Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

New Jurassic Park Game

Let it be known, the Azn Badger loves him some Jurassic Park.

Since day one, Jurassic Park references and tributes have been the norm here on this blog, and today is no exception.

You see, not long ago I was flipping through an issue of Game Informer, within which I happened to take note of an article regarding an upcoming, current-gen Jurassic Park videogame.

Looks good, but not great. Any JP is good JP though...

While the screenshots included in said article were not exactly the most flattering, bearing texture work and visual fidelity decidedly below par for the glitzy game market of today; I was relieved to find that the game will indeed be released as an episodic, downloadable product, as opposed to a full-priced retail item.

While it saddens me that my beloved JP-Jurassic Park-“Something Has Survived!” franchise won’t be getting a huge budget videogame of the game changing, eye candy laden variety worthy of the fanfare that the original film received back in the day; it pleases me to know that the game is (for once) being developed by competent human beings.

Jurassic Park: Warpath - Yes, I did in fact rent it. It sucked. MIGHTILY.

Keystone proponents of the steadily fading (but at once, loved) graphic adventure genre of gaming, the very capable people over at Telltale Games will be the ones’ responsible for doing digital justice to the house of Hammond.

Jurassic Park geek-speak aside, it’s worth noting that the new game will indeed take place in John Hammond’s backyard, namely that of Isla Nublar; the setting of the first Jurassic Park book/movie, and the site of the actual park of the series’ namesake.

Based on what I’ve read, the story is based around the exploits of Dr. Gerry Harding, AKA the park associate that was examining the sick triceratops in the first film.

"Hi, I'm a fuzzy image that may or may not represent a character in a movie!"

The actual time frame of the game explores the plot of the book/movie in a fashion similar to that of how Resident Evil 3 connected to Resident Evil 2.

Forgive the bizarre analogy, my mind has a tendency to connect things via movie and videogame references…

*Ahem!* Taking place before, during, and after the events of the first Jurassic Park story, I can’t help but feel a little bit excited about the inherent possibilities of structuring a game from this perspective.

Think about it:

Who wouldn’t want see Jurassic Park as it was before it went to shit?

Who wouldn’t want to find out what happened to Nedry’s Barbasol can containing the stolen dinosaur embryos?

"Fat Guy In A Little Coat... Fat Guy In A Little Coat..."

Who wouldn’t want to raid John Hammond’s stash of ginger ice cream while the T-Rex is still traipsing around the Visitor’s Center?

I did mention I’m kind a Jurassic Park dork, right?

Anyway, the actual details of the gameplay for this upcoming multi-part series is still somewhat of a mystery at this point; based on Telltale’s track record, I have a feeling we can expect a more cerebral, and evenly paced experience than seems to be customary with today’s fast-paced, shooter-stuffed market.

Being as these guy’s were the ones responsible for bringing us quality budget titles like the new Sam & Max series, and the most recent Monkey Island games; I’d say Jurassic Park is in capable hands.

Rest assured I’m gonna’ be keeping my eyes on this one…

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Apricots: The Forgotten Inflamer Of Rectums

How appropriate that it looks like a butt.

Not long ago, I put together a short list of foods that are known to upset my stomach.

Well, actually I believe I referred to the food list as being composed of items that “totally wreck your shit;” but that’s besides the point.

The point is, that list was only a small sampling of the many food products out there (mainly dried fruits and dairy products) that, while delicious; have severely debilitating repercussions for those that choose to consume them.

That being said, as I went over that list in my head today, I came to realize that I accidentally left out one particular food item that no bowel-wrecking food list should be without.

Said food item, is the apricot.

Unassuming and mild in appearance and taste, the apricot is, like the corn snake of the animal kingdom, one of nature’s cruel jokes.

Like the highly venomous corn snake, which bears a resemblance to the non-venomous king snake, (Zoobooks, God love ’em) the apricot has an appearance akin to several varieties of peaches.

Nevermind that apricots taste like squirrel anus in comparison to peaches…

Despite this, the brightly colored, supple fuzzy skinned apricot was seemingly engineered in such a way as to lure foolish creatures into eating it.

In that sense, it’s truly an evil fruit.

I ask you, how else could you describe a fruit that looks like the fuckin’ juiciest peach you’ve ever seen, tastes like grapefruit smeared with dirt and sea monkeys, and then yanks your colon out your ass an hour later?

That’s the thing that really gets me about apricots, how fucking calculated it’s attack on your anus seems to be.

I mentioned that apricots taste mild.

On my list from awhile back, I put mango and papaya on there, as I have a great deal of experience in battling those beasts on the porcelain throne.

Seriously, me and those 2, we fight it out all the fuckin’ time, ‘cept now that I’ve seen all their best moves, they ain’t got nothin’ on me.

The point, mango and papaya are extremely flavorful, and borderline syrupy fruits.

Their rich to the point in which you tell yourself at some point while eating them:

“Well, I’ve been eating mango now for 20 minutes straight.  I should probably pack it in, otherwise I’ll get the shits.”

That thought never enters your mind when you’re eating apricots on account of them tasting so fuckin’ plain.

It’s one of those fruits that no one really goes out of their way to get a hold of.

You just kind of eat ’cause, well; it’s there and you have nothing better to do.

In case you haven’t realized this already, a word to the wise:

DON’T EAT TOO MANY APRICOTS.

You know what happens when you eat too many fuckin’ apricots?

Your anus goes supernova, that’s what.

You think you’ve had explosive diarrhea?

No, I’m afraid you have not sir and/or madam.

You think you’ve had horrible fuckin’ gas that feels like your passing a banana slug every time your ass unclenches to let out a fart?

No, I’m afraid you have not sir and/or madam, not until you’ve OD’ed on apricots.

While it’s far from one of the worst aspects of apricot induced anal napalming, (we’ll get to that) it should be mentioned that there is a truly devious time-delay to the intestinal effects of the malevolent fruit of the Turks.

For a good solid hour or so, you’re fine.

You go about you day, thinking everything’s fine, and then out of nowhere, you feel a tremor in the force.

It starts small, like the water glass ripples in Jurassic Park.

You feel a slight tingle in your belly, like tiny feathers are tickling your insides.

Your eye twitches involuntarily.

And then it happens.

Your stomach gurgles and let’s out bestial roar that would send the mightiest of beasts running for the hills.

“UUUUWWWWWAAAAAOOOHHHHH!!!!!!”

With that, the race to find a porcelain venue to extricate and extinguish the raging fury of the mighty bowel beast is on.

At this point there is precious little time, possibly less than 5 minutes before either your entire body tears itself in half in a desperate bid to pass an ungodly mass of shit in one go, or you start puking up orange feces.

In other words:

You have 5 minutes to find a toilet, or risk a messy and horribly violent death at the hands of Turkish fruit.

In public no less.

Assuming you find your way to a toilet/honey bucket/spot in the bushes, congratulations; you now get the pleasure of enduring one of the most savage tests of rectal fortitude known to man.

The moment you get your pants down, pray to God you’re wearing a helmet, ’cause the explosive force of your anus expelling untold volumes of apricot juice is going to put you in orbit, or failing that; head first into whatever roof lie above you

Seriously, you better make sure to be holding on tight to the toilet too, ’cause in about 1 second flat, you’re gonna’ be floating 20 feet above it spewing a hateful waterfall of orange fecal matter onto the floor, the walls, all over yourself and most of the nearby countryside.

I cannot stress enough, just how utterly morbid the process of apricot induced anal evacuation can be.

The immense pressure generated by the expulsion process is enough to cripple a man for life.

I’ve cracked my back ass-vomiting apricots.

I’ve popped my ears anally aborting a gelatinous apricot baby once or twice.

I’ve been told that, in particularly severe instances; men have felt as if their eyes, tongue and teeth were going to be sucked from inside their skulls and coughed up into the shiny white bowl along with the gallons of apricot jizz and the rest of their internal organs.

That being said, this post should be considered less an addition to my intentionally humorous list of foods that will wreck your shit, and more like that of a PSA.

Seriously, don’t fuck with apricots.

They will fuck with you right back, and trust me; you don’t want that…

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Happy Thanksgiving From The Azn Badger!

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How The Azn Badger Stays Sane At Work…

The Azn Badger works in a warehouse.

Specifically the Amazon.com warehouse in Bellevue, Washington.

Over the course of 10 hours each day, tedium is the name of the game, and as such; it’s really easy to go a little nuts from time to time.

Trust me, I’ve seen some people lose their shit, as well as their jobs due to lack of motivation and occasional violent bouts of insanity.

That being said, myself and some of the other workers have, over the course of the past several months, come up with a few interesting games and activities to keep our minds sharp and occupied while our bodies toil in the boring and repetitive world of warehouse work.

Here are just a few examples of said activities:

1. Practice a funny voice or accent.

Okay, admittedly this one isn’t really practiced by anyone other than myself, but even so; it’s helped me get through some of the tougher morning scenarios.

I say “morning,” because I’m generally more “loopy” in the early hours, and thusly more apt to talk to myself.

“More” being the operative word in that sentence, being as I tend to talk to myself a lot regardless…

Anyway, over the past few months I’ve been playing around with Scottish and Australian accents.

I honestly can’t really do either of them very well, but after many days of thinking on and dissecting the diction and quirks behind the 2 accents, I can honestly say I feel I “know” them a lot better than I ever thought I would.

For the record, the only 2 phrases I can say with a legit Scottish accent are:

“Made in Scotland by real Scots.”

and

“You should try it!  It’s delicious!”

The reasoning behind those choice of phrases came from the tag line on some Scottish cereal I found in the warehouse.

Don’t ask…

2.  Exchange movie quotes/Arnold Schwarzenneger quotes.

This one takes a buddy, and an intimate knowledge of movies, but trust me; it’s a blast if you find a partner that can keep up.

So far the most quoted films are Jurassic Park, and any Arnold Schwarzenneger movie EVER.

Seeing as most men know at least some of Arnold’s movies, and can at least partially imitate his voice to humorous effect; I’d say the average person is most likely to enjoy that version of the game moreso than the other.

Even so, don’t underestimate the entertainment value that can be extracted from exchanging Robert Muldoon quotes.

“They should all be destroyed!”

Your turn!

3. “The Pop-Culture Icon” Game.

“The Pop-Culture Icon” game is probably the cream of the crop of boredom relieving games at Amazon.

Well, at least for me anyway.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me go over the rules for the most basic version of the game:

You begin with 2 players.

At the outset of the game, the player that suggested the playing of the game cites the name of a popular fictional character.

From that point on, the object of the game is for both players to cite the names of any popular fictional characters and the name of the source material they originate from in a back and forth manner, with the last letter in each character’s name being the letter that must begin the next consecutive character’s name.

In example:

Player 1 begins the game by stating: “Optimus Prime, Transformers.”

Player 2 would then respond by stating: “The Eradicator, Superman comics,” or any other character whose name begins with “E.”

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Should either player have the desire to stump their “opponent” and “win” the game in doing so, strategy can arise in the form of choosing character names with difficult or rare last letters.

Fox, from Starfox, has proven to be quite popular in the warehouse, as “X” is definitely on of the harder letters to work from, and let’s face it; Fox is pretty fuckin’ easy to remember to use.

While those are the rules of the most basic version of the game, several variations of it have popped up in the warehouse; including movie-centric, comic book-centric, and videogame-centric versions.

Also, bear in mind that the rules can be modified in-game at any point in time.

For instance, today myself and the person I was playing “against” (it’s not a game you play to win, only to have fun and keep busy) were forced to consider ruling out the inclusion of Pokemon and Mega Man characters, as we came to realize that, between the 2 of us we probably could’ve gotten stuck just naming characters from those 2 franchises.

A few other rules that I felt should’ve been instigated are as follows:

Character names should always begin with the first name, and should always include the last name (and it’s last letter) if the player knows it.

Characters should only be used once, regardless of how many aliases they have.

Names of races or species, regardless of whether they are fictional or not; should not count.

Duplicate character names can be reused if the player is able to cite the name of alternate source material.

In case you didn’t notice, I really like this game.

Hell, I played the game for close to 7 hours today.

3 hours consecutively, and sporadically over the next 4.

My “opponent” and I were separated for most of the day, but every time we would pass each other in the warehouse, we’d pause a second to keep the game going.

While I don’t usually feel the need to toot my own horn, I feel it should be said that the Azn Badger is pretty fuckin’ savage at this game.

Seriously man, today I was playing “against” the originator of the game, and I had his ass on the ropes so bad, you don’t even know man…

He was so desperate towards the end that he was dropping bullshit like “T-Rex” just to stay afloat.

Not only that, he went so far as to use “Xavier,” as in “Professor Charles Xavier,” for an “X.”

I don’t care how bad you’re hurtin’, don’t you ever forget Professor X’s first name…

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this game today, here’s hoping somebody reading this goes out and gives it a try!

 

 

 

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The Best MAN!!! #8

Click me, I took hours to make...

Well folks, after a week straight of nothing but Mega Man related blogging, we’ve made it to the big finale.

That’s right, today we’re gonna’ be taking a look at the 10th anniversary game of the Mega Man series, Mega Man 8 on the Sony Playstation!

As previously explained Mega Man 8 will be the final installment in The Best MAN series, as I haven’t played Mega Man 9 or 10, and thusly don’t feel qualified to elect a Best MAN for those games.

That being said, let’s dive into Mega Man 8!

8’s story was, much like 7, somewhat more involved than previous entries in the series, largely due to the unprecedented inclusion of hand-drawn anime cutscenes.

At the time of it’s release, Full Motion Video (FMV) was already old hat, however after the release of the Amiga 32CD, Sega CD, 3DO, and other such CD based consoles, many game developers saw fit to include FMV in their games, resulting in the technology being en vogue for much of the 90’s.

Mega Man 8’s FMV sequences were fairly entertaining, and decently well-animated, however the English voice acting was absolutely atrocious.

For real man, Dr. Light sounds like fuckin’ Elmer Fudd after a stroke, no joke.

He also stutters.

Like a fattie.

The end result was a series of fairly entertaining, but often times, all too tempting to skip, cutscenes.

There was 1 scene in particular though that I remember keeping an extra save file (it was a Playstation game, of course you could save!) for just so I could watch it over and over again:

It seems kind of lame now, but when I was 10, that was the coolest thing ever.  Even though my Playstation would freeze during it just about 90% of the time…

Anyway, the story of Mega Man 8 is based around a capsule of “evil energy” that falls to Earth.

EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

This energy grants it’s wielder great power, and multiplies by feeding off of it’s host’s evil intent.

Think the Venom symbiote from Spider-Man.

And now, gentleman, for your viewing pleasure: A T-Rex wearing the Venom symbiote.

Dr. Wily of course gets his hands on this evil energy and uses it to power his latest creations to tangle with Mega Man.

In the meantime however, an intrinsically “good” robot from outer space named Duo (the big dude in Dr. Light’s lab during the video) crash lands on Earth, only to awaken halfway through the game to serve as an ally to Mega Man.

That is, not before trying to kill him, of course.

On the side there’s also a very Dragonball Z-esque “Goku and Vejita” dynamic that plays out between Mega Man and Bass.

Basically, Vejita, I mean Bass; has an inferiority complex, which results in him attempting to use the evil energy to grant him the power to defeat Mega Man.

Oh Bass, we do this dance again and again, and yet you just don't seem to learn the steps, do you?

I like Bass, really, I do; but he’s a total pussy in Mega Man 8.

Haha, get it!? "Bass!"

Mega Man 8 was vastly different from any Mega Man that came before it.

From a presentation standpoint, it was easily the most graphically intense iteration of the series, well, pretty much, ever.

The animations were silky smooth, and the music was excellent all-around, with most of the tracks being quite memorable.

Although from a cosmetic standpoint Mega Man 8 was a drastic departure from the norm, and undeniably, an improvement, the gameplay was merely different, and not necessarily for the better.

One of the comments I received on my Mega Man 7 post from yesterday made note of the fact that the game was slower than the NES games in the series.

I failed to address this in my post, and for that I apologize, however it is an incontrovertible fact.

Mega Man 7 was a much slower-paced game than it’s predecessors, and Mega Man 8 followed suit by being even slower.

THIS FUCKING SLOOOOOWWWW.

The sprites in Mega Man 7 were very large, excessively so, and thankfully 8 addressed this by increasing the screen resolution, while at once one-upping their level of detail.

Despite being a sidescroller like every other Mega Man game, 8 was a much more vertically oriented game.

The screen orientation was “taller,” and Mega Man’s jump controls were changed so that he jumped higher than normal, however, due to his much slower walking speed, his horizontal jumping distance was toned down a bit.

While definitely a much slower-paced, and in-fact, much easier game than it’s predecessors, Mega Man 8 was still quite fun.

TONS OF FUN.

New gameplay features in Mega Man 8 were plentiful (for a change).

The shop from Mega Man 7 made a return, though this time around it was run by Mega Man’s sister, Roll, and the currency used there consisted of an extremely finite, and difficult to acquire, supply of bolts scattered throughout the robot master stages.

Items in the shop consisted of equipment to dampen the “knock-back” effects of getting hit, decrease the charge time for a Mega Buster shot, change the function of Mega Buster, and a variety of other things.

Part of the fun of the shop was the fact that not all of the items were all that useful, such as the one that increases your climbing speed, or the one that disables your Mega Buster!

I greatly preferred this shop system, as unlike 7, where all you had to do was “farm” for money by killing enemies, purchases in 8 felt much more strategic.

A Hummer: THE strategic purchase.

In addition to the shop items, there were also a total of 4 Rush items, all granted to the player after defeating minibosses during the robot master stages.

While virtually all of the Rush items were nothing more than novelty items that could net you a nice item or two here and there, I always thought it was a neat idea to turn Rush into a motorcycle and ride him into battle.

PIMP.

But, that’s just me.

In addition to the changes made to the overall pace of the game, Mega Man 8 also featured some truly inspired level designs.

No longer consisting purely of platforming action, 8 contained a several vehicle segments and a few maze-like stages that couldn’t be completed linearly.

While Mega Man 5 was the first in the series to feature on-rails vehicle sequences, in the form of a jet-ski ride during Wave Man’s stage,

Mega Man 8 took this concept and greatly expanded on it.

Frost Man and Dr. Wily’s tower both featured perilous snowboarding sequences wherein the player would have to alternately jump or slide to survive the course.

JUMP.

Tengu Man’s stage featured an extensive on-rails shooting sequence in the skies.

"FUCK YOU, WHALE!"

This sequence was one of my favorites in the game, as it had you riding Rush while shooting numerous enemies, all while gradually recruiting a huge DEATH SQUAD of Mega Man’s buddies to help you out.

The Mega Man Death Squad in all their glory.

Auto, Eddie and Beat all made appearances in this sequence, with Beat finally redeeming himself as the single most powerful ally you could acquire.

I'm lettin' you off easy this time... Chump.

Sword Man and Astro Man’s stages served as the first maze levels in Mega Man history.

While Sword Man’s stage was not really a maze, but rather a series of trials that had to be completed while making use of specific robot master weapons, Astro Man’s stage was one mother of a maze.

ARRRRRGHH!!!

Seriously, I fucking hated Astro Man’s stage…

Well, I think I’ve said more than enough about Mega Man 8, it’s time we got down to deciding who’s The Best MAN, for the very last time.

The Best MAN of Mega Man 8 is…

Frost Man

FROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST MAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!

Didn’t see that comin’ didja’?

You know why Frost Man’s The Best MAN?

‘Cause Mega Man 8 was the first game in the series to give it’s robot master voices, that’s why.

Okay, okay, that’s not the only reason I picked him, but it had a lot to do with it.

You see, Frost Man’s voice made me laugh as a kid.

His character was supposed to be that of a huge, powerful, dopey idiot, and his voice reflected this very well.

"I will love him, and kiss him, and I will call him George..."

Seriously, when the biggest fuckin’ robot master in the fuckin’ series leaps into the arena, smashing a bunch of Mega Man ice sculptures to show off his strength, only to yell out something retarded like:

“I’m gonna’, crush you! I will…… Beat, you!”

I just can’t help but smile.

Tune to 4:45 for example:

Seriously though, Frost Man has a lot going for him.

His “walking igloo” design is inspired and truly a sight to behold in-game with it’s vivid animations, his weapon, the Ice Wave is fun to use, (although much cooler looking when he uses it) and his stage is lots of fun to play with one of the better background tracks in the game:

If anyone could usurp Frost Man’s position as Best MAN, I’d say it would be Clown Man or Search Man.

Seriously, I actually had to rewrite a big portion of this post on account of me changing my mind about Search Man at the last minute.

The problem with Search Man is that, while he’s got personality up the ying-yang, and a cool weapon to boot, I didn’t care much for his stage.

You see, like Mega Man 7, 8 split up it’s robot masters into 2 groups of 4.

Because I rarely finished the game as a kid, the second group of robot masters were one’s I didn’t end up seeing all that much of.

Sorry Aqua Man, no one likes you...

On top of that, I’ve never actually fought Search Man without having the Flame Sword to pwn his ass with, so I’ve never really gotten to experience a real fight with him firsthand.

Clown Man on the other hand, while one of my favorite designs in any Mega Man game, suffered for exactly the same reason Frost Man was promoted.

His voice annoyed the piss out of me.

EXAMPLE

He had an extensive repertoire of interesting attacks, his stage was cutesy fun, and his weapon was not all that bad, but his voice was just painful to listen to.

Oh yeah, that and he was WAY too fucking easy…

Protip: Sticking your arms into the ground isn't a viable combat tactic. It just gets you shot. In the face.

Well folks, we’ve named our last Best MAN.

Hopefully everyone had fun along the way, I know I did.

See you tomorrow when I (hopefully) think of some other shit to write about…

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The Best Track in the Game #4: Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues

Yes, I was balancing the cartridge on my fucking foot. I tell yah', it's not easy being unemployed...

Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues is a “Contra Clone.”

More specifically, it’s a fairly decent “Contra Clone” that attempts to inject a little depth into the run-n’-gun genre.

Note that I referred to the game as being “fairly decent,” and not FUCKING AWESOME like Contra III: Alien Wars.

No game in the history of Man-Games has "attacked" as "aggressively" as Contra III.

My experience in playing Jurassic Park 2 on the SNES came in the form of a single weekend rental.

I was spending the night at a not-so-close friend’s house.

Yeah, this was back when my mom was still sending me off on “play dates” with kids I didn’t really know too well.

I remember his mom helped us make some Nickelodeon Gak.

Yup, this shit.

I remember feeling bad about making such a crazy big mess of their kitchen.

That and I remember accidentally over-starching my baby blue Gak, rendering it nothing more than a rock hard, plasticky, smelly-ass paperweight.

Oh well, I could still make fart noises with it.  Well, until I accidentally left it out of it’s jar for too long…

Anyway, later that night my friend’s mom took us out to rent a videogame for the night.

Naturally, seeing as Jurassic Park the movie had come out just the year before, and dinosaurs were still the coolest thing going for 7 year old boys, my friend and I couldn’t resist getting our hands on Jurassic Park 2 for a night.

Oh yeah, and keep in mind that neither of us had been allowed to see Jurassic Park in the theater.

This would be our chance to live the movie!

Upon popping the cart in, we were treated to a vividly animated opening cut-scene, complete with VOICE ACTING.

This sequence was pretty impressive when I was a kid, but to look back at it now, as an older and wiser Azn Badger, it’s a pretty impressive technical feat to see high quality voice clips crammed into a tiny SNES cart.

It’s kind of funny, I have a sneaking suspicion that the dude yelling “Go!  Go! Go!!!” is the same voice actor that played Duo Maxwell in the dub of Gundam Wing… and pretty much every animated character from the early 90’s and on.

The voice of a generation... Damn, he's hella' rockin' the "Bret Michaels" look.

Anyway, as I said before, JP 2 was a “Contra Clone” through and through.

It was a co-op, side-scrolling run-n’-gun game wherein player one controlled some white dude in a gray shirt, and player two took control of a brutha’ in a red shirt.

I found out years later that the white dude was supposed to be Dr. Alan Grant.  The brutha’ was just some brutha’ Ocean snuck in there to cover their asses from Affirmative Action and what not.

I guess Dr. Grant spent his time away from Isla Nublar doing some hardcore military training or something, ’cause I was less than impressed by his proficiency in handling the SPAS 12 in Jurassic Park the movie.

That's right, Dr. Grant can't aim worth shit...

Innovations in the gameplay came in the form of a mission select system, a health bar in place of one-hit deaths, objective based levels, maze-like level designs, and a lethal/non-lethal weapon system.

That’s right, the game expected you to tranquilize the dinosaurs so as to preserve that bloody Scot, John Hammond’s, investment.

Oh well, the Mega Buster style Stun Gun was the shit.

That's right Mr. Raptor, you 'bouts tuh' get tazed.

Despite most of these deviations from standard Contra game mechanics being fairly minor, I remember them greatly affecting my experience with the game over the one evening I got to play it as a youngster.

The health bar was a clever innovation in that it gave my not-friend and I the illusion of playing an easier game, one that didn’t punish you for every little mistake I.E. FUCKING CONTRA.

Instead of getting shot dead every time you slipped up, the game would give you some leeway in the form of respawning you at the edge of a pit if you missed a platform, or better yet, giving you some Megaman style invincibility frames immediately after getting hit.

In truth, the health bar served to give us a false sense of security.

Kind of like these.

There were far more opportunities to get damaged in JP 2 than in any of the Contra games released up to that point, resulting in ones’ health bar draining quite rapidly.

On the plus side though, on two-player mode you could transfer health between players to even out both health bars.

Yeah, my not-friend and I had to rely on this trick to get us past, well, pretty much everything, ’cause we sucked pretty fuckin’ hard.

To make matter worse, we found out pretty quickly that you only got one health bar per level.

Good job finding the health kit Dr. Grant. Though I don't think brutha' red-shirt is gonna' make it...

JP 2 differed from the Contra series in that Contra games are about precision, about the memorization and mastery of a series of small scenarios.

JP 2 was more of a reflex game, and a cheap one at that.

Enemies (I’m lookin’ at YOU, yah’ Raptor fucks…) would often run in from either side of the screen at absurd speeds, often times respawning in greater numbers if you were foolish enough to try and run away.

In addition to the dinosaur enemies, there were also a multitude of human enemies armed with a variety of weapons ranging from pistols to flamethrowers.

Oh yeah, and helicopters.

While most of the dinosaurs were manageable for the most part, the humans were truly a pain in the ass.

Many took several hits to take down, and the ones that fired their weapons (yeah, not all of them were smart enough to do that) did so often, and with great accuracy.

Left: An example of normal and competent enemy. Right: An example of a pair of retarded, hoodie wearing joggers that don't know how to shoot.

This is what I meant when I said Contra was about “precision.”

In Contra games, enemy fire was accurate, but largely infrequent, and often pattern-based.

JP 2 puts you up against endless walls of broken-ass fuckers that pepper you to death with fast moving orange bullets.

Either that, or THIS FUCKER throws a grenade in your face when you try to jump over him.

As you can probably tell, Azn Badger wasn’t too good at JP 2 when he was little.

Thank God for the mission select system, otherwise my not-friend and I would never have gotten past the Raptors in the first level.

Seriously, who the fuck thinks to jump over a fuckin’ Velociraptor?

That's right, you can jump over not one, but TWO Raptors!

“T-Rex Carnage” was the first stage I remember my not-friend and I playing.

How the fuck could we not?

Of all the stage titles, it was the only one that promised the appearance of the fucking T-Rex* they slapped on the back of the box.

There was no way we could go to bed without at least getting to see the T-Rex.

It took us a good solid hour of Raptor-Rape before we finally got to see the lizard king himself.

It was fucking crazy.

Well, maybe not as crazy as Mr. Nolte here, but still...

It all starts when you wander off into the jungle, when out of nowhere the game fades up from black and a jeep pulls up alongside you.

Oh yeah, and did I mention there’s a fuckin’ T-Rex bellowing into the air about 10 feet behind you?

Well, there is.

Yeah, if you don’t hop on that jeep you are fuckin’ slow.  Like, Little Bear slow.

SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW.....

As soon as you’re on the jeep, the T-Rex gives chase, gaining on you the whole way.

Putting buckshot and 9mm fire into his giant-ass skull slows him down, but as expected, does little to deter his advance.

In the meantime, as this rampaging beast is charging at you full-bore, there’s a bunch of dudes hanging from the trees above you that just happen to be SHOOTING AT YOU.

Nope, still retarded.

Seriously?

There’s a fucking T-Rex on the loose and these guys can think of nothing better to do than hang from vines, directly in harms way, and put rounds in Dr. Alan-fucking-Grant and his brutha’ from another mutha’?

Priorities dudes, get it together.

Just as the T-Rex is within inches of getting his unforgiving jaws on you, the jeep suddenly launches off a ledge and into a pit.

Yeah, that guy in the jeep is fucked.

Yeah, my not-friend and I were just a little preoccupied with getting shot to bits by tree-faggots and, you know, BEING CHASED BY A MOTHER FUCKING T-REX to notice the ledge.

Needless to say, on our first time through, we went down the fuckin’ hole.

On our second time, the T-Rex inexplicably caught up to us and chomped us good.

Kind of like Dagobah Luke Skywalker here.

Yeah, turns out he does in fact catch up to you if you decide to prioritize shooting the fuckers in the trees over the giant fucking lizard.

Finally, on our third time through, we got our shit together and made the epic leap off the plummeting jeep and onto the vines hanging over the pit.

After shimmying across the vine and to the ground just past the pit, we got to see Alan Grant and brutha’ red-shirt whip out their PDA thingies to view this message:


“Unable to stop the T-Rex?”

The fuck kinda’ bullshit is that?

We put EVERY FUCKING ROUND WE HAD into that beast, and it didn’t so much as make him wince!

Are you telling me we were expected to stop that thing?

Well, needless to say, my not-friend and I were none to happy about this, and we promptly reset the game.

Of course, we had no idea that that was exactly how the game was supposed to go, (you don’t fight the T-Rex proper until the latter stages of the game) and because of that, we were determined to play the stage over to see if there was a way to defeat the T-Rex.

Well, naturally we never found a way to beat the T-Rex, but we did find out something silly in the programming of the game.

First glitch I ever knew besides the Double Dragon II helicopter trick.

After you jump off the jeep and onto the vines above, you can still hear the T-Rex roaring after you periodically.

Because we were both upset at our perceived failure, we sat still for a moment, bitching back and forth over what we could have done wrong.

During this time, we let the game sit, unpaused.

After a minute or two, we noticed that the T-Rex’s snout started to appear from the left side of the screen.

Every time it roared, it would inch a pixel or two further into view.

Eventually, a large portion of the T-Rex’s form became visible, and we watched it repeatedly stand and bellow into the sky.

Finally, after several minutes, the T-Rex inched forward so far that it slipped off the ledge and fell straight into the pit below, completely submerging it in darkness**.

Despite this, the roaring persisted.

After seeing that, my not-friend and I burst out laughing.

We proceeded to the end of the stage and got the same bullshit message as before, but in our eyes, in our own special way, we knew we had beaten the T-Rex.

That was the only stage in the game we beat that night.

That being said, The Best Track in the Game is…

Protect the Gallimimus Stage Theme

Why?:

Did you notice how earlier in this post I made no mention whatsoever as to the quality of the music in this game?

Well, I did so for a reason.

Jurassic Park 2 was very much an average quality game, and as such, the soundtrack was nothing to really write home about.

Truth be told, there was nothing really wrong with the quality of the music, it’s just that the soundtrack is comprised of very few tracks, and most of them are very low key and best heard as ambient noise.

JP 2’s soundtrack is not one I would picture myself listening to outside of the context of playing the actual game.

Despite this, Protecting the Gallimimus is a good solid action track, with a surprising amount of dignity and pathos to it.

... Unlike this guy.

The bongo sounding drum beat is energetic and bouncy, while at the same time very organic and very much in line with John Williams’ work on the movie soundtracks, particularly The Lost World.

No, not this piece of shit. Dumb ass...

The music goes very well with the setting and flow of the stage that it occupies, which consequently, just happens to be my favorite stage in the game.

In fact, once my not-friend and I tried it, I’m pretty sure we kept playing it over and over until we passed out.

Basically, the level is a balls-out run through a massive field of death.

Other than the occasional family of Gallimimus running past you, every enemy in the level is a human, making the Uzi and Shotgun your best friends for the duration.

I remember my not-friend and I bursting out laughing every time one of us got trampled by one of the hoodie wearing dudes.

Even more so when one of us got beaned in the face with a gas grenade.

The boss of the level was the big-ass helicopter pictured somewhere above, and just below.

Cuttin' it pretty close there Dr. Grant...

Initially it starts out with a huge cage hanging down from it’s body that it likes to slam into you.

If you somehow manage to knock off the cage, the chopper starts sweeping the area with gunfire and bombs.

Lucky you.

As mentioned previously, my not-friend and I never finished any level other than the T-Rex stage, though we did get to the chopper boss many, many times.

Runner-Up:

Jungle Theme:

Why?:

This is the track heard most frequently in the Jurassic Park 2 soundtrack.

Basically, every time you are in the jungle, (ALL THE FUCKING TIME) this is the music that accompanies you.

Thankfully, it’s a pretty decent piece of music.

In fact, the Jungle Theme is good enough that in some ways I hesitate to call it a runner-up to the Gallimimus theme.

They both use a similar instrumentation, and both have that really slick, almost haunting quality to them.

Both track also share a similar length, with both adopting a number of subtle variations throughout their loops, resulting in extremely long tracks for an SNES game.

I think I hold the Gallimimus theme in slightly higher regard, not only because it belongs to my favorite stage in the game, but because it has a more thematic quality to it.

It is only played at one point in the game, and it’s composition reflects this.

The Jungle theme on the other hand, is what I would regard as sort of a “hub theme.”

There are stages where it is played only for a few seconds, simply because, well, you were in the jungle for a bit, and that’s the music that they play when you’re in the jungle.

Sorry, “Miscellaneous Jungle Music,” guess you lose to Protect the Gallimimus this time.

*SIDENOTE: Personally, I don’t remember ever referring to a Tyrannosaurus Rex as a T-Rex until after the Jurassic Park movie came out, was this an established thing by 1993, or was I just too young and uncool to :

**BONUS: I was lucky enough to find a clip that shows the T-Rex glitch!  When it happened to my not-friend and I it wasn’t quite so dramatic (the T-Rex only fell once), but hey, either way it’s pretty crazy!

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