THRILL-D to the core!
My childhood days were filled with hanging out in malls, frequenting arcade centres and playing Jurassic Park Lost World would have to be one of my favourite memories. I mean when I see one in a venue it's the first game I have to play. The rush of adrenaline when the T-Rex lets out his roar with that burst of air that smacks you in the face, gunning down all those venomous spitting Dilophosaurus’ and rocking about in that classic motion cabinet of the 90s is hard to beat. So when I heard that Eugene Jarvis from Raw Thrills was going to be releasing the latest Jurassic Park Arcade, to say I was excited would be an understatement. With such an impressive resume as Defender and Robotron, there was no way that this was going to be remotely close to the flop of Jurassic Park III released back in 2001… well I hoped not, at least.
The cabinet itself definitely has presence. With a large T-Rex head perched at the top, it's easily recognisable across the Arcade room - this environmental cabinet resembles the classic Jurassic Jeeps we are all very familiar with from the movies. Sliding into the cabinet, two guns are mounted with two triggers (grenades and bullets). Swiping my intercard I braced myself, my hands clammy with excitement, for my landing onto Isal Nublar.
Unlike the previous versions of Jurassic Park, Raw Thrills has removed any reference to the latest released movie Jurassic World. Instead the game is a mash-up of all three movies, the good the bad and the ugly. Although in saying this it does not feature any of the likeness or voice-overs of the actors and characters. This was a little disappointing as I had a real desire to be slaying dinosaurs as Owen Grady…
The 55inch flat screen lends itself well to the cabinet, and at 60 frames a second the animation is awesome. Roaring and ricocheting through the jungle; trees, rocks and waterfalls shooting past you, you become thoroughly absorbed forgetting that you're sitting in the arcade. The full motion cabinet suspends your sense of reality as you feel the ground rumbling under your feet while you swing round the cliff roads on two wheels, gunning down those Velociraptors. The quadraphonic sound system adds to the whole experience and helps to draw you into the action. You jerk into action when the T-Rex booms through the cabinet and the thump of his feet vibrates through you as he comes running towards you!
Gameplay is reminiscent of a restrained version of “Let's go Jungle” cross with “Terminator Salvation”. Fairly straight-forward point and shoot methodology but that wouldn't be providing justice to the game! Propelling and bouncing through forestry, luring and tranquilising beautifully extinct creatures is more terrifying than you think. Dinosaurs swarm to the jeep and once relief seems in sight there are swarms of bugs to contend with. The game comes with nine levels of which you can choose whichever to complete, three Tyrannosaurus Rex, three Triceratops and three for the Spinosaurus.
So just when you thought this game couldn't get any cooler you start to pick up the weapon power-ups! You’ve just got to try out the Frostbite for the ultimate freeze, Triple threat for a rapid fire (a staple for all arcade games) the electro-shot with the Shockbolt and the Titan 2000 for the extreme in stun guns. And this is seriously required when going up against the big boys like the T-Rex and Spino!
So all in all in the words of Eugene himself “It really takes the arcade experience to a new dimension – we call it THRILL-D ™!” I was supremely “thrilled” with the whole experience I can only say that I want more levels. It was a sad time leaving Isla Nublar, but I can tell you one thing it won't be the last time I'll be visiting.