When I first heard that there was going to be a Jurassic Park fighting game my immediate reaction was, "Oh Primal Rage 3D, how unoriginal." But after I have played it a while and gotten into it I have to say that it is a very well made, fun, and quick Primal Rage 3D. Letís give credit where credit is due. Fighting dinos is not an original idea but Warpath Jurassic Park delivers the goods the way that you would expect a fighting game should.
There is not a great deal of new kinds of features in this game. It is for the most part a run of the mill fighting game. There are 14 different dinosaurs and over 10 fighting arenas. There are all the basic modes of play, Arcade, Versus, and Team. There are special modes and combos that are unique to each dinosaur and power-ups to increase your energy during play. (A humorous addition: The power ups take the form of little edible objects like chick and people that run across the area trying to escape your jaws of death.) When you beat the game you unlock other dinos and options that you can then use in the other modes. All in all a pretty basic fighting game.
So what make this game so great? Well for starters the game looks very nice. All of the backgrounds are really detailed and taken straight from the movies. The design of the dinosaurs is very clean and sleek; these monsters look like they came straight out of the dino books I used to read as kid. Even though the relative perspective of the dinosaurs is really screwed up (The T-Rex is roughly the same size as a Raptor) it is forgivable since the game would not be playable otherwise. The movement of each character is very fluid and there are hardly any noticeable seams in the polygons. Since the appeal of the game lies in the fact that you can control a dinosaur in a fight, Warpath makes it look as realistic as fighting dinosaurs can get.
There was a great deal of talk about how in the game there is real-time fight damage. This basically means that if your Triceratops gouges an Aklyosaurus in the neck there will be some bloodshed and a little red mark on Alkyís neck. There is no noticeable flesh missing and no real change in the make-up of the character other than a red spot. Whereas this is a cool feature and fun to watch over the course of a fight, it is really nothing new. I have seen it before in Busido Blade and every boxing game out now.
There are some definite problems with the depth and complexity of this game that I must point out. It seems that the game is designed for the most basic of gamers. I attribute this to the fact that EA has never really made a noteworthy fighting game before, and do not know how complex they can be. The move list is very simplistic and small and the special moves are terribly easy to pull off. This is perfect for a kid who likes video games and dinosaurs but even he will probably get tired of the same old thing after a while. Another thing that I noticed was that on some moves it is really hard to see where all of the limbs and tails of the characters are hitting. There were a number of occasions when I would hit the opponent or it would hit me and the graphics would go right through each other.
Still, even with its limited playability and slight graphical difficulties, I still think that the game does a really good job of creating a realistic feel to dinosaur combat complete with the gnarling, chomping and slashing that you would expect from our prehistoric predecessors. If you were a fan of Primal Rage and you want something at the next level, then Warpath is it. Looking for a bit more depth? Then donít expect EA to provide you with fighting games. They are really new to this. But for a novice effort, they are looking like the pros.
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