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Larry the Dinosaur
(Delta Code)


"Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, Circa 65,000 BC!"

You are Larry, the last of a team of dinosaurs armed with guns trying to defend your planet from Xenophobe's alien invasion. All your fellow soldiers have already been eaten alive by the rock monsters and your planet's other deadly monstrosities.

Travel through the mountains, the bridges, Xenophobe's base, and even the wild west while shooting down jelly blobs and leaping over spike pits! You're on your own now, Larry! Take 'em all down or go down trying!!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Average. I've seen better, but then again, I've seen worse. The graphics are not bad in this game. I particularly liked the splutting of Larry when he got killed. Unfortunately, Larry has a black box surrounding him, so if you get too close to spikes you can't see them, they are cut off by the box. Also, because of the black box, the background is black (note: I think it is actually a system color, i.e. the colors closest to 256 in SCREEN 13 mode), making it tough on your eyes, especially at night.

Larry The Dino makes extensive use of QBasic LINE and CIRCLE commands. Some of the explosions are pretty low in quality, as 100 concentric circles drawn inside each other make an explosion. Other explosions are very blocky, as in confined to a box and thus the explosions sort of exploded in on themselves. The backgrounds were not bad, but the desert scenes were not particularly well drawn and it looked like LINE and CIRCLE was used in some cases.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Nothing exquisite here. The PC speaker was at a low pitch when he walked, making the most pleasant PC speaker sound that I've ever heard. The most pleasant PC sound is worth two points, because of an annoying bleepy sound when some dino named Matt died.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vv
The keyboard relied on the ALT and CTRL keys, which isn't the best key combo. I kept jumping when I needed to shoot. You don't get enough ammunition to finish the level with in some cases, and you return to the same place every single time you are fighting the boss, which makes it easy for them to corner you and kill you if they are on the left side of the screen when you died.

It is hard to time the jump part of jumping over enemies when you can't kill them because you have no ammo or you just shot. Also, if you finish an episode, you have to load another program. There's no cheat protection that disallows you from skipping to the last episode of the game, so if you really wanted to, you could skip playing the first two episodes of the game and run the episode that takes you straight to Xenophobe's lair!

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
The game relies on the story. It's 65000 B.C., and the dinosaurs are thriving. Unfortunately, aliens have landed! You are Larry and you set out with five other dinosaurs to stop the aliens from taking the earth over. The five dinosaurs died along the way, and from there you're on your own.

The story builds as you go along, creating a feeling of continuing on. However, the story can be pretty darn long when Larry is talking to the other dinosaurs, plus I don't think he ever reveals his name to them. There is a "dramatic" scene with Steve, which I did not understand as to why Steve and Larry did not team up. The game terminates with a tough battle against Xenophobe, made tougher if you die with Xenophobe to the left because he's (or is it a she?) so fast you don't have time to react.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
(Very Poor) There's really no reason to play this game again. Once you're done, you're done. It doesn't have any coins to create a high score, nor does it even have a scoring system. The enemies and hit detection are also off, so it suffers the platform game replay value disease of no points.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
There are different difficulty modes, probably without the programmers realizing it. You can make this game impossible or very easy by changing the speed of the characters. I dawdled through the levels when the opponents were so slow they did not show up on the screen at all (except for the spikes). The boss does not reset its lives once you lose all your lives, making it easy to beat the bosses.

However, you rarely get enough ammunition to win a level, and some of the ball bearings that roll toward you are black and hard to see, so this game salvages a point. Unfortunately, those work against the game's fun factor.

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
There are enough setbacks in this game to make it not that fun. There needs to be an ideal difficulty level, which is tough for the first timer to discern. And, because of the replay value, that might never be fully found. Larry the Dino had everything going for it with the story, but seems to aim towards the wrong audience. Kids would love this game if you gave it some replayability.

Unfortunately, it contains gory death scenes, which for me happened all too often (to my delight). This game is not for children. This is too bad, for a children's platform game can be addicting (like kids playing Mario on their Game Boys. It's intended for everybody, but kids have the most fun playing it, or so it seems). Take out the gore and make it replayable and you've got a fine children's game.

On a different note, for me time is valuable, and sitting through scenes that take several minutes without any action except for a dinosaur's mouth moving (where's the story skip?) is not fun. Also not fun is jumping over a rock monster (where are the aliens?) when trying to shoot or when I'm out of ammo because you don't get enough and there's no reloads. Couple that with the strange collision techniques and Larry the Dino, in retrospect, is a promising game gone to pot because of its intended audience and several setbacks.

Larry the Dinosaur Reviewed by Diamond Titan

Players 1 player Genre: Platform Game
Rating To solve: 1 hour Final Rating: 10/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wTo play the three episodes of Larry the Dinosaur, unzip the file and run "LARRYE1.EXE" to play the first episode of Larry the Dinosaur, "LARRYE2.EXE" to play the second episode, and "LARRYE3.EXE" to run the third episode.
wOn the game's title screen, press "4" and "6" to adjust the game speed of Larry. Press "-" and "+" to adjust the game speed of the game's enemies.

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