, the more money you have, and the more weapons you can buy. The game focuses on the arcade element a wee bit more than its predecessor, giving you additional bonuses if you kill more dinosaurs in a short period of time.
As for the technical aspect of the game, well, it's utterly pathetic, and has all the syndromes of a typical console port. I have absolutely no idea how they spent those two years developing the thing; they certainly didn't touch the graphics. These games combine a pre-rendered background with 3D models representing all characters and interactive items on screen. The greatest problem here is the pre-rendered background which has been designed to fit the TV resolution. Now, just imagine a 500x300 pixel scene stretched on a 19" monitor. This means that picture quality varies from plain ugly to unbelievably hideous (like, for instance, on the rear side of the patrol ship where each pixel looks like a huge block). The 3D graphics are not that bad, but the low poly-count and the poor textures are far behind modern standards.
Everything looked good only while I was under water. This is where the engine deliberately blurs everything making everything look pretty good, and even better than in some other games with underwater action. But, as soon as you're done with it, up to the sad ugly surface you go.
One good thing about the graphics is the animation, which will take your mind of the hideous graphics ... to an extent. Character motion looks natural and I even enjoyed watching the scenes where dinosaurs or birds chop me up. If they only animated faces too, I would have no objections there. And while I am at it, I have to mention the well done FMV sequences. Everything has been perfectly modeled and animated, and unfortunately filmed in ridiculously low resolution.
There you have it; Dino Crisis 2 is just another residently evil game from Capcom. If you liked the first part and have a PSX - tuck in; if not, find something more interesting to do, like petting your pot-plants or watering your dog ... whatever.
Shooting feels good, nice FMV sequences;
One of the worst conversions, dinosaurs respawn, tedious animations while you go from one screen to the other.
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