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Reviewed: Warpath: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: January 24th 2000
Page: 2

The big draw with Warpath, really its only draw, is the ability to fight as different types of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, Warpath gets off on the wrong foot here, because the overwhelming majority of the dinosaurs have very similar fighting styles. All but 3 of the dinosaurs walk on two legs, and every dinosaur but one has a very similar counterpart as well: two horned dinos, two head butting dinos, two raptor-style, and a crudload of large predators that are incredibly similar to the T-rex. Some personal favorites, like the Dilophosaur and the Stegosaurus, have been removed in favor of some other much lesser known Rex clones. Unfortunately for players, the variety just isn't there in the game.

Sound and graphics in the game are there in force, as is to be expected from a Dreamworks production. The music in the levels is well in keeping with the Jurassic Park feel, as are the sound effects from the roar of the Rex to the Raptor's snarl. The dinosaurs are well rendered and move pretty realistically, with no real surprises or gaps to be found in motion or animation. The skins are well crafted and the backgrounds as well, leaving some fun in just watching the dinosaurs square off.

Dinos square off to fight.
Main Menu: check the Raptor.
Second Menu: the Rex.

Moves in the game are limited mostly to the "natural" motions of a dinosaur -- no projectiles are to be found in the game. In general there are three categories -- charges, strikes, and throws. Unfortunately, this breaks down the gameplay somewhat: with the exception of the dinosaurs whose fighting style is based on it, the charging attack is next to useless. While combo hits can be effective, the advantage is easily gained by a player who is adept at throws, since either the toss-up or side throws (available to all dinosaurs) make for good counterattacks and do far more damage than the normal two or three hit combos.

The AI is also to blame, in part, for the problems in the fighting engine as it doesn't recognize some basic tricks that a human player can use to defeat the game with any dinosaur. Even at the expense of taking hits, a successful throw can be followed up by a brutal pummeling on the ground, sometimes creating a combo string well over 10 hits long. Since the computer will always follow in to an opponent who is backing off, this makes it easy to land said throw. In addition, the computer doesn't take advantage of ground hits itself, meaning that even if the match is merely an exchange of throws the human should easily win.

Dino selection -- notice Bleem's little errors.
CarChar introduces himself... violently.
A Mega Raptor takes CarChar down.

Controls in the game are simplified, allowing the players to concentrate on action and not on making sure that a move executes. There are four attack buttons, two sidesteps, and a taunt. In addition combinations of two attack buttons enable the knock-up, throws, and the ground combo attacks. Timing of various attacks becomes the priority, with mastery of throw distance being the key to true success in the game against computer and human opponents alike.

A nice secondary part of the game is that it runs well on Bleem! already, which is how the high-resolution shots shown in this review were taken. Bleem users will need to have a fairly hefty system to play the game properly, but the graphic enhancements in hardware are quite nice. As a warning, however, the 2D screens such as loading and dinosaur selection do show some glitches, so it's not entirely perfect (look at the screenshot of dinosaur selection for an example of this).

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Added:  Monday, January 24, 2000
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 2/4

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