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Welcome Back to Jurassic Park

j-park

For nearly twenty years, Jurassic Park for Super Nintendo has sat on my shelf of video games, unbeaten. The lack of a save button on this particular game, plus the afternoon thunderstorms that would always knock out the power have prevented me from finishing it. Also, the last time I played it was before surge protectors were in every outlet and before I was even allowed to stay up past 8 p.m. I’ve felt guilty from never finishing such a simple little game, all because I can’t save it and come back later.

For the sake of closure, I’m sitting down to play through it in its entirety. It’s nostalgic to once again hear, “Welcome to Jurassic Park,” as I play a pixelated Alan Grant. I still get anxious walking into the completely darkened room as the view changes from third person to first person, and you can only see where your night vision goggles happen to be viewing. It’s a little startling to turn and be face-to-screen with a raptor eating your face. It’s amazing how many bites they can take out of Dr. Grant before he has to respawn.

On the thought of raptors, my first adult thought about it is, “Why are there so many raptors?” I don’t think I realized this as a child. Any dinosaur park creating this many raptors fully intended to kill its visitors. If there was a raptor-kill-counter on this game, it must have been close to 100, compared to maybe a few dozen other types combined. They jump out at you at random times, whether you’re walking through the forest maze (understandable), or on top of a multi-story building. They are in nearly every room, sometimes as many as four in a single room along with some Dilophosaurus, which spit at you. Also, as an adult, I realized the actual Dilophosaurus does not spit or even have a neck fringe, all of these dinosaurs are supposed to have feathers and my entire childhood is a lie. It’s still better than Jurassic World, though.

Overall, this game is a fun trip back into my childhood, when Jurassic Park was the best movie, believable, possible, and led to a nearly yearlong dinosaur obsession. The game does not follow the movie, except for Alan Grant receiving messages from other characters through computer terminals and random pop-ups. And he’s trying to get on a helicopter to get off the island, which you never get to see. The ending made me a little disappointed that I even worried about finishing the game. The music is decent for an SNES game, and switches up once you begin to get annoyed by it. It even serves as a warning when you’re about to encounter something bigger than silly little raptors. I’d play it again, if only to see Mr. DNA and his dino-facts, but not at night, those raptors still scare me.