Hi everyone, welcome to my tenth review post on When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind. Today, we look at the amazing game, Jurassic Park Operation Genesis. Now, I’m not a game reviewer (heck, I’m not even a movie reviewer), so I’m not going to talk about game features and performance issues. I will, however, tell you the basic premise. Build Jurassic Park, and make sure this doesn’t happen.
Easy enough, right?
If you want to see a full walk-through of this game, I suggest looking up Youtuber BestinSlot. He has all sorts of dinosaur related gaming content on his channel and is also a dapper young British gentleman. What’s not to like?
But you all know the real reason I’m here. What are the dinosaurs like? Let’s find out.
In this game, you have the potential to clone up to 25 different kinds of dinosaurs. And since only 16 kinds have appeared in the movies (and not all dinosaurs from the film make it), we’ll be seeing some new faces.
But before we look at the new guys, lets’ take a look at the familiar faces, starting with…
The Tyrannosaurus in the game takes his look from the tyrannosaur from the third movie, which was a lot brighter green in color. Although I loved the Rex from the first movie, I do say I like this color scheme a bit better than the brown one. Despite that, if all the dinosaurs are supposed to be female, shouldn’t it be the brown skin? Of course, since this was a JP3 tie in, it kind of had to be done.
One interesting thing about the behavior of the Rex in this game is that it must be alone in its enclosure. If you put another Rex in with it, they’ll be scared of each other and either die from stress or fight to the death. This is interesting, as many scientists now think tyrannosaurs were social creatures, heck, this was advocated in the second film! Then again, putting two very powerful creatures in an enclosure together with no family ties does seem like a recipe for disaster, so I’ll give them this one.
Ok, let’s take a look at the other great dinosaur of this series, Velociraptor!
Like I said before, this game is a JP3 tie in, so instead of taking the iconic look of the female raptors of the first film, we get the females from the third film.
But you know, i don’t really have a problem with this either. If they used the male it may have been more distracting, but I personally like the design of the female raptors in JP3. Of course, these guys still aren’t feathered, but what do you expect. This is a Jurassic Park game, it comes with the name.
Then buy a coat, I don’t care.
Alright, who else was in JP3? Oh yeah, I remember….
In all honesty, he’s just pretty much the movie Spino. I do see some minor changes, however. For example, in the movie T. rex and Spino were about the same size. Here Spino is noticeably bigger, as in real life. Also, the arms face each other a bit more now, were in the movie the arms were in a very impossible position.
How to make a paleontologist cry: Exhibit A…
That pic reminds me, just like in the movie, Rex and Spino are always at each others throats.
And with dinosaurs, that’s almost always meant literally.
However, in the game, the Rex has just as much chance of winning this time. So for all you guys butt hurt about the outcome in the movie, here you go. Now, what do I think? Who cares, it’s two giant dinosaurs fighting. I win no matter who loses.
Alright, now let’s look at a herbivore, and an awesome one at that. Ladies and gentlemen….
The coloration of these guys is like a weird mix of both colors from the movie. It still has the red head and the skin color has hints of green and yellow, but it’s slightly muted by an elephantine grey. I think this was a good call, however. It’s really a color all its own, and one that I really think fits the creature.
One funny thing about this game as well is that you find Brachiosaurus fossils not in America, but in Africa. So, that basically means that this creature truly is Giraffatitan. I know, I miss Brachiosaurus bancai was well, but we have to let go of the past.
Alright, let’s take a look at another famous herbivore…
Triceratops only ever had minor appearances in the movies, and her most famous appearance she wasn’t even walking, so it’s difficult to judge her look here with her movie look. It does seem a little bit off to me, however. I don’t think may people will notice it, though. In the end, it’s still a Triceratops, and Triceratops is always awesome.
This being a JP game, any inaccuracies from the movies will carry on into the game. So yeah, let’s go down the list:
Size of a raptor? Check!
Spitting venom? Check.
Frilled Lizard wannabe? Check.
Along with that, we’ve got a new problem to deal with. In the game, we learn that Dilophosaurus can be found in the Morrison Formation, alongside dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus and Camarasaurus. Casual readers may not see the significance, but us dino nerds are crying right now. Dilophosaurus did live in Jurassic North America, but the Morrison Formation dinosaurs lived in the late Jurassic. Dilophosaurus lived in the Early Jurassic, right after the Triassic. Now, I see why they did this. Dilophosaurus is an important dinosaur to the franchise. They wouldn’t dare leave it out. But Dilophosaurus didn’t live in the same time or place as the other famous JP dino’s, so they just put him with the other Jurassic guys and hoped no one would notice.
Now, in the game, you have to go to different fossil sites to find different dinosaurs. These fossil sites have about three dinosaurs each. Since Dilophosaurus doesn’t come from a fossil site famous for other dinosaurs, he was lumped into the nearest Jurassic site. I would say it’s lazy, but honestly, the game developers probably knew this, and were forced to do this. So I really can’t blame them.
Alright, let’s take a look at the next dinosaur…
I’ll say this upfront, I don’t really like the design of this guy. The Stegosaurus in the films may have been bigger (here they are accurately sized), they were also more majestic. I really don’t like the sloping tail, when in the movies the tail was upright. It’s just kind of an ugly-looking creature.
So, Steggy doesn’t really deliver for me. How about a fellow armored dinosaur then?
Hmm, a pet peeve of mine is, like when we reviewed this creature in JP3, is when an Ankylosaurus is given nodosaur-like side spikes. Although we aren’t exactly sure what the full armor of Ankylosaurus looked like, we are for sure it wasn’t like this. Alas, it’s a popular paleo-art trope that won’t die. In all honesty, though, it’s still an awesome looking animal. It’s just really hard to find an Ankylosaurus that is properly portrayed.
I know what will cheer me up! Let’s meet an old friend.
I’ve touched on this guys appearance in my JP3 review, but I think I might want to add to that. Yes, this Ceratosaur is more accurately portrayed, but it’s not as majestic or as imposing as I would like it to be. In fact, it’s one of the less popular dinosaurs in the game (each dinosaur is given a star rating based on its popularity with guests at your park. It’s a scale of 1 to 5, and I think Cerato is a 2). Although in real life, any park that has a live Ceratosaurus would automatically gain five stars in my book.
Now let’s take a look at a few more herbivores, specifically some duckbills!
I personally think the Parasaurolophus in this game are absolutely gorgeous. They move so majestically, and accurately! I don’t think these guys ever go on their hind legs in this game! I’m really impressed by the hadrosaurs in general in this game. That also goes for their close cousin…
Despite what the concept art might suggest, these guys also retain correct posture. They are very beautiful, however, I’ve noticed something. They aren’t colored like their movie counterparts.
However, thanks to fan mods, you can get this color for your Corythosaurus if you so choose.
I have to say, I do prefer the movie coloration. I think it’s a bit more original.
Now, let’s take a look at our next dinosaur….
It’s a tad bit small, like it’s movie counterpart, but overall a decent depiction. It is seen butting heads with each other in the game, another dino trope that will probably never go away. Although we have absolutely no proof of such behavior, it’s still a fun image, and one I hope is true in some capacity.
Now we come to the last of the familiar dinosaurs.
Pretty spot on to its movie version, but just like the movie version, we’ve got a plucked chicken. But that can be excused, only very recently have we been depicting ornithomimids with feathers, and only even more recently have we been depicting them with full on wings.
Alright, now that we’ve got the familiar faces out of the way, let’s take a look at the new guys.
This is where things get interesting.
Alright, who’s first? Ah, what a great choice.
As a Texas native and dinosaur lover, I am kinda obliged to love this dinosaur. And man, is he beautifully restored. The coloration, although muted, is pretty cool. Acro is known to have abnormally long vertebrae, and here it seems like this was translated into a sail. We now think it was instead a hump.
One odd thing about his inclusion here, however, is that he is put in the Hell Creek Formation. Similar to the Dilophosaurus example, Acro was from the Early Cretaceous, not the late Cretaceous like Hell Creek (in fact, this is the formation famous for sporting T. rex fossils, yet in the game, you can’t find T. rex there!). Dilo has an excuse though. He’s an important dinosaur to the franchise, they had to shoehorn him somewhere. why did Acrocanthosaurus have to be here?
Well, I think he’s an artifact dinosaur. This game was supposed to have many more species included than shown. Two of those other species included Deinonychus and Tenontosaurus, known contemporaries of Acro.
Gang’s all here.
I think they would have been lumped together in a fossil site, but for whatever reason, they were dropped. and for whatever reason, Acro got to stay. It would also seem that Acrocanthosaurus took the place of the similar and actually canon in the films Metriacanthosaurus, meaning he will never show his face in a Jurassic Park anything.
Please love me, I do exist.
For those who don’t get the joke, here you go.
Don’t worry, you may or may not probably not appear in Jurassic World.
Now, let’s look at another carnivorous dinosaur.
Albertosaurus is an interesting choice to put in this game. He’s not an especially popular dinosaur, and you would think the developers wouldn’t even consider it since he’s basically just a smaller T. rex. But no, they decided to include him, and I’m glad they did. They did manage to make him pretty distinct from its close relative, even if the skull doesn’t look entirely accurate. He is also shown to be less bulky than Rex, making him a somewhat faster predator. I also like how these guys are good in groups, as scientists think these guys were probably pack hunters.
So, any more awesome carnivores in this game?
I’m really glad about Allosaurus’ inclusion in this game. I think Allo is a bit under-appreciated, and is often overshadowed by T. rex. But Allosaurus really is awesome on it’s own. I really like the coloration, the rusty red with black stripes is visually striking. It also brings to mind an old Jurassic Park action figure from the 90’s.
Looks like the developers did their homework. Or they just dug into their old toy box, who knows.
One interesting thing, however, is the fact that Allosaurus fossils in the game can olny be found in Africa. Now, this was probably done to balance out the different dig sites as the Morrison probably already had to many members, but it’s still weird. Fossils once attributed to Allosaurus have been found in Africa, but we now think they were from a related species.
Speaking of the Morrison, we now movie on to one of it’s most common residents.
Camarasaurus is another interesting choice to put in the game. Of all the famous sauropods, it’s not exactly the most popular (Apatosaurus and Diplodocus almost made it into the game, which are much more popular choices). Most people don’t think of Cam as the most majestic looking sauropod either. However, I think it was a good choice to include them in the game. Camarasaurus is often overlooked outside of documentaries. But really, it is a very beautiful dinosaur, and I really like how it looks in the game. One thing I think is funny though is how Camarasaurus in rated 3 out of 5 stars in popularity in the game. I know Camarasaurus isn’t the most popular dinosaur out there, but much like Ceratosaurus, if you had a herd of these in your park you’re automatically 5 stars. It’s a freakin’ sauropod, who cares what species it is!
Hmm, my sources tell me we have another large carnivore on the way. I wonder who that might be?
Ok, I’ll just say it. I think Carcharodontosaurus is the coolest dinosaur in the game. Cooler than T. rex, cooler than Spino, cooler than anyone. I mean, just look at him! The charcoal black color, the devil red crest, those super sharp teeth, those menacing eyes. I’ve never seen a Carcharodont look so distinct and memorable. He looks pure evil! Sadly, though, he’s given only four stars. That must be rectified.
OK, let’s move on to something a bit less exciting.
This is the least popular dinosaur you can clone in the game, at only 1 star. Although I do understand the reason (Dryo is surely no T. rex), let’s look at real life once again. Dryo is considered a small dinosaur, and is definitely the smallest dinosaur in the game. But it’s still the size of a horse. Now, if you were to walk right up to a horse, you feel puny and weak in it’s presence. I’m sure the same would apply if we were to walk up to one of these guys. But next to the Brachiosaurs and Triceratops, these guys look tiny. But I’m still glad they’re in the game. I think they’re pretty cute.
So, how about one of those bigger dinosaurs, then?
Edmontosaurus is another pretty cool addition, I must say. Being the quintessential duck bill dinosaur, I’m surprised it hasn’t really appeared in anything JP related. It would seem that flat headed hadrosaurs are being overshadowed by their crested relatives.
Yeah, this game was made in the early 2000’s, so don’t expect any comb headed edmontosaurs. But for the time, it’s still a beautifully represented dinosaur. Plus, it’s not Anatotitan! Speaking of which, doesn’t the color kind of remind you of the Walking with Dinosaurs version?
Just me? OK.
Alright, who’s next?
Well, this is awkward. Hmm, OK, how do I put this delicately. Um, Mr. Homalocephale?
You don’t exist.
Yeah, much like my beloved Stygimoloch…
Please don’t leave me…
Homalocephale has been downgraded to a juvenile form of an already known pachycephalosaur. Which is really sad. But not really cause I don’t know many people attached to this particular dinosaur. Stygimiloch on the other hand….
Homalocephale was an interesting choice, however. It’s not the most, how should I put this, Jurassic Park-ey dinosaur out there. You would think that if they wanted to round out the Asian fossil site, they would have added something like Therizinosaurus.
It’s a Wolverine-Edward ScissorHands-Freddy Kruger-osaurus. What’s not to love?
But these guys are cute so I guess it’s OK.
Alright, we have Stegosaurus, let’s bring his less popular cousin for the ride.
Kentrosaurus basically just looks like the Stegosaurus but smaller, with a different color, and spikes running down it’s tail instead of plates. It also suffers from the same problem as Stegosaurus that it doesn’t look particularly majestic, it just kind of slumps around. And I know that’s what most people imagine stegosaurs doing anyway, but I am really hoping for stegosaurs that don’t lower their tail close to the ground, heck if they fixed that one thing I think I would be good.
Now let’s move on to a dinosaur I personally think is properly portrayed.
Ouranosaurus is another dinosaur I’m glad they added to the game, as I find their restoration to be absolutely stunning. I’ve seen very few restorations of this dinosaur that I really liked, and this is one of the few. The colors are so simple, yet they look very naturalistic. I hate it when one shade of color is slapped on to a dinosaur. When have you ever seen an animal with one solid shade of color? One thing about this guy however is that it seems to be portrayed with a sail, but much like Spinosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus, we now think these guys had humps instead.
And I’ll spare you from another Hump Day joke.
Now we move on to some ceratopsians, and the first one to come is…
I have a few problems with the Styracosaurus. Like the Triceratops, some of the proportions look a bit off. The head also doesn’t seem to look exactly accurate to the real life skull. However, it’s still recognizably a Styracosaurus, and I can’t really stay mad at this dinosaur. After Triceratops, he’s probably the second most popular ceratopsian. Our last guy, however, isn’t.
My nemesis. One of them anyway. OK, I digress, in the game he’s a pretty amazing looking creature. His distinct long frill is very eye catching, and the coloration is simple yet appropriate. To bad he’s really just an old Triceratops. Really, his spot in the roster could have been taken by any other dinosaur, like….
No, I haven’t. Good to see you Dr. Grant.
Not really, I think he might be getting board of me.
Dang it! OK Raptor, what do you want.
Really? What do you two need?
OK, I’ll make this quick. Even though the returning dinosaurs from the films suffer from the same inaccuracies, the new ones I think are for the most part wonderfully portrayed and brilliantly realized. In the end, I give the dinosaurs in this game a…
7.5 out of 10 stars.
OK, so what did you guys want to talk about?
Join me next time when we do my first list: My Top 20 Favorite Dinosaurs.