When Jurassic Park hit movie theatres in 1993 it became an instant classic. The same can’t really be said when the Jurassic Park SNES game was released in the same year.
It’s not all bad though, and the game has its moments. Read on for a retro review of this action-adventure SNES video game by Ocean of America.
Jurassic Park SNES Review
In SNES Jurassic Park, you take on the role of Dr. Alan Grant – a paleontologist who gets trapped in the dinosaur theme park (as you do) and must fight his way to an escape.
Like in the film Dr. Grant’s (Sam Neill’s character in the film) van is pushed into one of the park’s pits by T-Rex, and he then undergoes a mission to recover Tim and Lex to get them safely off the island.
Although the plot of this Jurassic Park game is based on the original film. It should be noted that the sequel to this game, Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues, is a non-canonical game that is not an adaptation to any of the franchise’s movies or books.
As with most SNES games, the story plays very little role in the game, and it should instead be judged by its gameplay.
The gameplay is actually quite good and, in my opinion, better than many reviews give it credit for. The game is played from a top-down perspective, and the protagonist can be moved in eight different directions.
There are eight areas in total, with each region of the map being substantial for a SNES game. They all feel unique, too. There are 5 weapons to choose from in total, including the cattle prod that you start with. You can hold 2 weapons at once, with one button being dedicated to the primary weapon, and another to the secondary.
Dotted around each area are buildings in which the player can enter. In these buildings is a representation of the ambition that Ocean of America had when developing the game. As soon as you enter a building, the perspective switches to first person and you are tasked with gunning down the rogue dinosaurs that have escaped confinement. Granted, the graphics in these sections isn’t great, nor is the gameplay. But one has to admire the ambitious effort of incorporating Wolfenstein-esque gameplay as a side game.
Jurassic Park SNES is not without its drawbacks, though. If you are playing the original version of the game on cartridge, you will not be able to stop part way through as there are no passwords and no way of saving the game. This is slightly annoying as the game is quite a slog. As compensation for this, the game gives you 5 lives and 2 continues to get the job done.
Additionally, despite the map being impressively big, there is no in-game minimap. Luckily for you, though, I’ve uploaded a picture of the SNES Jurassic Park Map above.
Sound and Visuals
One thing that really stands out in the game is the music. Although vastly different to John Williams’ famous score for the movie, the game’s soundtrack is uniquely chilling in a way that will keep you on edge as you roam and roam and roam the seemingly endless map.
Visually, the game is bright and not at all bad looking for its era. It’s particularly noteworthy that the developers attempted to incorporate both first-person and top-down aspects into the game, albeit with varying success. Yet, the game is bright and colorful and stands up well against any other SNES game that was released in 1993.
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What did you think of Jurassic Park for the SNES? A timeless classic, or one to forget? Let us know in the comment section below!
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For a great longplay walkthrough of the game, check out the YouTube video below by Media Pool.