Adventures of Dino Riki (1989)
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Shoot 'em Up
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(Anonymous) (Unknown) 28th Mar 2012 06:25
"The dinosaurs will eat you alive in this one."
The first batch of Nintendo shooters that came out weren't too spectacular for the NES. Adventures of Dino Riki is just another pea shooter with flawed gameplay, poor animations, and linear movement. Hudson Soft, which was known for making a few good games for the NES during its prime, simply failed on this game. Dino Riki is suppose to be an exciting action-paced shooter, but more of the less turns into a survival game as you get overrun with obstacles and unending amounts of enemies. There is no storyline behind the gameplay. You are simply a young cave boy who goes out killing dinosaurs all over the Earth. No wonder why the dinosaurs died out over 65 million years ago.
There's not much to say in this department. Your character, Dino Riki, doesn't look much like a fierce warrior. Instead, his appearance is more of a high hippy during the 1970s. His smiling face doesn't fit the action sequence of the game, and he constantly wiggles his hands throughout gameplay. The basic camera view for Dino Riki is an overhead view, but the screen slowly scrolls vertically upward constantly. Landscape is somewhat dull, although there will be occasional changes in terrain or a rocky formation ahead. Identical tiles practically fill the ground, with very little variety in colors. Enemies have no real different appearance, and have no distinguishing qualities from other opponents. Weapon animations are slightly better in the sense that you can tell a boomerang from a thrown rock, but there's no special jazz effect when you kill a boss.
Speaking of which, bosses look just like oversize regular enemies. There is simply nothing appealing to the eyes, or something that catches your perception. No eyebusting colors, or ferocious backgrounds. Hudson Soft didn't manage to capture the essence that we look for in many action games, with scenery making a huge difference. Adventures of Dino Riki simply features mediocre graphics, nothing more, or nothing less.
On a pleasant note, the sound was much better in this game than I would have expected. Every weapon thrown will make a a different sound, which is good because a boomerang sounds nothing like an axe thrown in mid-air. Collecting powerups will make a quick little cha-ching sound. Little tidbit effects will make their appearance on every level, and certain obstacles (such as flame throwing turrets), make their own fire sound. At least Hudson Soft managed to put some detail as to how certain enemies attack, and the different pitches they use. Any gamer will enjoy the sound effects, but don't expect any thing ground breaking.
As for the in-game music, it was very well performed. While most of the music doesn't capture an action-packed feeling, each level theme fits the stage well. For example, the first level in the game has music that gives the game a joyful feeling. However, in the third level, where you're in some type of graveyard, the music shifts to a more dark and mysterious type. It's really pleasant to know that developers will match theme songs that sound well based on the level. Hudson Soft could've taken the easy option, and just went with one theme song, but then the game would have turned into a more horrible piece of crud.
The gameplay system in Dino Riki is unbearable. There are many ways of describing it. Whether it be horrible, disgusting, a disgrace, they all fit the bill. Since Adventures of Dino Riki is an arcade shooter, gameplay is somewhat moderately paced. Enemies fly off the top of the screen, while the entire screen scrolls vertically. You can move Riki anyway you want, but he moves at an extremely slow pace. You press the B button to throw rocks, and thankfully you have an unlimited supply. You can also jump with the A button, but the jumping system is very unresponsive and inaccurate in Dino Riki. In many levels, you're forced to jump from platform to platform, or face death by drowning in water/falling in a pit. The problem with the jumping system is that sometimes many jumps will be misplaced, or he leaps too far. The controller isn't responsive enough, and the directional pad makes it hard to aim on diagonal jumps. With disappearing platforms, and shifting floors, it completely ruins any chance of you beating the game fair and square.
Another problem is that the gamer becomes overwhelmed with enemies, projectiles, and obstacles all on the screen at once. Enemies zip from the top of the screen down in zig zag patterns, swing approaches, or do repeat patterns while shooting bullets at you. Not only do you have to avoid all these little projectiles, but you can't hit any enemies, nor can you fall in any obstacles or traps. If you do, you lose a heart container in your life bar. You only start off with two hearts, and after all your hearts run out, you lose a life. The developers though were so stupid because there are no continues! Once you die twice, it's game over. Basically, if you mistime a jump, get overrun by twenty enemies at once, or get shot, your chances of beating the game are diminished by fifty percent. The challenge in Dino Riki is very hard. Many enemies take more than one shot from Riki, and obstacle evasion is too hard.
The only way to make Dino Riki more powerful is by collecting powerups, which can be gained by destroying pots, holders, or little cases on each level. These powerups speed Dino up, give him better/increased weapons, or more points. While this is probably the only good concept in the game, it just doesn't put enough up. At the end of each level, there is a boss. But each boss is so easy that the actual levels are harder to get through than the bosses. Most bosses have simple strategies or weaving patterns, and all you have to do is keep firing.
Trust me, this game isn't fun. It's more of the less like cleaning bathrooms as a household chore, all the dirt and grease isn't just going to come off. You're going to have to scrub. Everything in Dino Riki is more of a hassle, then an actual enjoying experience. Jumping from platform to platform on certain levels with an unresponsive jumping system doesn't match well. You're going to die, and then you're going to throw the game against the floor. Twenty enemies on screen at once shooting projectiles at you doesn't help your situation either. The game overwhelms you; it doesn't comfort or give you any enjoyment in putting dinosaurs out of their misery.
On rare occasions, I did come back to play this game once in a while. You have to remember, it's a pea shooting game. You will face lots of enemies, and there will be difficult stages to pass. I actually came back to play more using cheat codes, rather than playing fairly. The gameplay system is too hard for any regular gamer to beat without using unlimited continues. While Riki may not be a fast paced shooter, it may provide some gameplay that lures you back to play more. But remember, this is a hard game, and it will challenge you to play more.
It is simply a very difficult game. While Dino Riki sounds easy because it's an arcade shooter, it isn't. Enemies fly onto screen, and attempt to kill you at all costs. The developers even programmed certain parts in the stage to ''speed up'' framerate wise so that a specific enemy would get a boost of speed at charging you. The gameplay system in Dino Riki is flawed with overchallenging enemies, and bad controls. You're going to have a very difficult time getting past the first level since you only have two lives and no continues. Unless you use the unlimited continues, or some other form of cheating, there's no way you're going to beat this game. When you have sluggish control on a dinosaur hunter, there's no way you're going to be hunting dinosaurs. Instead, this game should be renamed as Dinosaurs hunting Riki. You're simply a smudge, not a big powerful warrior.
Final Factor [3/10]
Adventures of Dino Riki is just a bad game. The gameplay issues come up way short than expected. There's only one mode of gameplay - single player adventure mode. The chances of you making it past the first level are smaller than a horse winning the triple crown. Why bother with a game that provides no fun, entertainment, or way of being beaten? Think of this way. The next time you see this game, don't buy it. If you have to shove it out of the way with both of your hands, then do so. It's only going to cause more of a headache thinking about it, than actually playing it. Besides, Dino Riki is not a rare game, nor does it provide any memorable gaming experience.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10, Originally Posted: 07/20/03, Updated 07/20/03
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This title was first added on 2nd March 2008
This title was most recently updated on 28th March 2012