how... how could they mess up a game about dinosaur battles?
Thanks to their imposing and mysterious status as giant terrifying creatures that existed before mankind had taken its first steps, there is a very good chance that your childhood will have featured dinosaurs in one way or another, be it through Power Rangers, classic movie Jurassic Park, or even just regular toys. Other than licensed tie-ins of the aforementioned property, dinosaurs have seen relatively little successful exposure in gaming, but with a new machine on the market Ubisoft are looking to change that with Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D. Does the title rise from the prehistoric era victorious, or is it a fossil that no-one wants to excavate?
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D does what it says on the tin; it’s a brawl of dinos of all shapes and sizes, mixed with a little strategy and overworld exploration. The story is minimal, but doesn't distract; four guardian dinosaurs are defeated by the mighty Arkosaurus, and four more must take their place by fighting off others en-route to the enemy's stronghold.
Visual grunt is this game's greatest strength; not so much in the graphical fidelity of the game, which is fine but nowhere near taxing the hardware, but in the 3D effect itself. Most 3DS games seem to provide a window into the game's world when you toggle the slider, instead of the leap-out effect that you would see in the cinema. Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D does the same, but in the overworld exploration areas your ‘saur feels like it’s popping halfway out of the screen. Truthfully, this doesn't truly aid the game’s gameplay, as the most engaging scenes are when battling other creatures, but it does add to the immersion.
You're given a choice of four sets of dinosaurs, each group having five stages to go through. Whilst there is a healthy variety of authentic dinos, including T-rex, triceratopses, raptors, and stegosauruses, within each set the choice is purely a cosmetic one, as all members of a particular control and act exactly the same. You are given the opportunity to alter the colour of your dinosaur, and also what special stat-boosting items it has equipped, so there are a fair number of customising options to use to offset the similar feel they all possess. These reshaping attributes do highlight a baffling omission the game has - non-use of the touch-screen, which would have been ideal for keyboard and menu selection inputs. As it is, the second screen is purely for statuses, leaving the top screen uncluttered.
After choosing which creature you want to control, you start exploring levels. Be they forest areas, wastelands, or canyons, each area feels alive and a breeze to trudge around in - the first time at least. Your chosen dinosaur moves and reacts exactly how you would expect one to, and incentive to veer off the beaten track is given with collectable bones that unlock new goodies in the extras menu. The levels’ paths are fairly linear however, and it isn't long until you meet your first opponent.
Dinosaur fights take place on an isolated plane, in a manner not unlike that of the Punch-Out!! series, with dodging, strikes, and special attacks. Control is fluid and reliable, and early fights ease you in with tutorial sections and more predictable enemy patterns. Unlike Nintendo's boxing sim though, these fights tend to get repetitive as soon as the tutorial introductions are wrapped up, mostly due to the high encounter rate of battles, and that enemies within each level have the same strike pattern. Admirable attempts have been made to inject a bit more variety, with earthquakes that reduce the size of the battlefield, leading to easier ring out situations, or sudden death volcanic eruptions should a battle be taking too long, or, strangely enough, a giant piece of broccoli randomly turning up to challenge you, but these often serve as annoying distractions rather than welcome events. The core battle mechanic is solid, but due to these factors can become somewhat tedious around the middle of the campaign mode.
The game does have a respectable amount to unlock, including new customisations for your dinosaurs, and some factoids on the more unusual members of the species, so despite the repetitive nature of the main single player there is some weight to it, though nothing you'd feel the need to return to in the future. A local trade option allows you to swap equipment with a friend, and the StreetPass feature puts your dinos in battle against others for prizes, thereby extending the life of the game - but not by much, and nowhere near enough to justify the full retail price tag. Combat of Giants: Dinosaur 3D’s three-dimensional ability adds to potential value as an effective tech demo, and the nature of the fighting system lends the game well to younger minds, but as a full gaming experience, there's far more bone than meat.
Solid control and battle mechanics, counterbalanced by considerable reuse of the same areas and situations.
A fairly competent looking title, given a significant boost through the 3D aspect. Environments and dinosaurs themselves are excellently realised, if lacking in variety.
Roars and wildlife noises are authentic, but background tunes are generic action themes and instantly forgettable.
Purely a single player game. All four level maps and all unlockables take some time to complete, but outside of the StreetPass feature, only the potential to demo to others would see a player return, thereby nowhere near justifying the price tag.
A fun scrapper for younger minds, and an effective showcase for the 3D effects’ capabilities, but the repetitive and short nature of Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D ensures that it won’t be long before its time in your 3DS becomes a thing of the past.
how... how could they mess up a game about dinosaur battles?
seriously, like austin said, how is that possible to screw up a dinosaur game, on battles?
i have this game i think its fun to be honest
Suure it starts easy,as it tells you how to play, but then the difficulty gets a LOT HARDER!! To unforgiving if you ask me! The computer is a damn CHEATER! I dodge
perfectly, and the Damn GAME claims that I didn't dodge Fast enough!!! WHO THE HELL PROGRAMED THIS GAME?!?!?! THEY SHOULD BE FIRED!!!!!!!
I hate the game....... ima bout to go get the wii version
i think the game is pretty cool if i do say so myself.