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Turok: Dinosaur Hunter

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Reviewed by Steve Reeves

Rating System Used:

I go on a scale of 1 to 10, with accuracy of .25 1 or below -- Absolutely Awful.. don't even rent this. 1.25 to 3.0 -- Bottom of the barrel. Probably not worth a rental. 3.25 to 4.75 -- Just below average. Rent before buying. 5 to 6.50 -- Average. You can probably buy this without renting if you're a big fan of the game's genre. 6.75 to 8.5 -- Very Good. Definitely consider renting and/or buying this game. 8.75 and above -- Absolutely Fantastic game. At the very least, you should rent it for a weekend. This review is divided into several sections. They are... Prior to Playing -- What I expected before actually playing the game, also describes my reactions to the instruction book (yes, I read them before playing) and packaging. Graphics -- My analysis of the games visual aspects Audio -- My analysis of the games aural aspects Gameplay -- How much fun I had overall playing the game, and my evaluation of the controls. Wrapup -- My final thoughts on the game, and overall ranking.

Prior to Playing 8 out of 10

I'd seen the TV commercials. Everyone has. The game graphics looked great, and the sound seemed excellent from the commercials. The box was appealing, with Turok engaged in combat with a dinosaur. The instructions were clear and detailed. In fact, I normally read over the "Controls" section 2 or 3 times.. but I didn't have to this time, because how to do everything stayed right in my mind. The 7 or 8 page "comic book" at the end of the manual was also entertaining, if not a little cheesy.

Graphics 7.75 out of 10

I was greeted with a screen telling me I forgot to plug in my controller. (Doh! Well, I'd just bought the N64 earlier that day) After turning the system off and plugging in a controller, I was greeted with the Acclaim logo. First thing I thought, "Wow.. this is so much better than a Super Nintendo" I found the "Iguana Entertainment" logo to be amusing. Much better than the Iguana Entertainment logo on the SNES version of "NBA Jam", which is the only other Iguana game I own. As for the rest of the game, I found the graphics to be slightly above average. Honestly, I think they're just slightly better than the Quake graphics on my computer. However, I liked the fact that there was very little pixelation of objects when you got close. Quake pixelates them _very_ badly. I found the dinosaurs to move "realistically" (Well, since no one has ever seen a live dinosaur, I go by my own judgment of what "realistic" is.) One of my favorite aspects is the way the humans die. Sometimes the struggle around before dying, other times fall flat on their back or will crawl along the ground a little.

Audio 9.75 out of 10

I was extremely impressed with the audio in this game. It outshines any other cartridge based audio I've ever heard, and rivals CD Based audio. I can't stress enough how good the music and sound effects are in this game. I can't wait to try it at my friend's house, where he has about 8 speakers hooked up to his system. I found the animal noises to be very realistic, as well as the noise of humans dying. The guns sounded realistic. Overall, I can't think of the sound effects possibly being any better. I absolutely love the "Underwater" music. Overall, the music has a very ambient feel to it. With the "drum" music of level one, I could just imagine some tribes "jamming" on their drums to produce this.

Gameplay/Control 7.50 out of 10

Even though there are many buttons in use, I had no problem remembering what did what. I still haven't totally mastered jumping, however, and sometimes mis-jump at inopportune moments. The one big problem I have with this is that when I go to turn using the joystick, I have a tendency to find myself looking upwards slightly. I don't know if this is my fault and I'm just moving the joystick incorrectly, or if it's the game's problem. But, needless to say, it's caused me to take some extra damage because I end up firing at the sky, instead of an oncoming enemy. I also found the default sensitivty settings for the joystick to be a bit too high for my liking. As for the game, it's set out in much the same manner as Doom, Quake, Hexen, Heretic, etc., etc. I've always had problems with these types of games, even though I love them. It took me a good 6 hours of playing (maybe more) to complete the first level. Plus, I don't have a control pak, which makes it _extremely_ hard for me to get much past level 1, because I usually only have 1 life left when I start level 2, and die somewhat quickly. This is one of those games that will take me a good 8 months to get all the way through, assuming I don't get stuck on any level. (Which has happened before in these sorts of games.) It took some work for me to get used to aiming ranged weapons. It started off with me always firing too high or too low. It took very little practice to overcome this difficulty, however. I found the map function to be somewhat useful, although, I don't like using maps and try not to use it unless I'm _really_ stuck.


Overall, I found this game very satisfying and fun. The rankings for most categories are low, as this is just about the only N64 game I've played for more than a few minutes, and I'm not totally sure what the system is capable of yet. However, if these graphics are the best the N64 can do, I'm slightly disappointed. They'd be great for a 32 bit system, but for 64.. they could be a lot better. However, the music & sound effects are unbelievable. I'd say this game is destined to become a Nintendo 64 classic.

Overall 8 out of 10

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