STAFF REVIEW of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (Xbox)


Tuesday, April 22, 2003.
by Stephen Cameron

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis Box art After 10 years since the first Jurassic Park movie came out
someone finally stepped up to make a worthwhile game that actually brings a little pride to the title. Unlike back in the day when somebody decided to make a shameful Jurassic Park game for the shameful Sega console where the objective of the game was to literally slaughter dinosaurs to death. This
time around Konami has decided to add a much needed element; strategy.
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a Sim game much like Sims Theme Park and Roller Coaster Tycoon. In Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis you must also create a theme park. Well look at the title (Jurassic Park), it is practically screaming for a game of this genre. Konami also decided to add missions in the game but the real addictive part is trying to maintain your park and not so much the missions.



Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is very slow at the beginning just like any other Sim games. I had to use the in game step by step tutorial mode which is really well done. It'll teach you the essential elements that you need to start your theme park in a matter of minutes. Once you actually start a new park this is where it starts to get interesting. You just have so much to do at a time that you might want to keep a little note pad and a pen close by. First thing you have to do is get some of that cash flowing so you can start the formation of the new park. The process of getting the cash to start flowing is an involved one, with many interconnected threads, which can make the first few years of park operation a frustrating, tedious, and disappointing affair. In order to actually breed your first dinosaurs, fossil digs must be funded and ripe sites selected. The fossils are then shipped to labs, where the dino DNA is extracted, but several batches of fossils must be collected before enough viable DNA can be harvested to create your first attractions (50% to be exact). Once you're ready to begin production, the over grown reptiles must be provided with food, water, shelter among the underbrush, vaccinations against nasty dino epidemics, and a proper enclosure to keep them from killing amongst each other. But there are little tricks you must learn along the way to help manage you dinosaurs healthy life. For example, you can put several different kinds of trees but some trees can be hazardous to certain dinosaurs health.

Managing your dinosaurs is only half the battle you still have the park's human inhabitants to contend with. Most of the guests in your park are pretty fussy. Some of them like to see enormous T-rex's snack on little helpless cows and goats while others enjoy watching there favorite herbivores wonder around the plains so you have to keep everyone happy, therefore you must create several different types of dinos. There are 25 different species to pick from so it won't be that hard. While you have to keep you guest entertained they all expect to be kept well-fed, well-rested therefore you must answer there needs one again. You have to add of those rest rooms every now and then, and don't forget those restaurants and Chip stands. But don't forget, customers like to have everything nice and tidy therefore you will have to manage a staff to come clean stuff up once in a while. But with all this said there is a few restrictions in the game that I wish didn't exist for example you can only have a certain amount of dinosaurs in your park. But these limited restrictions don't really affect the gameplay that much. And let me tell ya, the replay value in this game will keep bringing you back for seconds. As if that is not enough there are still missions to undertake if you need a different challenge. They are a good distraction, but not too rewarding. I enjoyed more playing God in the main mode.


The Best part according to me in "Operation Genesis" is the
exquisite visuals throughout. Your eye candy will be tingling from the shear
depth of every little detail on every little element. The landscape is
dotted with all kinds of ambient plants. Water effects are well detailed.
And all the dinosaurs are just as impressive. A herd of dryosaurs skittering
across the plain chirping at one another, or a ceratosauras stalking her
prey, looks amazingly authentic. And larger dinosaurs bending trees as they
come marching by, this game has a particularly nice feel. All the dinosaurs
move fluidly, with elastic skin, colorful markings, and little blockiness.
If you didn't have to build a park, the game would still be worth the
purchase. The camera movement enables you to zoom in and out without losing quality. You are able to swing 360 degrees easily, which is smooth and
efficient. Also all the menus are nice and very easy to use.


Their roars, grunts, slurps, and growls are all very realistic as if
they had been recorded directly off one of these nightmares back in the
day..way back in the day. And I love the sound of when a tornado comes
roaring threw but the after math isn't pretty; lot's of cleaning up to do. Sometime character will talk to you, giving you hints, warnings, and instruction. The soundtrack is the best though. The game has 10 original John Williams's tracks from the movies including the very catchy theme song.
You've gotta' love it.


Suggestions:
After playing this game, I don't think I will even think I'll
ever lay eyes on rollercoaster tycoon again even if it did just launch onto the Xbox not to long ago. I think I will stick with this game. Well I'm a bit mad at the creators; they are making me spend all my time playing when I should really be doing homework. Joke, great game, my hat is off to all of
you.


Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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