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July 5, 2003
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
27/3/2003Vivendi UniversalBlue Tongue1G8+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Visitors run from dinosaurs.
I have to admit that I'm a massive Jurassic Park fan. The first movie is one of my all time favourites, the second had some wonderful effects but and average story while the third was a terrific thrill ride restoring the glory of the series. To hear that a Jurassic Park based game was being release on Playstation 2 was like music to my ears. Developed right here in Australia by Blue Tongue getting early information was like drawing blood from a stone, but close to release screens and info started appearing and things started looking pretty positive.

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a simulation game similar to the legendary Theme Park and Roller Coaster Tycoon games on PC, but with attractions that manage to eat the guests! This game is similar to other theme park management games in that you start with a certain amount of cash and from the top-down viewpoint you must place all the objects on the island (which you can also modify with the amount of mountains and trees etc).

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Using the helicopter.
Prior to building your park you must first select from 9 different dig sites around the world to look for fossils or amber from which you can extract the DNA of dinosaurs. You must reach at least 50% DNA to build a dinosaur but incomplete DNA means they will usually die much younger then 100% complete DNA. As with all management games you must research new items for your park, be it amusement rides, vaccines for dinosaurs or new security measures. This research also includes security fences to keep the people and dinosaurs separated as well as shelters for visitors to hide in during emergencies such as dinosaur escapes, tornados (which inevitably tear down fences and destroy facilities).

One of the best things that Blue Tongue has done with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is the level of detail with the dinosaurs. Through the Dinopedia you can find out when each of the 25 dinosaurs in the game existed, their size, what type of dinosaur and how excited visitors will be to see them. By looking at this data you will be able to determine which dinosaurs to spend money on to keep the park visitors happy, a crucial aspect if you want to gain their patronage, and money.

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Looking at the viewing platforms.
There are a couple of aspects of this title which could have been handled better. The most obvious would be the inclusion of more missions. Only 10 missions won't take too long to complete. A set of scenarios would have been another nice addition to the game. This could include repairing the park after damage, fighting off a plague of dinosaur diseases, getting the park out of financial trouble or improving the mood of patrons. It also would have been nice to see the inclusion of USB keyboard and mouse support. Almost anyone with a PC would have those peripherals available and would make the game easier to navigate.

One of the most impressive aspects of this title graphically is the roatatable and zoomable camera allowing you to zoom right in on the action to look and the dinosaurs. The texturing in the theme park varies from dull and repetitive to quite impressive. You could say that it's no worse the any other top down management game. The animation on the dinosaurs, rides and patrons is solid enough while the change in time of day and weather effects are impressive.

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Eating a goat.
I hope you like the Jurassic Park music because this game is choc full of it. Personally I love it, although a little more variety would have been nice. The game also has some great effects although I felt the dinosaur roars, even when up close could have been a little more menacing. Overall, the sound quality in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is quite high.

If you're a fan of the Jurassic Park movies then there is no reason not to get Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It's a great theme park simulation and has some classic Jurassic Park elements (Carnivours eating goats for example). It would have been nice to have some more missions, and definitely some scenarios, but overall this is a solid game. Let's hope a sequel is green lit sooner rather then later.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSTexture quality is variable, but the movable camera is good.
SOUNDJurassic Park music and effects. What more needs to be said?
GAMEPLAYBuild a theme park. If that interests you then you'll like the game.
VALUEThe game needs more missions or some scenarios. Plenty of detail.
OVERALLJurassic Park Operation Genesis is quite a good theme park building game. It actually requires some thought for the placement of dinosaurs not only in carnivore and herbivore but also the different periods. A good game that deserves a sequel.

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