Here we are. Part 4 of 4. It’s been a long ride (for me at least) and I’m ready to finish this shit off. I need more variety in my life. Playing one game series for eight weeks, which doesn’t have the story or longevity of a strategy or RPG series, it starts to get stale. Still, since this is the big conclusion to this long ass journey, there should be some sort of big payoff, right?
HERE’S WHAT I REMEMBER:
After being pleasantly surprised by the amount of fun I had playing as Alan Grant, I figured that the Raptor campaign must be amazing! It was the only part of the previous game that made it worth playing after all. So, with this in mind, how much do I remember?
The only part that comes to mind is the final boss: a red Raptor. You see, unlike the original, I never beat the Raptor campaign because this crimson asshole kicked the shit out of me every time I fought her (it’s Jurassic Park, all dinosaurs are female…you sexist pig). No matter what tactics I tried, no matter what exploits I found, I could never hit her enough to take her down. One time, we spent damn near ten minutes kicking, jumping, and biting each other. In the end, I was taken down yet again.It felt like BlueSky doubled down on the boss difficulty after the previous game where the final boss (Alan Grant) was defeated by kicking the base of a skeleton a few times.
Yup, that’s it. I remember playing the Raptor in the original ‘Jurassic Park’ and Alan Grant in ‘Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition’ due to the fact that I could beat them. Beyond this…I think I remember some trees? Oh! And that you can do a sweet Raptor flip! I don’t know why it exists, but deep down, don’t we all need some Raptor flips in our lives?
HOW DOES IT HOLD UP?
The best way to describe my time replaying this campaign is that I kind of had fun. There were moments when I was amused, but the majority of what I played was either bland or flat out frustrating, especially compared to the fun I had playing as Grant. If ‘Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition’ was a diner then Alan Grant’s campaign is a delicious, buttery grilled cheese sandwich, while the Raptor campaign is the cold, plain chicken sandwich the creepy van guy with angry chihuahua always orders.
The biggest drawback is the level design. All the levels were clearly designed for Grant to traverse and not a Raptor. I’m sure with a tweak here and there they could have made the adjustments needed to support both characters, but nope. Apparently that person sized ledge is good enough for an oversized animal. The original game allowed the Raptor to grab onto ledges to get to those hard to reach places, but as one last passive aggressive “fuck you”, BlueSky took that away. What you’re left with are a bunch of alternate paths that you can find and spend hours trying to flip onto the ledge above, only to fall off again and again, eventually landing below your starting point.
Each level is jam packed with enemies, which was great for Grant, but it’s a death sentence for the Raptor. Grenades come from every direction, two or three at a time, and if you stay in one spot for more than a moment, you’re dead. You’re only option is to run. If you’re thinking, “wait, you just run to the exit of each level to beat the game?”, then you’d be right. The only way to win is to ignore everything and keep moving. In a way, it’s realistic that an animal would run off in the face of danger. In another way, I’M A FUCKING RAPTOR AND I WANT TO GO COOL RAPTOR SHIT!
I didn’t make it to the end of the game, however unlike Grant it’s because I got bored with it rather than run out of time. There’s not a lot to do as the Raptor. You just path your way through the level and run. There’s even a level that’s a straight line with plenty of health pick ups. Running straight and jumping a few times isn’t fun, it’s padding. As I was playing, I realized that all this non-fun I was having was leading up to a fight with the unbeatable (to me) Red Raptor boss. Putting up with bullshit just to see more bullshit game me the nudge I needed to finally shut this game off and start up ‘Earthbound’ (which I never played since I didn’t have a Super Nintendo back in the day).
That’s it for this special, fantastical, amazing, stupendous, dumb four part series. I was able to answer a few lingering questions that have been on my mind for years (the biggest being “why did I waste so much time with these games?) and that has been cathartic for me. Ever since I started this article series, these are the two games I wanted to revisit the most. As for you dear reader, I hope you got something out of it. Maybe you’ll check out the games, maybe you won’t. Maybe you we entertained, maybe you weren’t. Maybe I’ll get blackout drunk and forget that I wrote this whole series, or maybe Unicorns will solve world hunger. In any case, I hope everyone is having a great summer.