Tag Archives: Jurassic Park

The ending to Jurassic Park: The Game is a big pile of dino droppings

There are several problems with Jurassic Park: The Game, but none bigger than its ending, and I’m going to discuss it at length in this post, so if you don’t want to be spoiled beyond Spoiled City, get out now. Just go. Put in a VHS copy of the 1993 classic Jurassic Park, play with the tracking buttons, and then sit back, soak in, and be at peace. Trust me, you’re better off; I mean, I wish I wasn’t thinking about these things, but I am. And the only way to get rid of them is to dump them here.

::insert Tyrannosaurus Rex roar::

As the remaining survivors–Gerry Harding, Jess Harding, and Nima–race to reach the boat that can take them off Isla Nublar, a choice is presented, one that’s extremely easy to make: save Jess or save the Barbasol can of dinosaur embryos. If you go for the can, Nima dies. If you save Jess, the can is stomped flat, but everyone lives to see another day. The latter is deemed the “good ending” and was what I earned first, later going back to see what would happen if you tried to grab the can before Mean Ol’ Mr. T-Rex caught wind of your antics. Right. So, they all live and are motoring away on the escape boat as that familiar tune plays. Hooray. Except Nima is pretty downtrodden and not because her partner in crime Yoder got eaten: that Barbasol can represented a way to get her and her daughter into a new life, with food and security and all the things that a mother/daughter combo need to survive. Without it, she has nothing. Gerry promises her that he’ll do whatever he can to help the both of them, but before he can work out a plan, his daughter Jess interupts to inform them about a bag full of cash she just found.

And that’s where Jurassic Park: The Game ends. No, really. It’s that, followed by the boat scooting away into the sunset and a flock of Pterodactylus passing by overhead. Roll credits. Put the controller down.

Which means we–the viewer, the player, the puppet master–are left to interpretation. And the game seems to imply that Nima will take the money found on the boat. That Gerry Harding will totally be okay with Nima taking all that money, that it’s for a good cause. For the entirety of Jurassic Park: The Game, Harding has been constantly reminding his daughter that stealing is wrong and trying to teach her to be a wiser teenager, to make good, wholesome choices. To not smoke or talk back to elders or, y’know, steal stuff. And he did all of this while dinosaurs of varying sizes and skins tried to eat them. Good for him.

But here, at the end–and granted, he did just outrun a T-Rex–he says nothing about the bag of money. Nothing about going to InGen about what happened on the island and Dr. Sorkin or anything like that. Maybe he actually does. The scene cuts away after the literal money shot, and we don’t know what other conversations the trio have as they make their way home, but that’s the game’s fault. Again, it doesn’t tell us, and so we have to go off of what is presented, which is that Nima is going to get all the money, the money she was originally going to get anyway from stealing from InGen. If Harding lets Nima take the money, he is again approving of stealing, which I’m sure Jess would find contradictory.

It’s an atrocious piece of writing, that doesn’t make sense, but comes across as extremely unlikely and Hollywood-like. I’d rather have seen them sail away without a bag of money, happy to be alive, promising each other that they would get through whatever came next, especially considering what they just survived. Maybe even Nima would become a motherly figure to Jess since her parents were not going to work it out. Of, if anything, as a wink to the first film and a meta joke to the fact that Jurassic Park: The Game is in itself a wink to a throwaway plotline, Harding could’ve acknowledged the bag of money, zipped it up, and tossed it into the water–y’know, for someone else to find. As is, the game’s “good ending” is far from good.

And all of this makes me extra nervous about Telltale Games’ forthcoming The Walking Dead game. The only light there is that in a world overrun by zombies, a bag of money is pretty much useless.

Achievements of the Week – The Taking Sides with the Dragon Cube Hunter Edition

For those paying attention, I did not put together an Achievements of the Week post last Friday. And I totally could have. I unlocked a dino dropping size of them for Jurassic Park: The Game, which I completed rather quickly, as well a couple in that dragon-laden roleplaying game that never ends thanks to radiant quests and a landmass barely explored. But no one voiced any disappointment, so I guess this segment isn’t an actual weekly heroin fix for Grinding Down readers. Fine by me, really, as I was extremely stressed around then and disinterested in even hinting at why, and so I just played the games I had and kept blathering about their Achievements to a real minimum.

But I’m back. Got some good ones to share, too. So this edition will basically cover the last two weeks. Haven’t played much else on the Xbox 360 besides Jurassic Park: The Game and Skyrim, but I will be downloading Fez today during my lunch break so I might be able to sneak a few in from there, too.

Fez update: within forty-five minutes, I was able to unlock three–as well as had a blast spinning rooms and collecting bits of cube. Seriously, y’all need to check out Fez; it can be your weekend impulse buy! Looking forward to playing more.

Right. Let’s go then.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Taking Sides (10G): Join the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Army

Pssst. Pssst. Yeah, you. Don’t tell anyone…but I signed up with the Stormcloaks! Screw off, ya dirty Imperial.


Dragon Hunter (20G): Absorb 20 dragon souls

Oh yeah! Dragons have nothing on me now thanks to my enchanted Ebony Bow of Lethargy, a full quiver of glass arrows, and plenty of stamina-weakening potions to boot. More will fall from the sky; this, I promise.

From Fez…


Get a cube (10G): Cube GET!

Just starting out. Gotta collect 31 more…

For these next two Achievements, I won’t spoil anything specific, but to get ‘em, one just needs to do some light reading of all the Achievement descriptions in Fez and follow through…


Achievement unlocked (15G): Unlocking achieved.


Equal and opposite (15G): Negative space.

From Jurassic Park: The Game…

Hmm. While reviewing the list of Achievements I’ve ultimately unlocked, I realized that several of them share the same artwork. Actually, a lot of them. Never noticed this before. How lame is that? It’s no longer 2006, game developers. Put some care and effort into the look of your unlockables, like BioWare and Bethesda do. That said, here’s the variety you’ll get, with the only differences being in the name of the Achievement and how many Gamerscore points it is worth:

Other than those, the only ones that are special and different are those based on individual dinosaur encounters and not making any mistakes while fighting Yoder. That’s it. The rest are rinsed, shampooed, and used again. That’s pretty disappointing, especially since some good work was done on the Achievement names, like Barbasolved, I Know How to Read a Schematic, and I Herd That.

But whatever. It was not the greatest game.

YOU HAVE NOW REACHED THE END OF THIS POST. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TELLING US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE UNLOCKED ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR WEEK OF GAMING. DO IT. THE CAPS LOCK DEMANDS IT.

2012 Game Review Haiku, #10 – Jurassic Park: The Game

Push left to avoid
The Tyrannosaurus rex
Mash the A button

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.

Achievements of the Week – The Jetpacker Leftovers from ytiC daeD Edition

Another week has come and gone, and I am here again, whipped into action and berated by the higher beings, to share some of my favorite Achievements from the last seven days with y’all. Just two games get the special attention this time around, but I am by my lonesome this week–not counting cats–as Tara is dog-sitting. Also, I am just about to finish up my 31 Lovingly Bad Love Comics challenge, which means…uh, more free time? I suspect I’ll play a bit of this and that over the next two days.

For now, these things.

From Rage…


Just a Flesh Wound (15G): Complete the final round of 5 Finger Filet

This is probably the hardest minigame in Rage. Remember when, bored in middle school, you would place your hand on your desk, spread those digits, and try to stab the spaces between with your pencil as fast as you could? 5 Finger Filet is that, but with a really sharp knife. The first four rounds are scripted and easy to memorize, but the fifth and final round is always random, always fast, and likes to put hit targets right next to each other, which one’s brain might not be able to see before it is too late. The best advice I can offer for those Ark survivors going after this is to…just relax. Don’t overthink it, and you’ll find yourself naturally stabbing at your hand without hitting a single finger in no time.


Jetpacker (20G): Kill an Authority Enforcer during Jetpack descent


ytiC daeD (10G): Complete Dead City Reverse in the Campaign

Hee, I like this one’s name. Maybe too much.

From Jurassic Park: The Game…

I mused a bit already about my early experience with returning to Isla Nublar, which already limelighted a few Achievements. Haven’t gotten to play any more yet, but here’s another one that is full of spoilers for Nedry fans everywhere:


Leftovers (10G): Found Nedry’s ID badge.

Aw.

I CAN’T THINK OF AN OUTRO FOR THIS POST SO I’LL JUST SHOUT THIS VERY SENTENCE AT YOU AND CALL IT A WEEK.

Welcome to Jurassic Park: The Game

If you know me well enough, or have had the golden opportunity to hang out with my wife Tara, then chances are you know how obsessed we are with Jurassic Park. Not the film series, but the first film–in truth, the only film. Actually, I’m also extremely fond of Michael Crichton’s novel, where it all began, as it was one of the first books I read as a youngling; I think I last reread it a few years ago and it still managed to impress. But you’d really know how dino crazy we are because when a perfect spot opens up for a Jurassic Park quote, we fill it, and we fill it fast. Occasionally, we don’t even need a reason. She likes these zingers:

  • “Maybe it’s the power trying to come back on?”
  • “Mr. Hammond, the phones are working.”

I usually go with:

  • “Hold on to your butts.”

What then follows is us reenacting about every other line of dialogue from the film and then a heavy sadness as we don’t actually own a copy and can’t watch the glorious gem at any given point. These days, you have to buy a box set of all three films, and that’s not up our alley. Anyways, we love Jurassic Park, and so when in GameStop the other day we saw Jurassic Park: The Game for relatively cheap and picked it up. I’ve had some experience with other works from Telltale Games and enjoyed what they did there, but I did head back to Isla Nublar with trepidation.

It’s an adventure game akin to Heavy Rain more than an adventure game akin to Back to the Future: The Game. The action scenes are all about Quick Time Events (QTE), and the rest of the playing involves looking around scenes, talking to whoever is with you, and figuring out the right combination of actions. So far, from what I can tell, the story is split between Gerry Harding and his daughter and the mysterious Nima Cruz who is trying to find Nedry’s Barbasol can of dino DNA, and there are constant nods to the movie, which is always great. Sadly, the game looks pretty terrible, but not enough to scare us away immediately.

Just getting started with these, many of which are awesomely named:


Welcome to Jurassic Park (20G): Escaped the jungle.


I’m a Hacker (20G): Showed your jungle hacking chops.


The First Dinosaurs on our Tour (20G): Survived the two-crested lizard.

Looking forward to playing more, but just like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7, this is a game best played with a partner, and so I will wait until Tara has some more free time. Right now, she’s hard at work on a short comic that I wrote, and we will hopefully be able to share it with the universe very soon. Sorry, no, it’s not about dinosaurs. This time.

30,000 Gamerscore, and I feel fine

I never really planned to hit 10,000 Gamerscore on the mark, but it happened, and I thought that was kind of a neat milestone. Then came the time for 20,000, and I actually went out of my way to figure out the best combo of Achievements to hit that nice ol’ rounded number on the dot. It became very meta, and that’s okay, as doing some math and using these fickle things called Achievements for an actual purpose was certainly refreshing. Also, as someone in the comments mentioned, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas played a crucial part in both sets of fireworks, and there’s no beating that. Now, here we are again, a year and change later, some 10,0o0 Gamerscore richer, with a total paperweight of…30,000. Take a look:


Yowza.

Alas, I didn’t get there with the help of Fallout: New Vegas, instead using the recently acquired Jurassic Park: The Game to up the ante and then two planned Achievements from Rage to seal the deal. Unfortunately, the last Achievement to tip the scale was based on luck: in Rage, there’s a mini-game called Tombstones, and if you roll four attacks on your very first turn, you get an Achievement. Since rolling is random, it just required sitting on the couch, petting my kitty cat, and hitting A over and over until the dang thing popped. When it did, I shouted in jubilation to Tara that I was successful and immediately shut off the Xbox 360, worried that I might accidentally unlock something else and ruin such a pretty, pretty number.

And I know–I mean, I kn0w–none of this matters. Some of you have probably already pre-judged me as an Achievement whore, but I think there is most definitely a difference between someone playing Rapala Tournament Fishing! just to get more Gamerscore points and somebody who looks at the whole process as a mini-game in itself, going after the ones worth going after, and celebrating little milestones along the way. I have to wonder if I’ll hit 40,000 in about one year or so as well. Maybe not as there just does not seem to be too much coming out this year on my “must buy” list, other than The Witcher 2 and A Game of Thrones: The Game. Keep following Grinding Down to find out how my turtle race to the top continues on…