As most of us know the arcade of today isn't what it used to be. Very rarely do you see games now that don't command a peripheral device or one that doesn't dispense tickets. The same could be said for this arcade on the cruise ship. The area was small and housed maybe 4 "traditional" games, with the rest being those games of skill/luck to win a prize. The largest machine in the room was this massive Pac-Man / air hockey hybrid for up to 4 players.
I love light gun games of any kind. It's one of my favorite genres so at least I can usually find one game in today's modern arcades that will provide me some fun. The Jurassic Park arcade game is one of those that has the mounted double grip guns. It's got a good range of motion as you can aim it up, down and to the left and right to cover the entire large screen. While the game is more fun played with two people, I tackled the game solo and in less than $10.00 I was able to trounce right through the game.
Swiping a plastic card to get started or to continue when you will inevitably die just doesn't have the same nostalgic feel of plopping quarters in the slot, but alas this is one of the new modern trends. On the cruise ship the game cost $1 per swipe and I assume this would be the going rate in any arcade. Once you fire up the game it begins to present to you a story that honestly I can't remember much of. Something like an earthquake has activated a volcano where Jurassic Park once was and some of hte dinosaurs were in danger and your team's job is to capture 3 large dinosaurs. While you are trying to save these dinos, you basically get to obliterate any others that get in your way.
Throughout the game you have split seconds to shoot point multiplier and health icons, in addition to some really fun weapon upgrades. Your main weapon is the X-22 Renegade. It fires at a healthy pace and dispatches most of the dinosaurs with ease...though some larger enemies will take multiple shots. The Titan 2000 is a minigun and fires a barrage of bullets at a very fast pace speed. It's great for mowing down herds of velociraptors or the swarms of insects/spiders, of which you'll come across a lot of. The Shockbolt fires streams of electricity and fries whatever it touches. My personal favorite weapon in the game is the Frostbite Cannon. This gun fires streams of cold (liquid nitrogen?) and freezes anything it touches. Shoot it again and the frozen dinosaur explodes into smaller, frozen pieces. The last weapon you can pick up is called the Triple Threat and it fires like a shotgun, only in three directions. The shot's rate of speed is slow, but it packs a punch and is great for close up enemies.
The game only has three levels, however each level is divided up into three parts. The point to each level is to face and capture one of three dinosaurs. Level 1 you are after a triceratops. Level 2 you are after a spinosaurus and in level 3 you face off against the mighty t-rex.
While playing the game you get to take on multiple perspectives. What I mean by that is you start off jumping into a helicopter, leaning out of the side to shoot down the dinos. You also get to ride in the back of an SUV on several different occasions as well. One of the levels features you jumping out of your destroyed helicopter and deploying your parachute, only for a pteranodon to swoop down and grab your chute. He proceeds to carry you around for a time which makes for a lot of fun.
There are many times throughout the game when you engage in some close quarter battle where green targets appear on the screen. In sections like this you have a limited amount of time to shoot each target or you suffer a hit. Other times you may find projectiles or other foreign objects flying at the screen, outlined in red, that require to be shot down before they hit you. I've seen this method used in many other light gun games such as this. Two players really helps as each player can handle one part of the screen, but I found myself handling everything just fine by myself.
In less than 45 minutes I was able to beat all 3 levels and capture the dinosaurs. I had a lot of fun (especially since the alternative was to sit with my wife and watch some high school dance team perform) and surprisingly I didn't break the bank either. When you are just swiping a card quickly to continue your game it's easy to lose track of just how much money you are spending...especially when your card is tied to your credit card and there are no credits on the card you are swiping! If you've never played this game you ought to at least give it try. The play mechanics aren't anything new, but there is just something so satisfying about mowing down dinosaurs with a gun.