High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Rants > Telltale misleads with review snippits

Telltale misleads with review snippits

Telltale Games posted a bunch of third-party reviews that praise how true to the movie their new game is. Oddly, the links to the reviews, all of which are online, were missing. Probably just a mistake, so I figured I'd help them out. I also quoted a few more sections from most of the reviews, you know, just at random.

PlayStation Universe 8 out of 10

Joystiq 2 out of 5

"...the writing is good for the screen, but bad for the player. Jurassic Park feels devoid of moments that value or recognize your participation, forging ahead with its story and hoping you'll enjoy your popcorn ... quietly."
"In practice, becoming a slave to on-screen prompts erodes tension and excitement, while a nasty truth bubbles to the top: you're not helping this person outrun a T-rex, you're voting on whether the scene continues."
"The easy, thoughtless nature of following instructions all the time trivializes the danger in action scenes, making their inventive construction observed but not felt. Deaths seem arbitrary, sometimes striking when you expected a stumble after missing whatever prompt governed your ability to put one foot in front of the other. These bluntly applied challenges can also undermine the characters, making them appear unbelievably imbecilic."

GameSpot 6 out of 10

"This cinematic adventure is so rigidly linear that you're much more of a spectator than a participant...."

"This keeps the action moving, but also makes you feel more like an actor hitting a predetermined mark than like a character in an unfolding adventure, and it means that Jurassic Park rarely offers the satisfaction that comes with untangling a tricky conundrum."
"Further reinforcing the feeling that you're an actor playing a part rather than a participant in this tale are Jurassic Park's action scenes. ...in Jurassic Park, there is only one way for things to play out. If you fail to respond to an input in time or otherwise fail the sequence, your character might meet a grisly end, but you're then returned to an earlier point to try the sequence again."
"Although the dialogue between characters is generally well written, those times when you take an active role in conversations often make you feel less connected to the game's characters. When talking, you're presented with a number of options for what to discuss, but it's often not clear what these options mean. ... It makes it hard to feel a connection to the character you're playing when you're choosing dialogue options blindly like this."

Xbox Magazine 6 out of 10

"...Jurassic Park's QTE-powered gameplay often makes you feel more like an observer than a participant...."

Strategy Informer 7 out of 10

"For the most part this is okay, although far too often you're asked to either do something superhumanly fast or ridiculously banal - I mean, how can you fail at opening a door, picking up a small object or turning around?"
"...it's just got too many flaws to truly recommend it. Did I say flaws? I meant QTEs."

Touch Arcade 2 out of 5

"It stutters and drops frames so consistently that it becomes nearly impossible to enjoy, no less play. And even when you're willing to forgive this fairly fundamental flaw, the roller-coaster-y placement of its sluggish and mundane puzzles has a habit of obliterating the tension it succeeds in building."

GamePro 2.5 out of 5

"And it's good that the writing is so strong, because there isn't a lot of actual playing involved in the game."
"When met with the game's linear nature and over-reliance on quick-time events, these technical issues tear away at what could have been the perfect tribute to the original film."

Washington Times

"...using 'game' in the title is a bit misleading...."
"The bad news is the game engine's occasional frame stutters and load freezes completely destroyed some potentially amazing moments, including a nail-biting escape intertwined with a pair of Jurassic legends in mid-battle."

Jurassic Park Legacy 9.9 out of 10

WeTheGamerz 4 out of 5

"The one thing that was holding the gameplay back was the controls of the game. At times, they really slowed the game down."
"The real problem at hand with this was how confusing yet simple it was. It seemed that a lot of the time when you press the keys, they don't respond like they should have. The sequences would seem to fail a lot of the time because it wasn't really explained to you exactly how many times to hit the key or to tap the key."

Pocket Gamer

"But, ultimately, they're still Dragon's Lair-style events. It's half-hearted, glued-on game design, letting you accomplish incredible feats like following basic orders and paying attention."
"But the main issue is that these scenarios are almost offensively easy, and they're over in a heartbeat."
"You could probably get more enjoyment for your money by simply watching the first movie on DVD while letting your thumbs fiddle with an Xbox 360 controller. You'll have about the same impact on proceedings, too."

Cinema Blend 3 out of 5

"The largest problem with Jurassic Park: The Game is its inconsistency. It starts with a bang, then gets a little slow and boring for a large chunk of time, then gets interesting again. I understand needing more to do in this game other than the aforementioned QTEs but some of the logic puzzles killed the mood."

Joystick Division 4 out of 5

"Right are those who think its cinematic narrative overshadows its gameplay."


"For a product titled Jurassic Park: The Game, gameplay occupies an oddly low position on the design totem pole. Your limited interactions with the game consist of selecting perfunctory dialogue options, clicking around icon-littered environments until you touch upon the one required to advance, and going toe-to-toe with increasingly fiendish quick-time events. Most of the time, Jurassic Park is more concerned with the delivery of its plot, and if you happen to break its flow by missing a button prompt, you've failed."

gamrReview 6.5 out of 10

"It's not all sunshine and lysine on Isla Nublar, though, as the game has some big flaws that keep it from greatness. Chief among them is that the prompts which tell you what keys to push during the QTE events often don't give you enough time to do so."

Save and Quit 2.5 out of 5

"There's fun to be had in this game, even if it is mired amidst some poor design decisions and mediocrity. If you particularly enjoy adventure games, or if you're a diehard fan of Jurassic Park who is still diligently crossing off the days on your calendar as you await the 2013 release of Jurassic Park 4, this game might be for you. Otherwise, I would suggest steering clear of Isla Nublar for now."

Alternative Magazine Online 9.5 out of 10

I know most publishers cherry pick quotes to make their game sound good, but, I expected more from you Telltale. You make such very, very good games. You created two new Sam & Max games that are as good as the comics and the old Lucasarts game Tales of Monkey Island revitalized a series badly wounded by the terribly Escape from Monkey Island. With Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attrative People, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, and Back to the Future, you proved you could deftly transform a license into a great game.

But now Jurassic Park. It's just bad. It looks good, not triple-A, but quite good. The writing and voice acting are solid. But it's a lousy game. You're just along for the ride. You don't have game controls, you have buttons you push to keep the movie going. If you miss an unimportant button press, useless filler scenes get added. If you miss an important button press, you restart the scene until you do it right. This is the technology of Dragon's Lair. I have a fondness for Dragon's Lair, but I recognize that it's a terrible mechanic.

With an embarassing 56 out of 100 on Metacritic, pretty much all Telltale can hype is how faithful it is to the movie. And I'm forced to agree. The writers did an amazing job of weaving an entirely new story into the existing movie. It's a good plot. It feels like a movie. But it's not a very good game. To repeat a line from Pocket Gamer's review:

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