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XBox Reviews: Dinotopia - The Sunstone Odyssey


Dinotopia: The Sunstone Odyssey Screenshots


The Final Say!


Dinotopia: The Sunstone Odyssey
- reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: April 2003
Review Score: 5.3/10 
Distributed By: Take2 Interactive

I think at some stage most people have heard of Dinotopia, the mythical land where humans and dinosaurs co-exist. Even if you don't know the story, you would have at some stage seen the incredibly detailed pictures from the books and posters that adorn most book shops.


This game is an odd one as it's a nice looking game that just isn't a ton of fun to play. You can see that enough work has been put into the title to make it visually appealing but there are a number of factors that make it a game that maybe little kids who like dinosaurs will enjoy. The story is basic enough and those familiar with the movies etc will know it. There are two brothers, Drake and Jacob Gemini who lose their father who is killed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Jacob takes the side of humans who wish to rid the world of dinosaurs and Drake is all for the peaceful coexistance between the two species.


What ensues is a basic go get it kind of game where you'll be sent on various tasks to get an item to get something done. There is a basic combat involved with the game that is pretty neat, however the range of moves are not comprehensive enough to redeem the title as a fighter. You get to play the game as good guy Drake who gets to whack things with a mallet that has upgradeable heads.


There are two main attacks that are standard to the game and then there is a magic attack that can be undertaken if your magic level is high enough to get jiggy with it. Even though these upgrades do exist, you just know what you are in for from the very beginning, and for anyone who is more than a casual gamer or small child, it's just not going to be enough to hold your interest for very long.


Graphically Dinotopia is moderately pleasant to look at, however doesn't offer anything new in terms of realism. Animations are solid and in as far as movement goes, everything moves nice and smoothly and for the most part at a very solid framerate so in terms of general experience through gameplay there isn't much to complain about. It's simply a case that some of the texture work appears to be a little flat and "samey".


Audio is the brightest point to the game from my point of view with a great soundtrack running through the background that reacts to the player's environment and circumstances. The music plays well and does immerse you a little bit into the game however it's not enough to keep anyone older than 13 interested the whole way through. 

All things said and done, Dinotopia is a renter plain and simple, it's not good enough to recommend a purchase and yet not so bad that if you feel even a prickle of interest you should hire it for yourself. The dinosaurs are a delight in it and are truly the strong point for the game. I guess one of the reasons that I felt a bit annoyed was the way that you are treated as a gofer for some really stupid quests like getting apples for a pie that a dinosaur wishes to bake, come along now!

However it might just be what you need in your life. Like I said, give this one a rent and find out for yourself. For me though, I'm going to give it a miss.

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com