Ill be honest with you. When I
received this game from Shawn while he was visiting home for the holidays, I didnt
exactly have high hopes. Prehistoric with a "k"? How good could it be? Very very
story goes something like this: youre Sam, goofy caveman and all around nice guy.
Life was good until some "greedy dinosaurs" decided to eat your towns
winter food supply. The curs! So its up to Sam to go out into the harsh pixilated
world and find some damn dinner. Yes, I know, its one of the weakest plots in a
video game to date, but this isnt an RPG, its a platformer. Its not like
theres a gripping and twisting plot to any Mario game. I mean, if we can accept that
Peach or Daisy has gotten kidnapped, again, we can accept that those mean ol
dinos ate our heros lunch.
to the game. As Ive said before, this is a platformer. That means that youre
going to have to put up with some boring ledge hopping for a bit. But fret not, around the
third level it all starts to pick up. If Im not mistaken, thats the level when
you hang glide across the canyon. It really impressed me that theyd gotten the
control down for that part so well. You only hang glide in that mission. This really shows
some dedication. I mean, the sheer amount of variety found in Prehistorik Man is mind
boggling for a handheld platform game. Youll go from gliding to tunneling to
stealing back a relic from some disdainful apes in three levels flat! It kept a smile on
my face and an inclination to play.
Ah, but what
of the play? Solid, solid stuff. While I still think that Sam jumps far too high for
how do I put this
big he is, I can see why they did it (makes for far more
forgiving platform jumping). The control is tight and quite basic. Basic, but very
intuitive. To run you do Up-Left or Up-Right. To use your weapon you hit B. To jump, A. To
look around, L, and to do Sams special move, the shout (which kills everything on
the screen except for bosses), you tap the R button. This enables good control for combat
and exploration, and since they are both so crucial (more emphasis on exploration, with
you getting judged by a tribe elder after each level on how much food you brought back) I
never felt like I was fighting the controls, which is a very good thing. Enemies are
tough, but never impossible. Even the bosses are at a good difficulty level.
I do have a
couple of gameplay qualms though. Prehistorik Man uses a password system for saving. So
what? A lot of handheld games do. But its different here. You have to find a store
in the level and buy the password with items youve been collecting. A novel idea,
but highly frustrating. The Game Boy Advance was made so you could play five minutes here,
ten there and get a good experience out of it. In this game you basically have to sit down
and play through the entire thing at once.
are very tasty eye-candy for a GBA game. Multiple layers of scrolling, vibrant colors, the
works. And not a hint of slowdown to boot. Still, it doesnt break any boundaries or
redefine what a portable game can look like. It works.
Much like the visuals, the audio is above average, but not amazing. The music is pretty
good, but its nothing like the Mario Bros. Theme, which I can recite perfectly even
to this day. I did get annoyed at Sams grunts after a few levels.
Man is a game far superior to its name. Inventive gameplay, solid controls, and genuine
fun all in a game that cant spell its own title properly. I was impressed once
I gave it a chance and that glee never subsided the whole way through. Prehistorik Man is
without a doubt one of the best platformers on the system. Go buy it.