Capcom. Who here hasn't heard the name of the Japanese company best known for their work on Mega Man, Street Fighter, Ghosts'n Goblins, Resident Evil, and Devil May Cry? Even if you aren't familiar with them, chances are you heard one of these games listed above. In 1999 with the success of the survivor horror games, Resident Evil, it only made sense to further cash in with a new title, and that brings us to this week's review.
The game stars Regina, an intelligent weapons expert voiced by Stephanie Morgenstern. Where have I heard that voice before?
Oh my god, it's Sailor V!
Regina, alongside her comrades Gail, Rick, and Cooper, drop down on Isla Nublar Ibis Island where they are on a mission to find Doctor Edward Kirk. A man who was believed to be dead, but was discovered to be alive during a recon mission, said to be in charge of a secret weapons project prompting our agents to investigate the area.
Disaster strikes when our beloved Cooper, a man we've known for under a minute, is blown away from the others as they parachute down and is taken away from us tragically by a Tyrannosaurus Rex! It's okay. I'm sure our heroes will go looking for him and avenge his death!
Gail: Leave him.
He was only a plot device anyway.
With Cooper out of the picture it's up to Regina, Rick, and Gail to finish the mission. Reaching the guard house they find that something is wrong as there is no one nearby. Rick enters the facility to secure the control room while Regina and Gail are left to survey the outside area and we're finally allowed to move the main character around.
Now, if you've played Resident Evil you're going to notice a lot of similarities not just in graphics and game play, but in the controls. Unlike Resident Evil however, you can move around with your weapon at the ready. This comes in handy if you need to fire straight away, but you can't run in this state.
The game focus less on action and more on suspense and puzzles. You never know when a dinosaur is going to show up on screen and there are many puzzles throughout the game you'll have to solve in order to progress further. The story isn't anything amazing, but it's not terrible either. The banter between characters is pretty fun. Like for example when they lose Gail in the beginning (boy they don't keep track of their teammates very well)
Rick: Good news. I've got the control system back online! What's the situation over there?
Regina: It's Gail. I've lost him.
Rick: So, what's the bad news?
Another feature includes your character being thrown into life or death situations. You need to tap on buttons very quickly in order to avoid certain death. In other words, they're a bunch of Quick Time Events before they were common.
The inventory allows you to sort out your supplies, items, and examine items and weapons. You can also create new items or update some with the mix tool. Like Resident Evil, if your inventory is full there are certain rooms you can go to to empty it out.
If you've played Resident Evil, you've basically played this game. I understand that it was made by the same people, but would it have killed them to at least try to make this different? Aside from a few minor differences, Dino Crisis is basically Resident Evil meets Jurassic Park.
It doesn't just copy game play mechanics and graphics, it even copies story points. The member of the teammate you know virtually nothing about dies in the opening FMV, the buildup to meeting the first enemy of the game, etc. Hey, at least the first Resident Evil had a better reason for why they couldn't just call in the chopper.
Rick: I say what we outta do is call in the chopper and get off this deathtrap.
Regina: That's a great idea, but Cooper has the radio and he's missing.
That's right. They only have one radio. What, did they blow all their money on the cool outfits?
Anyway, Dino Crisis isn't a terrible suspense thriller. The voice actors for the game are decent, and the characters are fun. I just believe the game better qualities are buried by the fact it's basically a Resident Evil clone. If they could've just found a way to give the game its own identity I think they could have had something great.