What happens when you remove the zombies in Resident Evil and replace them with dinosaurs?
Welcome, one and all, to my Retro Gaming review. In this series, we’ll be taking a look at those forgotten gems on past generations of gaming consoles. My hope is to rekindle some interest in these games and introduce gamers and nongamers alike to these awesome nuggets of retro gaming. This first post, we’ll be taking a look at the action, horror survival title known as Dino Crisis.
Resident Evil was king (still is in my mind) of the horror survival genre, especially in the 90’s. Japanese game developer, Capcom, wanted to capitalize on their horror flagship’s success, while creating a brand new intellectual property. Thus Resident Evil with freaking dinosaurs was born. Ok, ok. That comparison is a bit of a disservice to this game because its more than a Resident Evil clone.
Players take control of the sexy, redheaded femme fatale, Regina. She is a special operations agent and she is dressed to kill. I imagine Capcom thought her leather one piece made her look “tactical”, but she looks like a lost extra from the film adaptation of Blade. Not that I’m complaining…
Regina and her team of not as well dressed special agents are sent to investigate a secluded island complete with its own genetic research lab. What could go wrong? Its not long before they realize some serious shit has hit the proverbial fan and they must find a way off the dinosaur infested isle.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for the story. There’s some stuff about finding a mad scientist, but it doesn’t really matter in the end. The plot basically consists of your team trying to escape the island, not much else. The characters aren’t fully developed either, which is a shame as Regina is very likable. Why is she so snarky? When did she develop her leather fetish? These questions may go unanswered, but who cares? Let’s talk about gameplay.
Now some of the gameplay has some rough edges. There are a lot of puzzles in the game that can become quite tedious, especially in the late stages of the game. Back tracking can be frustrating as well. Your controls are the classic Resident Evil ones. This means quickly maneuvering to get shots off at angry dinosaurs is challenging, but satisfying when you do so correctly. Now I don’t want to give you guys the wrong idea. Is it possible to kill the dinos? Yes, but in the first few hours of the game, running may be the better solution.
Unlike the slow shuffling zombies in Resident Evil, you are faced with dinosaurs. They are faster, stronger, and just as mean as my ex-girlfriend was before she had her morning coffee. Just one of them has the potential to kill you(Dinos, not my ex-girlfriends, but now that I think about it…). Imagine turning the corner and running into a pack(of ex-girlfriends, Yikes!). You might as well kiss your sweat leather covered bum goodbye. The dino AI is sure to keep you on your toes. In Resident Evil, if you ran into a problem in a certain room, you could often avoid it just by running out one of the exits. Not in this game. You see, these dinos are jerks and will often give chase into other rooms, leading to some pretty tense moments.
Lets not forget about the sound design. The Resident Evil franchise has always had eerie music and its no different with Dino Crisis. It’s the perfect music to put you on edge and make your skin crawl. It says “You’re going to die. Just accept it. Now just let my dino buddies nom on your face.”
Dino Crisis OST: Encounter
There are some genuine scares in this game. Although it was a successful title for the Playstation(PS1), and earned itself two disappointing sequels(which I may talk about at a later date), Dino Crisis has become a bit of a forgotten franchise. I’d love to see it get reimagined or rebooted. Where else are you going to find a dinosaur-centered horror game?
In conclusion, do yourself a favor and play this damn game. If you have a PS1 or Dreamcast laying around, I’m sure you’d find copies of the game around the internet. If you have access to the Playstation store(PSN) on current consoles, the game is only $6. You can also get the game for the low price of free if you are ok with running emulations. You can find the rom files on many sites and play it on an emulator such as epsxe. Have fun gaming!