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reviews >> playstation 2
Dino Stalker

written by Shaun McCracken

Game Information
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Year Released: 2002
Players: 1

Visuals 5
Boring scenery, heavy aliasing, arcahic cinematic visuals, and bad video compression.
Audio 5
Gameplay 4
Who the hell thought you can control movement with a gun? COME ON! Nothing in here really goes beyond shooting the crap out of things.
Replay Value 3.5
It's an hour long, and you probably won't want to touch it again after you're done.
Reviewer's Impression 5
I was hoping this would be a game that would let me get some usage out of my light gun, but it's easier to just use the standard controller.
Overall 5
If you're looking for another light gun game to play, just rent this one. Wait until the next game Namco decides to release for the Guncon accessory.

Light gun games usually don't have much going for them. They're short, they're generally linear, and the story/plot is never that compelling. Dino Stalker does nothing to change this trend. In fact, this is a light gun game that's better played with a controller, so what does that say about Dino Stalker? And if you think this is a sequel or a spinoff of Capcom's Dino Crisis series, well, prepare to be disappointed even more. In fact, perhaps that should be the word of the day in this review: "disappointment".

The story of Dino Stlaker is uninvolving and somewhat confusing, as you're a WWII pilot that's about to meet his end in a plane crash, but then he's suddenly transported to another time that seems like the prehistoric era. While the first few stages have you belive that you are in prehistoric times, suddenly you see modern monuments and bulidings, so then you wonder where in time you are exactally? Apparently, the easiest and sloppiest way to explain where you are is a "rift in time". Some girl (pretty much the only one in existence) has brought you to her time, because you were about to die anyway, so you seem perfectly disposable to help her out. Later you find out that when you do help her in her mission, you'll be sent back to your time to die the way you were supposed to, so why in GOD'S NAME WOULD YOU HELP HER IF YOU WERE GOING TO BE SENT BACK TO YOUR TIME? But I'll save you the trouble and tell you that she intervienes in your era so that you DON't die in the end of the game (Wasn't there a movie about people interviening in the way of other people's deaths? And didn't bad things happen to them?). I know I basically spoiled the story here, but understand that: 1 )The story is crappy, 2) The game is only an hour long, and 3) It's a light gun shooter, so the story really doesn't matter.

The gameplay of Dino Stalker seems to lack direction. Capcom says that it's "recommended" that you use the Guncon 2 accessory, or any light gun that will work with the PS2. By that "recommendation", you would be under the impression that this would be an "on-rails" shooter. But it's not. You will have to move your character through most of the stages using the D-Pad on the Guncon controller. I have to say that this is not the easiest way to play the game, and it's actually tiring and innacurate to use one hand to both move and shoot your way through the stage. Imagine if you had to play Turok, or many other FPS games like this. It would suck hard, so why did Capcom do that here? I found it much easier to use the PS2 controller to play the game, in fact, it was almost like I was cheating because it was so easy. It's rather weak that most of the challenge has to come from negotiating movements from a light gun. The game itself really consists of shooting your way from point A to point B, with some bosses thrown in between. It's not like Capcom's other action titles that include puzzles or exploraration. It's straight up shooting. And it's also REALLY short, where you can complete the game in an hour or less. Not a lot of bang for the buck, really.

Visually, Dino Stalker is mediocre at best. The video quality is awful compared to most PS2 games out there, where the compression is at PS1 levels, as well as cinematic style. I really haven't seen video that has looked like this since 1998. The in-game visuals are average, with decent vegetation, but rather bland environments that never give a "wow" moment. There's also a heavy dose of aliasing, as well. For a game that comes out almost two years into the PS2's lifespan, there's not much here that impresses. The audio is equally mediocre. The voice acting is terrible, the music is meh (yeah, "meh"), and the effects are basic. There's really nothing impressive to expect out of this element of the game, either.

Final Thought

If you do have a light gun accessory, I'd just rent this game, but honestly if you passed this one by, you wouldn't miss much. The gameplay is uneven, the visuals are mediocre, and the game is just plain short without much incentive to replay it. The storytelling is a spectacular failure, with one of the stupidest plots and dialouge that I've seen in quite some time. Dino Stalker really doesn't do itself any favors by letting exectations down in every aspect of the game, so you probably shouldn't do it a favor by playing it.