As mentioned, Dinotopia
seems to have inherited the weakest control elements of Lady Sia
. Jumping is difficult to gauge, and worse still are the areas where jumps have to be judged without seeing the destination platform, as in places where you find a hidden route and have do a leap of faith through trees or around obstacles. Really, the worst thing is having to judge timing and realizing that you're adjusting for lag in the controls and a generally sticky feeling in the engine. Fighting close-up has a similar feel, stodgy, slow and unpredictable. If you're wondering how this equates to a Platformer that is anywhere close to playable, all I can say is that the controls are usually good enough. Enemy AI isn't exactly advanced, so you have plenty of opportunity to sneak up and nail the bad guys. For times when you find it impossible to avoid getting dinged because of weird control issues, Dinotopia
can be very frustrating. But, I found that the mechanics involved in piloting vehicles and flying the Skybax or riding the Hadrosaur were very passable. These levels feel like old-school arcade goodness, and the variety of having these along with standard platforming is probably what redeems poor control issues in Dinotopia
. Cycling through power-ups is made easy and intuitive with the R shoulder button, and an on-screen meter lets you know how much of the reusable Sunstone weapons you have left.
License games will always have some direct following by virtue of the fans who want every piece of product spawned by the book, movie or comic, etc. And, in some cases, license games deserve to stand on their own as quality productions, not just as something that was whipped together to satisfy fans and support the franchise. Dinotopia the game feels strongly derivative of RFK Interactive's last game, Lady Sia, but it does a nice job representing the world of Dinotopia. What is doesn't do is create a truly great Platformer. In fact, the frustration with poor controls and lack of any checkpoint system may lead you to put this one down completely. But, there is some quality gameplay here if you can overlook the flaws. And, fans of Dinotopia will no doubt be pleased.