Turok 3: Shadow Of Oblivion
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6  |  A Lot To Do Here, But Just How Much Fun IS This Game?
Darryl B. , 5/26/2006 8:50:14 PM
I got interested in this game pretty quick (due to part of the first stage reminding me of the old coin-op Front Line) once I saw the nephew playing it on his GameBoy a few months ago, although, for some strange reason, the graphics were really crummy for a so-called 32 bit system that is the GameBoy Advance. What the hell?

Then, upon a closer look, I found out that Turok 3 was a Gameboy Color game.

Oh! THAT explains it! Yep, the Advance is compatible with the original GameBoy and Color games, as we go several years back...

So, let me say that, right off the bat, I don't know how to rank the graphics in this game, since this is the first GameBoy Color game that I've ever played, with nothing to compare it with. They're ok, I guess. Sound effects are adequate -- nothing real earth-shattering there either -- the controls work pretty decently, and the music is good, having a bit of an indian flavor (of course, due to the main character), but made extremely funky. Actually I think the game could have used an additional music piece or two, since a couple of pieces get played TOO much/to death, but oh well.

Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what the story is, but it involves dinosaurs (called Dinosoids, ah haaaaah ha) and humans actually living together on this fair planet of ours. Granted, we get the fullscreen sideshow bits (complete with Mandatory Scrolling Text As Updates) throughout the game notifying us on how things are going, but I just wasn't sure if this supposedly happened in the past or in the future with the dinosaur thing going on. However, since the first part of the game involves driving a tank around, I assume it's in the not too distant future, rather than the past. It's like "HUH! Me usem white man's heavily armored vehicle to unleash havoc! Me likem white man's heavily armored vehicle to go BOOM with!"

(Note to anyone thinking I'm being politically incorrect, or, at the very least, insensitive: yes, making jokes about other races is usually a no-no when you're a white person that's not of that same race...but I AM part indian, so I think I'm allowed to make fun of my own kind. Ha on you.)

So, the first part involves you driving a tank around, then infiltrating certain Dinosoid areas. From there on in, you're on foot, picking up ammo and dealing with multitudes of Dinosoids. They get pretty annoying, as they keep on popping up all the time, and none of your weapons are any good, since finding a gun later fires weak shots (multiple shots are needed to take out an enemy), arrows are also weak, and your best weapon (in my opinion) is your knife, but your reach is so incredibly short you're still going to be taking damage a fair amount of the time. It's like Cotton from the tv show King of the Hill, where his feet were reattached to his legs after the Japanese blew off his shins during World War II, so he ended up being a lot shorter than he was beforehand. Here it's like you have a very short arm, or maybe just a knife for an arm. The whole thing would be a bit comical if it wasn't so annoying (note: the nephew got this from a friend, minus instructions, so maybe I'm missing something in regards to somehow being able to deliver firepower that can take out an enemy with only one shot. But I doubt it).

After that, you get a variety of things going on that go under one of the two main parts of the said first level: one part involves you piloting some sort of vehicle, while everything else involves you running around on foot. The "driving" part of levels includes driving the said tank, a boat, a jeep, etc., and then the "walking" (and jumping, at times) parts of levels include areas that scroll either vertically or horizontally. There is also a bit of a puzzle involved, since a couple of levels rely on flipping switches that are on walls, which can open up and lead to other additional passageways.

Unfortunately, due to the weak ammo problem I mentioned earlier, I didn't find this game to be very fun in particular; there was only one level that I moderately enjoyed, although that was mostly due to it being unintentionally funny, since it involved you destroying crates of ammo. I don't see how that incredibly short reach of that half-arm of yours could blow up crates without you suffering any damage, but yeah, that's what happens. Turok must be one tough indian!

Due to the onscreen enemies being pretty large, by the time you see them, they're usually already on top of you, which arrows fire too slow, bullets are too weak (requiring you to back up and shoot again, which another Dinosoid might appear from behind, and meanwhile, you're using up ammo), and then you're usually left with your knife, which stabbing everything gets old...hence the lack of enjoyment I got from this game, and one really miserable part of one level requires you to storm a beach and blow up fuel canisters. You're constantly getting your butt kicked on this one by the enemy (I found it pointless to stop and shoot anybody), and there's not many healing crosses (found throughout the game) in this one to give you some of your health back, either.

So, my score for this game is mostly in regards to the variety and for it being a bit of a long playing game. It also had some pretty original bosses in it, like a giant alligator (or maybe it's a crocodile) in one level that is behind your boat, which you must dodge mines in the water so they hit the huge mutant alligator/croc behind you (!) until it's destroyed. There's also a giant crab later, which has been done quite a few times in games before, but it's against a totally blank screen, for some reason (?).

However, if you find yourself unable to get past one level, you're going to have to go through it again and again before you can beat it and get the password for the next level, which I found myself not caring as to getting past that blasted crab to see what was next (after multiple tries). I had had enough, and I tried several times to like this game, but I couldn't. Why force additional pain onto yourself? Next...

Still, it was nice to get a glimpse into the GameBoy Color games of the past, along with seeing posts on Atari Age (right before I wrote up this review, too, by total coincidence) about the Turok series, but then, everyone was talking about the Turok games that came out on other consoles when it was made into a first person shooter, rather than these. So I'd definitely like to give those a go, at some point, due to liking FPS'.

Turok (pointing at me through tiny GameBoy screen): HAW! Silly white man-reviewer is Nintendo-ignorant!

Yeah, you got THAT right.

But at least you don't see me playing with dinosaurs, running around without a shirt on, but while wearing makeup *and* a feather on top of MY head, pal. 6/10

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