STAFF REVIEW of Gigantosaurus: The Game (Xbox One)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
by Kirsten Naughton

Gigantosaurus: The Game Box art In my two years or so of being a “product analyst”, I have been exposed to a wide variety of video games the world has to offer. I walked into Gigantosaurus: The Game unsure of what I was about to get into. Apparently, Gigantosaurus is based off a kid based TV show, though that was news to me as I've never heard of it before. I was curious though as to what Gigantosaurus has to offer a woman in her late 20's as for a gaming experience. I tend to lean toward video games that I can pour hours into, collect all the items and finish the main story.

I spoke to a few friends of mine that have children that expressed how their kids (most around 5-7 years old) would love Gigantosaurus, as it's cartoon style is right up kids' alleys along with the bright colours. In the first hour or so of gameplay, I was optimistic that I'd enjoy what Gigantosaurushad to offer and I was open minded to a kid friendly game for a kid at heart like myself. After about five hours of gameplay I unfortunately don't feel as optimistic. I feel more uncertain now than I did in the beginning.

I'm not going to lie, I didn't pay attention to the names of the characters, the technical names of the dinosaurs or much of the cut scenes. I didn't find the story very engaging or even interesting. I understand that the market for Gigantosaurus is more than likely young children, but I feel like those that review it aren't going to be in that age bracket. They are going to be my age, and quite frankly, I found the story and overall concept rather boring from an adult perspective. My opinions aside, the story begins as two raptors have stolen a bird's egg and it's your job to retrieve it. You follow the purple sparkly line and make it to another cutscene where you meet Gigantosaurus. Eventually, a meteor falls from the sky and blocks the opening of a volcano blocking its pressure and different areas of the Savanna. In addition to blocking areas of the Savanna, the quake disrupts eggs all over the Savanna. Now they are scattered all over and it's your job to collect them and return them to the nesting area.

In each area, there are eggs and purple seeds you have available to collect. I say "available" deliberately. At minimum, you need to collect four eggs to proceed to the next zone. I'll get into more detail later, but this is the first red flag. As you wander around the zone you're in, if you're in easy mode, you have a purple sparkly line showing you where the eggs are, and then it also appears when you need to go back to the nesting area. I feel that this is very beneficial for kids that need help navigating the zone, as even I needed the extra help sometimes.

Each zone is in an open world style, which is nice to see. When you progress to the next zone you'll need to 'race' there. Are you familiar with Mario Kart? The races in Gigantosaurus are like if you had drive assist on while playing Mario Kart all the time, so it's rather straight forward. While on the 'race track' you collect purple seeds and dinosaur skulls while somewhat dodging big dinosaurs above you. When you arrive in your new zone, the zone is different than the last, even the enemies are also different. In the jungle for example, there are bees that sting you. In the Savanna, there are plants that can snap at you and fish that pop out of the water. Gameplay in a nutshell was pretty monotonous. I felt very bored even after arriving to the jungle, especially after learning there were a few things that I just didn't vibe well with.

I really tried to like Gigantosaurus. I was very open minded with the whole concept of a game being designed and marketed to kids. I even tried to play Gigantosaurus as if I was a 5 year old kid. Then, I tried playing it as myself. Either way I swung it, I didn't really enjoy much of the gameplay. Normally, I love cutscenes, as I enjoy watching the story unfold and learning more of the narrative. Gigantosaurus' cutscenes are excruciatingly basic and lack any form of depth. I feel like kids games deserve the same amount of depth and effort within the story that Triple-A titles get. I may be overreaching a little, but I feel like the story could have used a bit of spark or boost.

While playing Gigantosaurus, the two things other than the story that I found very difficult to deal with were the camera controls and moving my character around. I was very clunky and I have concerns about the accuracy of the movements. I would keep missing jumps that were clearly in front of me and the controls would not let me up on the platforms. This led me to get a little frustrated because Gigantosaurus is a fairly straightforward and should be easy for its younger audience.

I am the type of gamer that loves to collect items in a video game. I was not overly impressed when I only needed to collect the bare minimum eggs to proceed to the next zone. Then, I kept completing zones and Gigantasaurus didn't say I need 'X' amount of eggs to proceed. I found the incentive to keep collecting was gone almost immediately. I feel like that alone was a missed opportunity to keep gamers engaged and playing the game for more than a few days. Overall, the biggest positive going for Gigantosaurus is that the narrator is on point, engaging and you can tell he brings a lot of enthusiasm to the table. I love the graphics. Even if they are simple, as it's bright, colourful and inviting. The dinosaur design was charming and cute and audio was fitting for the environment you were playing in.

If I were to recommend Gigantosaurus to anyone, it would be best suited for kids aged 7-10 years old, and fans of the show of course. I feel like the story is basic enough to understand that kids will hopefully feel engaged. I will not recommend Gigantosaurus to anyone over the age of 10 years old though. I find that a certain people will enjoy this, but I feel like the negatives are outweighing the small positives Gigantosaurus has to offer. As for my view, Gigantosaurus should have developed a little more before coming out of its shell. Gigantosaurus: the Game is simply a gigantic basic kids game and nothing more.

Overall: 5.5 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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