A game you install, play, forget about, uninstall and wonder why you removed it. Then you install and fall in love again
So, what's good about it? Well, for a start, it's Jurassic Park! Anyone who grew up in the 90s and didn't like the movie is either a liar or blind. As said in the Gamespot official review, most Jurassic Park games are about the action. But, the main point about Jurassic Park was the park itself. If as a child watching the move you didn't think "I wonder what a park like that would be like" then there was something very wrong with you. And this game allows you to make a park like that. But, the main difference is that it allows you to make a park like the one in the film, but not limited to it. For example, want a T-Rex right at the start of your park? Have it. Want 7 different species of herbivore in the same enclosure? Do it. Want to have a battle royal to see which of all the carnivores is the toughest? Then you can do it. It's the Spinosaur, by the way. The point is, you have the free reign to build the park of your dreams.
Now, I am also a big fan of the Zoo Tycoon series, but I take this game over Zoo Tycoon (ZT from now on) any day. One of the things I prefer about this to the Tycoon series is the amount of work you have to go through to even get a dinosaur. For example, in ZT, to get the best animals money can buy, you research them and then simply place them, providing you have enough money. But, in JP, you have to pick which of the 9 dig sites features the dinosaurs you want (you're limited to 5 dig sites out of the 9 unless you cheat...), how many dig teams you are assigning to that area as the more dig teams you have at any given area, the faster and better chance you have of obtaining fossils, amber or any of the other various resources that you can sell for more money but, obviously, you are cutting down on the amount at other sites and thus giving you less chance to dig up that high quality Velociraptor fossil you so desperately want. You then need to extract the DNA from the fossils which takes time as well. You can start hatching the dinos after 50% DNA, but they only last for about a week and you'll end up spending more on new dinos than if you keep paying dig teams and get up to 100%. After that, you need to decide on the level of security, amount of space and so on. And, finally, you need to hatch them which takes more time. I've spent a year in game getting a T-Rex up to 100% and hatched. But, it's worth it.
Add to this the amazing soundtrack, which is the same in the movies, building the atmosphere, the different rides and viewing apparatus you can use, the detail in the environment and the detail of the Dinosaurs and any JP enthusiast would be happy. On the last detail, the detail of the dinosaurs is amazing. Watch a Raptor chase down and attack it's prey with the others in its group is simply amazing. It really is just like the way they move in the films.
However, it's not all good. There are definitely some issues with the controls in the game. For example, the mouse, even at the lowest sensitivity, darts around the screen making it very hard to control anything. This is felt heavily in missions where you are trying to stop carnivores rampaging and the mouse won't let you aim with precision. Also, the fact that they made it so that scrolling to the edge of the screen both moves your view of the island and rotates it just confuses things and can make even the most seasoned gamer throw his keyboard and mouse at the screen with frustration (believe me, I know). I actually found it quicker and easier to have edge-scroll off and use the arrow keys to make my view around.
However, these criticisms are trivial at best. There is very little that can take away from how good this game actually is. So, I gave it a 9. It has its flaws which means it's not perfect, but it's as damn close as I've seen in a park building game since Theme Park Inc. And, to be honest, I'd take JP over Theme Park for constant playability any day of the week. And that's saying something.