Recently I hacked my snes mini and added a few games to it. I didn't go too crazy, just added the games I owned as a kid. One of which was Jurassic Park for the Snes.
Playing trough this game again after all this time bought back a lot of memories. Its not a great game by any means but its also not terrible, although I might be in the minority with that opinion.
Back when it came out, I was not a huge Jurassic Park fan (I enjoyed the movie but not enough so that I want to buy a game based on it) but the game looked very interesting when I was reading reviews of it in magazines at the time. The main draw to me was the game changed depending on whether you where inside or outside of buildings. Walking around the island, you controlled Alan grant via a top down perspective:
And interior locations switched to a First person perspective, similar to FPS at the time like Doom or Wolfenstein:
This was something very different back then and I don't recall any other super nintendo game doing this.
It seemed like quite an original change from what most licensed video games did at the time, which was that they normally just made a standard action platformer out of movie or tv show it was based off of that was normally average at best. This seemed like the developers were actually trying to make a decent game rather then just use a movie license to make some money off of an average/bad product.
And 12 year old me assumed that because it had both Overhead and FPS sections, this game would be like Link to the Past and Doom combined. I was completely wrong about that (lol), but i still enjoyed playing through it to some degree simply because it was something different.
Most of the gameplay involved you going from one Utility Shed to another, trying to complete an objective of some kind ( such as turn on the power to the park or reboot a computer) but the main thing they did they artificially stretch the game's playtime put, was to lock all the important areas behind doors that you needed ID cards to open.
So for example, the one objective requires you to kill all the dinosaurs on board a ship. The problem is you can't reach the lower decks of that ship without Security Clearance Level 2. The Good news is you can get that at a nearby computer on the very floor you are on, the bad news is you won't be able to get Security Clearance Level 2 without already having Security Clearance 1 which is located at a different computer all the way back at the Visitor Center, half way across the map. And to add to that, you can't access the room the computer is in without having Dr Wu's ID card. Which is somewhere on the ship.
There is a lot of that throughout the game and playing through it was mostly a matter of trial and error, finding where you needed to go to do a thing, based off of very vague hints:
Only to find out you need an ID card to progress once you get there, which could be in any of the six buildings in the park. To add to that, sections of the park have electric gates blocking them off, which you have to open via the computer system. If you unlocked Gate 1, then Gates 2 and 3 where locked off. So it took quite a bit of effort to navigate around the place the first few times I played the game. And on top of that the insides of three of the buildings have exactly the same wall textures, repeated from room to room. And there was no map of any kind in the game.
And aside from all of that, you have to find 18 Raptor Eggs which are hidden around the Park. 17 of them are relatively easy to find from just exploring the island. But there was one egg I just could not find, no matter how hard I looked back in the 90's.
This was infuriating because I had, over time, worked out how to do everything else. I had memorized the locations of all ID cards, remembered what order I can get them in so that I could, for the most part, breeze through the game getting all of the objectives done. But when the game told me to head to the helipad to head home, standing there just made a screen with Jeff Goldblums face pop up to remind me I had one last egg to find. I even drew a map at the time of the island and shading off all the areas I had explored. I never finished the game as a result until over a decade later when I happened to remember I'd never found that egg and looked it up.
It turned out the final egg was in a hidden area near the helipad that you have to walk through some trees (that look identical to all the other trees you can not walk through in the game):
After all of that I finally got to see the ending. And what an ending it is:
So, playing through it again this week I seemed to remember where everything was, despite not playing it in well over 15 years and managed to finish it in less then a couple of hours. But looking back, I feel like this game could have been so much better.
The basic concept is fine, but they perhaps should not have replied on ID cards hidden around the map with no clue to their locations so much. A save feature or password system would have been a huge benefit to this game back in the day and the game really could have done with a map, both for the island itself and for the interior sections, either in-game or even as a fold out paper map with the instructions, like Lttp had.
And one last thing, back when I originally played this game I noticed that there were letters of the alphabet laying around on the floor or on buildings. You couldn't pick them up or anything and I genuinely assumed this was bits of code they had just left in the game by mistake:
It turns out this was actually part of some competition that was running at the time. All the letters on the map are an anagram to the name of someone. If you deciphered it and sent it in, you won a trip to the Jurassic Park ride that opened a couple of years later at Universal Studios theme park