Windows - 2000
Description of Dino Crisis Windows
You hear so much about Playstation games being ported across to the PC and flopping. With a few notable exceptions such as the Final Fantasy 's and more recently Metal Gear Solid, Playstation ports have, by and large, bombed so badly they'd make WW2 seem like a minor scuffle. So what about Dino Crisis? Is it any good or yet another in a long, long line of failures? Well, it's both. You see, Dino Crisis is actually a pretty good game. It was never going to set the world on fire, even when it was first released, but it is, nevertheless, an entertaining romp through a secret base filled with nothing but flesh-munching dinosaurs. But it also has to be said that this is one of the worst conversions I've ever seen.
The game itself is exactly the same: there would be no point in getting Dino Crisis for the PC if you've already got it on the Playstation. The story goes that some months ago an undercover spy discovered a scientist (mad, naturally) who was previously presumed dead. Said scientist, Dr. Kirk, had been working on an alternative energy source called the "Third Energy" which would solve the world's pollution problems. The only problem is that the project had been cancelled after a disaster caused the deaths of over 150 people involved in the project. You and your team have been sent out to expatriate Dr. Kirk. You quickly find out that Dr. Kirk's creation is unstable, and has caused a shift in time, thus enabling lots of dinosaurs to come around and tramp through the base like they owned it, cheeky blighters. The storyline, although basic, is better constructed than the average garden-variety shooter. There are a few points where you can choose to go one way about solving a problem or another, and the paths branch widely enough to give three different endings.
However, conversion problems rear their ugly head no sooner than you begin. The manual strongly recommends using a joypad, but doesn't tell you how to configure the damn thing. Unless you manage to figure out the really incomprehensible options screen you're stuck with the default configuration, which uses buttons spread at random across the pad. You do eventually get used to it, but a few notes in the manual wouldn't have gone amiss. Other little niggles exist such as not being able to use the keyboard to enter various pass-codes. Instead you've got to slide a cursor around with the joypad for half-an-hour and pray you don't make a mistake to avoid going back and spending half-an-hour deleting it. A minor point, but for some reason, the in game options menu has a 'reset game' option, which takes you back to the Main Menu. This really is a little silly - call it 'Quit' or 'Return to Main Menu' or anything other than 'Reset'. But the real star prize, and I still have trouble believing they've really done this but... it's near impossible to figure out how to exit the game. After putting the manual under a microscope and an extensive search of the readme, there's nothing, nada, zip. For a long time I was exiting by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete and quitting it through Windows. The actual method involves tapping F9 a few times, but no where is this documented. Oh dear.
Things don't pick up much when you first start playing, either. Although the intro movie is OK, with one of your teammates getting eaten by a T-Rex, the graphics at first seem very old and tired. Textures are bland, the resolution is looks hideously low even if it is 640x480 and, of course, there are no options to alter it. Sprites have a nasty habit of wobbling about, not so bad with the chain link fences at the start but when walls start to twist and sway it can make you feel physically sick. There are even little black lines around some graphics, which look like they've been cut out from the Playstation and pasted back into place on the PC. That said, the animation is pretty good. The dinosaurs move around with a surprising amount of athleticism and watching them pound after you gives you a genuine urge to leggit as fast as you possibly can.
Even though you're more or less restricted to the default controls, they're pretty easy to pick up and before long you're blasting away with the pros. What really helps is the camera which for the most part works surprisingly well, and I say "surprisingly" because just about all games with a third-person view point since the beginning have time have had camera angles where you can't see anything, can't tell where you're going, or see the trap you're about to walk into. Dino Crisis, for the most part, avoids these problems. You can see exactly what you need to, and a lot of developers could learn from the camera angles because they tell you what you need to know whilst helping to maintain the atmosphere. There are only occasional problems where Regina has to head towards the camera and you can't see what's coming up, and there were a few instances where some hefty scenery makes it difficult to see what's going on. But these are the exceptions rather than the rule.
The camera angles are also set-up well in the animated cut-scenes, which are well developed and even reasonably scripted. The voice acting is of a good standard, especially the voice of Regina, which is actually better than many of the old interactive movies. The only thing that stands out is the name of one of your companions, Gail. He, yup, he is a tough, mission-comes-first, sod-everything-else macho man. Called Gail. Whoops.
What the game plays like depends on the decisions you make. Go with Gail and you'll spend most of your time blasting (or running away from) the dinos; go with Rick and you'll be solving puzzles instead. Combat is pretty simple but works quite well. Although there are only three different weapons in the game you get little upgrades along the way, which make them more powerful. You can also make stun darts by mixing ingredients in your inventory which knock out the dinosaurs rather than kill them outright. For some reason these are fired from the shotgun rather than the handgun. The enemies also possess some kind of intelligence, although they're not hyper-intelligent - after all, they are dinosaurs. One of their favourite tricks is to play dead, and when you try to get past they'll knock you over or grab a good mouthful. Another problem is that even if you choose to do the puzzles rather than combat you'll still run very low on ammo, causing you to run away from enemies rather than taking them on which, let's face it, is the whole point of having them there in the first place.
The puzzles are typical of many console games, and largely involve shifting some crates that are in your way with a crane, for example. You've got to find some cards to operate the crane, and once you have them you have to figure out how to move the blocks because the crane will only operate a certain way. The difficulty of these puzzles is set just about right: they're not overly complex, and although they're pretty easy, not one is a no-brainer. Capcom has also done a good job of balancing the puzzle-to-Dino ratio, although I suspect they could have made things busier as it can feel a tad empty in places.
Alright, Who moved that Dinosaur?
There are, of course, little niggles that tend to creep in now and again. Dinosaurs can disappear once you've left the room and one of the crate-moving puzzles even resets itself. Another problem is that in order to progress you need to make notes of what you find in journals which tell you how to solve puzzles, open doors etc. Not a problem in itself you understand, but you end up scribbling down the most bizarre interpretation of what the book said on a scrap of paper and then have to spend ages frantically trying to dig it out once you need it. It's the only really bad piece of game design, but games kept notes for you ten years ago, and not including it is one heck of a regression.
If you can get past the silly conversion errors (I still can't believe they left out an "exit" option and knew about it) and the default controls, there's a decent game lying underneath. It'll only take you a good weekend to get through it but there are enough alternative routes and Easter eggs to make you come back for more. It has to be said, though, that it's getting on a bit now. The sequel is available on the Playstation, and there are any number of Resident Evil style shooters on the market to make Dino Crisis very easy to overlook. If you can get it cheap from a bargain bin then it'd be OK, but whatever you do, don't pay full price.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Amyrakunejo 2021-01-15 0 point
Get over yourselves. Sweet Mercy. By the by, the PSX version has DRM whereas the PC version does not. One can make a copy of the PC version, no problem, and it'll run just fine on another PC.
Can't say the same with the console versions without using some kind of trick/modification.
Now, with that out of the way, I have played the PC version, and aside from the controls being customizable, what's difference? Not much. So what? I'm okay with that. A femme protag? Yeah, I like that. No, I'm not 'one of those "dUdEs" that pretends to be a girl', I am a girl, a femme, and I love these older games, so you all can sit back, strap in, and shut up.
kvachu 2020-04-17 -2 points
This game is pretty much underrated, but only if we speak about the psx version. I played both versions, and can tell you there is huge difference. Well, actually I can't tell I played the pc version. I should say I tried to play it, and I couldn't. Like the guy said in the description, this is one of the worst ports ever made. It is like Capcom gave the task to a game developing 1st year students or something like that. It is horrible, I deleted it after 10 minutes. As for the PSX version, I played it on the original psx, not even emulation, but the real stuff, and it was really wonderful experience.
Many PC versions are superior to psx's, but not this one, trust me on this. All of you people.
Gerhalt 2019-11-14 -14 points
This game's so overrated IMO. Perhaps it used to be impressive back in 1999 with its original PSX version. That's my guess since I didnt play it back then. However I once rented the PC version, and it was such a let down. I mean generally speaking the game's fine, but that's it. It looks & feels very generic and extremely average at best, especially if compared to some better examples that gradually became available during 2000. For instance there was very good Star Trek DSN action game called The Fallen. Secondly I'd recommend to take a look at gorgeous Evolva. Yeah, I know those games are more into action than horror with adventure elements. Want some really cheesy horror accompanied by a good portion of trigger-happy gunfights (as well as some nice spells)? Try Devil Inside then - it might be just what you're looking for! There's even some cool cross-sex transformation for a hero (Dave) who can literally morph into a fine dark lady (Deva) wearing some (surprise, surprise) latex outfit. An entire game's about realtime TV show with a titular name. Tonight's performance include yet another creepy mansion (& its surroundings) to explore. It's said to be creeping with all kinds of disgusting creatures, so we're sent in to investigate just wtf is going on there. Now this game's way better than that uninspiring Dino Crisis.
Instead of a bottom line: there's a humble game (which is also from 2000) capable of making you feel yourself so comfortable as if you were reading some nice fairy tale. It's called The Gift. Oh, and it's a beauty to behold too - there are lots of transparent objects & realtime shadows, but what's more important - it runs totally fine within 7x64 requiring no additional moves done (except some minor preconfig).
Afoo 2019-03-04 -1 point
I get that you guys are trying to avoid any legal trouble but it really sucks that this is unavailable because I'd much rather play the pc version
kmy_kun 2019-01-26 2 points
Why the link send me to buy psx versión if i want pc versión? fix it
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