Dino Stalker. Capcom (2002) PlayStation 2

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dinostalker

Also know as Gun Survivor 3: Dino Crisis in Japan is a Light Gun Game that takes part in the Dino Crisis universe, it is a sequel to the Resident Evil Survivor games, though it doesn’t share any continuity with Resident Evil.

Story

Ever played a Resident Evil game and thought “this story isn’t pants on head retarded enough”? That is Dino Crisis, and specifically, Dino Stalker.

Basically, Third Energy has unleashed Dinosaurs, and the US Government think it is a good idea to send the Dinosaurs to the future, while they figure out how to solve this… THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE

Then, during an unnamed aerial battle in 1942, Mike Wired is about to die, he is is suddenly transported to wherever the Dinosaurs are. THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE

He teams up with Paula, who was apparently in Dino Crisis 2, and whom I don’t remember, and Paula is some kind of programming savant, who, can’t speak much English.

Seriously, none of it makes any sense…

No really, you're a fighter pilot from 1942...

No really, you’re a fighter pilot from 1942…

Gameplay

Dino Stalker is a Light Gun Game, but it is not on-rails. You move using the D-Pad, and strafe with the A and B buttons on the G-CON2, you also shoot by pulling the trigger. It is a vast improvement on Resident Evil: Survivor as you don’t have to shoot to move. There are some “on-rails” sections where you are driving a boat or a car, but you are still able to spin around on the spot.

Enemies are displayed on a radar, if they are white, they won’t attack you, if they are orange, they are hostile, and need murdering. It is a simple system, but it can be annoying when enemies constantly spawn behind you. Overall it is an easy enough system to figure out.

After that, there are 7 levels, and that’s kinda it… Each Stage is roughly 5 minutes long if you’re good, and most stages have a boss fight at the end. These are heavily recycled, and get a little boring towards the end. Stage 6, and Stage 7 are straight up boss fights with nothing else. It took me 61 minutes to beat the game first time, and I spent 20 minutes failing miserably on Stage 6.

My first attempt

My first attempt

Difficulty

Dino Stalker is easy, the only times I nearly died was because I ran out of time. Some levels have mini mazes, and I managed to waste too much time on these, not realising I could skip them. It means when you reach the boss, you won’t have enough time. But… Stage 6, Stage 6 is obnoxious and took me about 8 attempts to beat it.

On Stage 6 you’re fighting a boss that runs on the outside of a circle and has some annoying leap attacks. You just have to learn the pattern, and keep plugging away. You’ll eventually figure out, so it doesn’t have Fire Emblem or Fallout 2 difficulty, it doesn’t even throw in a Dead Aim-y gimmick in that you just have to master a mechanic for one section. It is just fiddly.

Oh, and then if you try the game on Hard you don’t get enough time to clear the first level, so I quit after 4 fails.

Oh look, it is that one dinosaur gimmick from the first Jurassic Park that must be shoehorned in

Oh look, it is that one dinosaur gimmick from the first Jurassic Park that must be shoehorned in

Other things?

You can collect special weapons as you play the level, it took me a while to figure out, but you DON’T shoot power ups to collect them, you have to physically run up to them and pick them up. I lost a number (most) health pickups because I didn’t realise this. It is slightly counter-intuitive as you’re supposed to shoot the coloured crystals to get extra time. It is a slightly off feature, that is a little poor game designwise.

There is a Duo Mode, this is a two player mode, but rather than having two guns which obviously EVERYONE wanted, you have one person using the gun and the other controlling the movements. I think I speak for everybody when I say that is a rubbish idea.

After that? Infinite ammo mode, and gallery viewers. The only reason to replay the game is to get high-scores and quicker times. Something I am not interested in doing.

When you have exhausted all ideas, and attempts at original thoughts, just have a final boss fight around a pit of lava

When you have exhausted all ideas, and attempts at original thoughts, just have a final boss fight around a pit of lava

Conclusion

I was honestly bored by level 3, that was only 10 minutes of play. And I was surprised that the game ended on Stage 7. The story jumped all over the place, and had terrible cutscenes to try and shoehorn coherence in. What they needed was 5-6 more stages, and try to flesh out the plot. Instead, you get a story that feels rushed.

As for the shooting, it is solid enough, but the game was boring. Enemies take too long to attack you, and you usually only take damage because you struggle to turn around quick enough.

Anyway… The game is boring, the story is below par even for Capcom. The shooting is fairly accurate, but the enemies will stand around waiting to be shot. Despite all of this, it still isn’t as implausible as Resident Evil 5 and it’s boulder punching terribleness.

Pros: Accurate shooting, It is short?

Cons: Was bored on stage 3… Story is woeful, voice acting terrible, cutscenes even worse.

50%

Back in the Day:

Dino Stalker got mixed reviews and scored anywhere between 60-80%s

Second and final attempt. Honestly don't know why I keep getting D's on final level.

Second and final attempt. Honestly don’t know why I keep getting D’s on final level.

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