Jurassic Park is one of the most iconic films of all time. As a child I was obsessed with it – well, dinosaurs on the whole, in fact – and from what I remember I enjoyed playing some of the games based on it. Revisiting them 30 years later, however, it’s clear they haven’t stood the test of time.
Put together by Limited Run Games, Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection bundles together seven titles released between 1993 and 1995. Many of these are essentially the same game but on different formats, such as Jurassic Park, the action adventure title played from a top down perspective released on NES and GameBoy. The SNES version of Jurassic Park is somewhat similar, too, but also has first-person sections when you enter buildings. Thankfully the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Jurassic Park offers something a little different, being a side-scrolling platformer where you get to play as either Dr. Grant or a Velociraptor.
The top-down perspective was abandoned altogether when it came to the sequels to these games, with both the SNES and Game Boy versions of Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues being both side-scrolling shooters. And in Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition for Genesis/Mega Drive, players can once again play as Dr. Grant or a Velociraptor, but this time InGen soldiers are added into the mix, complicating matters.
Revisiting each of these titles, or playing them for the first time in some cases, I struggled to have much fun. While some games remain entertaining decades after they were made, with neat and catchy gameplay hooks, that’s not the case with any of these titles. They’re hostile, born in an era where the difficulty was cranked up to extend playtime, and simply not all that fun to play. In the 30 years since they launched, there have been many games doing what these do but better. Just maybe without dinosaurs.
Of course, that’s not to say that you won’t get any enjoyment out of them. If you loved these games back in the day and approach them with rose-tinted spectacles, maybe you’ll still have a good time. Regardless of whether you still find the games entertaining or not, however, you’re likely to find the overall package disappointing. As retro bundles go, Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is as basic as you can get.
There’s no sort of museum content here; nothing that truly celebrates the franchise or the games. And when it comes to features, only the bare minimum is offered. You can make use of save states, for example, apply screen filters, and rewind if you make a mistake. Beyond that there’s little else other than music players for each game. It would have been nice of you were able to change the settings of each game, or if extra features like challenges had been added.
Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is a bit of a disappointment on all fronts. The games themselves just aren’t all that fun to play any more. And even if you do manage to eke some entertainment out of them, the package overall is very basic, with no museum-like content or extras to make the games more appealing to return to. Unless you’re an ardent Jurassic Park fan hellbent on having access to these games on modern formats, you’d be wise to think twice before parting with your hard-earned money.