The Lost World: Jurassic Park is an unfortunate victim of soulless game development. It does little new and what it does is very basic. This is a mildly entertaining diversion for Jurassic Park die-hards.
In Spielberg Town you always make sure you look down at your feet, because if you’re standing anywhere near a ledge, you’re most likely going to fall off of it and impale yourself on something. That is the life of a compsognathus, velociraptor, t-rex and human hunter in Apaloosa’s Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Taking place roughly around when the movie takes place you do a bunch of unrelated stuff as the aforementioned species and then everyone goes home and eats a delicious Kraft dinner. OK, so there is more to the game than that. A lot more actually. As a platformer, it follows the paradigms of the genre fairly admirably with your character controlling well enough and with enough practice and foresight, you’ll generally come out unscathed.
This is rather self-defeating though because upon finishing a level you’re ranked on your playing ability. The reason I say it’s self-defeating is because there is a resounding hollowness to The Lost World that comes through in the many failings it possesses. The lack of a feeling of making progress is a major damper on arrangements and also the fact that you can generally finish levels by simply jumping over everyone doesn’t help. The raptor is vicious, but to the point that it is overpowered. You steam roll everything and you’re only really going to die if you completely lack any kind of hand-eye coordination or you think you’re playing Bubble Bobble and are really confused as to why the dinosaurs in it are brown and sharp all of a sudden.
Level design throughout the game is … look, I get what they were doing. They were trying to make it so you have to think about where you’re supposed to use your grappling hook as the hunter. However, I have stood there not knowing where the hell to shoot my grappling hook and the thing I was supposed to be shooting was above me all along, just out of sight. I mean, a centimeter more down and I would have known to shoot there but they just went: “Hey should this be on the screen? Nah” *coke snorting*
That’s not to say there isn’t any sort of inherent fun in The Lost World. The basic mechanics are solid and well realised with jumping and moving feeling like you’re actually controlling a dinosaur. I would have liked to see more fluency as the hunter, but it’s par for the course that the hunter would move slower so I didn’t hold that against the game. Shooting is fun playing as the hunter and when it comes to raptor time you shred through enemies with a ferocity that would be thrilling if it wasn’t for the constant hurdles that slow you down. It almost got there and it’s really annoying that the person in charge of deciding raptor levels didn’t just ape Sonic instead of screaming at the top of their lungs and throwing boxes and spikes everywhere.
Being developed by Apaloosa, you can expect polish in the graphics. The engine is slick and the frame rate hitches very infrequently. Clean textures add to decent animation and things like reflection and transparencies add to the eye candy. The Lost World is a decent looking game, the frame rate hitching and the clipping that is apparent in the joints of character models does detract somewhat, but I remember this in the PlayStation game as well, so this isn’t unique to the Saturn.
In addition to looking good, the game also features an awesome soundtrack that sounds just like the movie and if you loved the soundtrack to any of the Jurassic Park films, then this is right up your alley sound wise. Growls, roars and gunfire all sound very sharp and there is very little to complain about.
So, that’s The Lost World. It’s an empty feeling game that doesn’t have that substance to it that would give you a sense of accomplishment on finishing it. While there are unlockable galleries, whether you’ll want to put in the time to see them is not something I can guarantee. It looks o.k, it sounds o.k and it’s just o.k. Don’t expect much from The Lost World because there isn’t a lot there, despite there being a lot of content. Its existence is a confounded anachronism. I am going to go and have a drink.
+ Solid enough gameplay
+ Looks slick and runs well
+ Unlockables post game
+ You feel nothing inside.
+ Way too easy.
+ I shouldn’t want to just jump over everything and get it over with.