This week we'll be taking a look at the 1999 Neo Geo shoot 'em up Prehistoric Isle 2 developed by Yumekobo (formerly known as Aicom). It's the sequel to Prehistoric Isle in 1930 an SNK arcade game which predates the MVS hardware. Although Yumekobo's previous Neo Geo shooters Pulstar and Blazing Star are very popular Prehistoric Isle 2 doesn't seem to get discussed all that often. Will be interesting to hear people's views about the game. Please vote in the poll and share your thoughts in this week's Game of the Week discussion!
Prehistoric Isle 2
Genre: Shoot 'em Up Players: 1-2 Size: 478 megs Released on: MVS
Prehistoric Isle 2 is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up in which armed with your attack helicopter you must shoot down hordes of dinosaurs both in the air and on land. It's set in modern times unlike the first game. You are tasked with rescuing civilians from the rampaging dinosaurs and at various points in the game are instructed to 'Defend People' adopting a defensive role whilst any survivors in that area are picked up by a rescue helicopter.
There's a choice of two different helicopters each with their own different firing patterns and bomb attacks. The blue helicopter has a slightly faster speed. Your main weapon can be enhanced in two different ways by collecting power-ups of either C or G type and up to a maximum of level 5. Various types of missile power-ups can also be picked up to boost your firepower. Normally you can only take one hit before losing a life but it's also possible to play with a life gauge if you are using a certain bios. Collecting the stars which appear is essential to achieving a high score.
WOAH! Two GoTWs in a row!?!? Seriously, this hasn't happened in what? Years? Very Awesome to see, indeed.
So, PI2... not a big fan myself, but I actually play this game often -- my nephew loves it. The game itself is pretty good looking, IMO. The bosses are pretty, big pseudo-3d sprites. The music matches the game pretty good. I like the "save the people" bonus stages. But, the game is just boring to me, I'd NEVER play it alone, and THAT kinda says a lot. Playing it 2P with my nephew is a lot of fun because he loves all the dinos and really gets into it.
In all honesty, I'll probably never buy this game ( I have it on multi cart only). It's pretty expensive in either form, and I really can't bring myself to justify the price.
Edited by LIFE_IN_2D on 28. August 2011 17:51
shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ass...
Ready for a shock? I just played this game for the first time a few days ago.
I know, I know. Just breathe, it'll be okay.
Judging from the recent poll I knew it was going to be Game of the Week soon and I've heard nothing but great things about it, so I decided to give it a go. I haven't played it enough to vote in the poll yet, but I'm loving it so far. It's very cinematic and really feels like it's running on much more powerful hardware. The pseudo-3D effects remind me a bit of Ikaruga. And saying any shooter reminds you of Ikaruga is one of the biggest compliments you can give. I also really like how they incorporated a bit of Defender influence into a more traditional shooter. Needless to say I'll be playing this one a lot this week so I can weigh in later.
I remember playing PI2 once several months ago. I actually didn't make it past stage 2 since I ended up quitting. It felt too bland and boring to me. I didn't care too much for the pseudo-3D graphics, either.
Needless to say, I should really give it another go. I might be a bit more open-minded about it this time around.
I'm glad as well that GotW is going to be actually weekly again.
Again thanks to Merlin / Mojo in future.
For Prehistoric Isle 2 itself I actually share mixed feelings. On the one hand Yumekobo made a brilliant job in developing such an innovative gameplay. I like in particular the sections where you need to take all these civilians on a rope to rescue points or where you defend the rescuing Chinooks from all that prehistoric breed such as Pterosaurs, T-Rexes, Iguanodons or however these are named. Most bosses are pretty nice and the game's later pace quite demands some skills and time, as it's quite a long NG title too. The last boss in particular is pretty time- and bullet-intensive as far as I remember.
On the other hand I don't like much the music and the rendered graphics used in PI2. What really looked nice and polished in Pulstar or Blazing Star, doesn't work for me this time. Everything looks quite plastic and carelessly although some details are pretty nice. I'd have loved if Yumekobo would have carry on the graphical style from Prehistoric Isles 1, which was way more charming imo. Again speaking of the game's length, I think the PI2 is quite tedious as well, which is an important factor for me. As 2D already mentioned, in 1P mode this gets a bit on one's nerves. If this game should be enjoyed properly, then in 2P Co-op imo.
What we got here after all is quite a nice game from the late part of the orignal SNK/Yumekobo history, but not necessarily a blast like Pulstar or Blazing Star was. I recommend to take a look on the (imo better) prequel as well, as it's completely different to this one (but sadly no Neo Geo title).
I think PI2 have a really good variety of levels.
The bosses are the best part. The last one, the octopus, it's really great.
I think this game is really funny to play with a friend.
Most shooters are games to play alone, but not this one.
I might try to enter this one, but I'm guessing it's already going to be a heated battle since I know a few people were really looking forward to this HSC.
My score is in, but the more people that post scores the better!! My score isnt a very high one for a Japan BIOS play, so if you have the ability to try it set to Japan region, you may find it alot easier.
As i said in the high score thread for this game, there is a difference between the Japan region and all others, cause with a Japan BIOS you have a life bar, and on the others you have lives instead. The life bar makes it alot easier, cause you can also get an item that will refill your health bar, which is effectively giving you alot more than just 1 extra life.
So im not sure how it will be done, but it may be needed to have two different lists for high scores to take this fact into account.
I dont think i could get the same score on other regions as i can on Japan.
I have this on AES, so i cant just change the settings. I do have 2 AES consoles though, i always use the Japan console for playing for high scores, the other console has a uniBIOS in it, so i can change regions on that.
This isn't a very memorable game for me. It's OK, but not what I would call gold. It might be fun to do a co-op playthrough of this on Kaillera next week? The best part of the game is actually pictured on the home page (love that T-Rex attacking)! Kudo to whoever captured that still.
Like 2D I also have this on multicart and do enjoy the odd blast but it is unlikely I will purchase it on MVS due to its high cost . Its a fun shooter bit I agree the graphics are odd but very impressive all the same, I suppose another example of the power and versatility of the NG hardware. I kinda reminds me of Shock Troopers 2 the graphical style but if you are looking to buy a decent shooter on NG then I would pick Blazing Star or Strikers over this both of which are also gonna cost ya.
If you'd like my view, I find this game somehow unique. It isn't many games that you get to use a helicopter (the old vertical scrolling shooter SNK game Chopper has one). My favourite helicopter is the green chinook looking one. In animation I like the way the camera swerves round as the helicopter turns round buildings. I think the first stage takes place in Florida, the stages that come after that I found a little disappointing and lacking in variety and ecosystems. No cavemen exist in this game this time. Rescuing hostages makes a nice side mission all the while trying to stay in one piece.
I don't when this game takes place (probably the late 20th century) or what has been going on since the time gap between then and the 1930s, but the dinosaurs have gone out of the Bermuda Triangle and invaded the neighbouring islands and USA.
I only wish the development of this game could have been done a bit more thoroughly. I would have like to see more camera swerving through cluster tree canopies, canyons, volcanic tunnels, river gorges and mountain chains.
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