It is now 2012. And you know what bothers me in this modern gaming age? The term SHOOTER. Games that involve shooting opponents with a gun in either first person or third person should not be defined be simply defined as a shooter.
Prehistoric Isle is a shooter. Ikaruga and R-Type are shooters. Modern Warfare 3 is not a shooter; it is an FPS. In fact, rarely do you even hear the full name any more. Instead of saying First-Person-Shooter, it is most often referred to as an Eff-Pee-Ess.
Sorry for the rant but I do not want Prehistoric Isle to be confused with Modern Warfare.
With this said, Prehistoric Isle is the latest classic arcade title released as a PS Mini on PSN. Playable through both PS3 and PSP, this shooter was originally designed to suck all the quarters of out of your pocket.
The main difference between this title and other shooters is the overall theme. Instead of shooting down alien ships, the player will be knocking all sorts of dinosaurs out of the sky. Think a more visceral Jurassic Park and you’ll have an idea behind the overall atmosphere of Prehistoric Isle.
In fact, one of the biggest highlights are the boss battles. Not only do they stand out because they often take up a large portion of the screen, but the kicker is that they actually attack and eat the player. When you normally take damage in other shooters, the space craft will simply flash or explode. But here in Prehistoric Isle, bosses will actually grab your plane and chomp down on it. Props must be given for adding these death animations and extra creativity to the game.
Besides the typical cannon blasts, powerups often spawn out of dead dinosaurs. Uniquely, an orb attachment will accompany your vessel and shoot different types of munitions depending on its orientation. If you rotate this orb below your ship, it will drop bombs but if it is located in the rear or front it will shoot a laser. It is an interesting concept but unfortunately won’t be utilized to full effect due to the game’s high difficulty; as soon as you attach it, you will probably lose it with a life just seconds later.
Like many classic quarter munchers, Prehistoric Isle is a repetition button masher. By the time you reach the end of the 20-30 minute quest, carpel tunnel will set into your right thumb from pounding on the fire button. Because this is a Mini title there are no Trophies or online functionality. However, Prehistoric Isle is a limiting but interesting take on this forgotten game and forgotten game genre for the $2.99 price point. At the very least, respect should be given to SNK for making the effort for bringing back their Arcade titles.
Not As Good As: Other bullet-hell titles
Also Try: Jurassic Park, the new point-and-click adventure game
Look for it: dinosaur DNA in a shaving cream can
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