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// article by Jeff

Can't help but love Sachen. With such great unauthorized offerings as Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu, Little Red Hood, and Middle School English, they've provided the Taiwanese community with more sub-par gaming than an entire warehouse of discarded Alex Kidd cartridges could ever wish to achieve. One such "accomplishment" is Jurassic Boy 2, referred to as Jurassic Boy on the physical cartridge label. Essentially a Sonic the Hedgehog ripoff in pretty much every way, Jurassic Boy 2 is a testament to how a less-than-stellar programming team can ruin a good formula.

Just the backstory alone is a sign that the developer may or may not have been afflicted with a drunken stupor. Apparently, in the year 2193, dinosaurs become en vogue again; science, however, can't seem to pull a Jurassic Park and tap into the necessary genes to breed new dinosaurs. Leave it up to an enigmatic Dr. Crachi; by inventing a time machine four years later, they can now travel to the prehistoric ages and grab a freshly-squeezed dinosaur. Dr. Crachi's target? Chen, the most intelligent of his species. And... hey, wait a minute... the dinosaur's name is CHEN?! Well, now that we've factored ethnicity into our beloved tyrannosaurus protagonist, we can get more of a feel for his character... right?! So you must play as Chen to avoid Dr. Crachi's clutches.

Jurassic Boy leads Chen through seven different stages, spanning four different worlds. The graphics are based heavily on Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis, though have been optimized for the NES and are not exactly the same. You'll be visiting the standard greenery of a woodsy area first, then some strange caves, a stone fortress, and finally an odd mechanical metropolis. To be honest, only the characters themselves (the enemies and Chen) could be described as being even remotely "inspired". Chen is a dinosaur -- a red one, yes (though depicted as pink in the extremely Sonic-esque logo) -- with the fastest legs I've ever seen on a triassic creature to date. They move like Sonic's legs: in a blurry circle. Neat.

The controls are very much a broken affair. I'll admit that the original Sonic the Hedgehog felt a bit floaty at times, but at least I could maintain general control of the guy! Chen sometimes feels as though he is made of molasses, while at other times (after he has gained significant momentum), he's flying all over the place and it takes a solid amount of pullback to get him to stop his inane escapade. Accurate jumping is an ordeal in itself; don't expect him to land where you want to. And unfortunately, Chen lacks certain abilities, such as a spin dash, but he still has plenty of time to show off, such as the classic loop-de-loops. And he really can boast his skills because the loops generally pop up four in a row.

Jurassic Boy, if it had the correct character physics and didn't suffer from too many instances of running into enemies or obstacles on extremely short notice, could have been an acceptable unlicensed game. But as it stands, it's an awkward Sonic wannabe starring a generic Asian dinosaur. I don't know what I just said. Better check these screenshots and judge for yourself:


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