Written by  :  Chris Wright (105)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2011
Platform  :  Nintendo 64
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Gruesome gigantic bosses, an impressive arsenal, but somewhat lacking

The Good

Before Acclaim were bribing parents to name their new child 'Turok', they actually had quite a solid franchise on their hands. Turok 2 took the basic 'Native American butchering dinosaurs' concept of the original title and made some major enhancements in two areas.

The first of these was the addition of rather more profound weaponry, such a tactical nuke, and the infamous  Cerebral Bore. If you aren't familiar, the Bore not only delves into the target's cranium, but also detonates an explosive charge once it reaches the brain. Quite inventive, and certainly gruesome on three levels -- conceptual, visual, and aural. Not ultimately that useful in the heat of battle, however.

The second area of enhancement are the gigantic, complex, and horrifically malformed bosses. Turok 2 took advantage of the plug-in N64 memory pack to render these teratogenic nightmares with enhanced clarity. One thing the bosses have in common is a tendency to lose body parts to Turok's predations, in gory fashion. Quite amusing, if you're into that kind of thing. Potentially sickening if not.

The Bad

Despite these enhancements, I can't really say that Turok 2 surpasses, or even equals, the original Turok. I mean, everything looks good on paper, but I ended up playing more of the original and less of the sequel -- even though I owned part two and only rented part one (on multiple occasions).

If I were to speculate on why the sequel doesn't really appeal so much, I could come up with a few ideas. First, the frame rate suffers for all the added visual complexity, making play more difficult, even frustrating at times. Second, the level design is not as pleasant or interesting or free-form as the intriguing misty canyons of Turok one. One of the later levels is so dark, laborious, and un-fun that I stopped playing for good rather than press on.

Moreover, the weapons may seem extravagant and highly destructive, but in the end I feel like I could clear a room more effectively with DOOM II's Super Shotgun. They have great novelty value, but aren't really that fun in practice.

The Bottom Line

I reckon that I spent upwards of $80 on this cartridge after tax. Probably a mistake -- I should have rented it once instead. But I was so taken with the original that I got a little irrationally exuberant. Oh well - I'd still give it a B+, as the four-player deathmatch is worth a good 20 hours of play with some buddies.