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Prehistoric Isle in 1930 - Arcade Review
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I’ve played a lot of games in my time. A lot of these games have had crazy plots and just sheer lunacy, but yet no game has been so psychotic and yet mind numbingly awesome such as Prehistoric Isle in 1930. The game hit the arcades in 1989 and was produced by SNK. While normally this would have been a Neo Geo game, it was produced before the Neo Geo MVS hit arcades, so this game was it’s own arcade machine.

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There's a bunch of shipwrecks and missing planes huh? Let's go and solve this case....alone...

The plot of the game is pretty cool. It’s 1930 and there have been reports of various shipwrecks and missing planes within the perimeter of this mysterious island in the Bermuda Triangle. Your character decides that he will investigate the area to see what he can find as well as to solve the problem that is causing these disappearances. When he makes it to the island, he realizes that it is inhabited with living, breathing, dinosaurs who are very aggressive as they try to take his plane down.

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Why report such an amazing discovery when it's much more fun to simply kill 'em all?

Of course a game with such an amazing plot turns out to be a shooter. You control a biplane, as well as a submarine during an underwater level, and all you need to do is shoot everything in sight. Controlling the game is easy. You have a button to shoot and a button to control a secondary weapon. Much like any other shooters, you can pick up a power up that looks like a P capsule that will help you through the game. The P capsule can be used in multiple ways depending on how you position it. You can position this capsule in 8 different directions which include up, down, left, right, and all diagonal directions. Positioning the P Capsule in front of you will allow you to shoot a more powerful bullet. Positioning it diagonally above you, left or right, will allow you to fire a large fireball along with regular bullets that can ricochet off of walls and ceilings. If you place it directly above or below you, you can fire a fireball directly above or below you as well as firing regular bullets. Having the capsule diagonally below you, left or right, will allow you to drop bombs on enemies and having the capsule behind you will allow you to leave bombs for enemies to run in to.

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When you obtain the P Capsule you can play with it in different positions for different results.

There are all kinds of cool enemies for you to face throughout the game. You’ll face various dinosaurs. However, you also have to deal with cave men. Cave men are very annoying to deal with because they jump onto your plane and hold it down, making it more difficult to control, which can lead to you crashing into various walls or leave you trapped in the line of fire causing you to lose a life. These cave men seem to have a personal vendetta against you also as they will try anything to kill you even if it means killing themselves. They’ll jump off of cliffs, come at you riding pterodactyls, and damn near chase you to the end of the level if you let them.

Why do those cave men hate me so much? It's not like I'm a Geico employee or anything.

If I were to tell you that this game is easy, well, I’d be lying. This game will eat your quarters faster than you can say “Jurassic Park.” Like most shooters, one hit kills you. Unfortunately, 1 hit doesn’t apply to enemies alone. If you crash into scenery, you can also die. Items you can pick up appear in eggs that you need to break open. Crash into the egg and you will die as well. Despite the game’s difficulty, that doesn’t stop it from being an awesome game. You will want to come back for more because it is very addictive.

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I'm a dead man aren't I?

For 1989, this game looks fantastic. There is excellent amounts of detail in the background and just in the game itself. The game is very vibrant in color and it’s all really nice to look at. It’s obvious that the people who worked on this game paid very close attention to detail as you can see things in some of the backgrounds that connect to the story. For example, in an underwater stage you can actually see shipwrecks in the background at certain points. Also, the bosses that you face look awesome. I also love that they add statistics for the boss, such as a name as well as weight and length. It’s not something necessary, but just a nice bit of detail that adds to the experience. The soundtrack to the game was also very well done. All the songs in the game fit the pace of the action. The soundtrack makes you want to kill as many dinosaurs as you can and it just sounds awesome all around.

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Adding little stats during the boss fights was a very nice touch.

All in all Prehistoric Isle in 1930 is a shooter that everyone should play at least once. It’s pretty steep in the difficulty, but it’s still full of action packed fun and addictive game play. The game has nice detail in the visual department as well as an excellent soundtrack. I won’t give away the ending of the game, but the ending also makes the game worth a play. The game deserves no less than 4 stars. I really wish SNK would allow Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony to add this game to the online stores as a downloadable. The game is just too good to pass up, in my opinion.



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Rating: 10.0/10 (6 votes cast)
Prehistoric Isle in 1930 - Arcade Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
  • James Joell-Ireland

    Hey man, can you review Saint Dragon? That game is all sorts of awesome. Check it out.

  • https://?u=IronFury Dave Turcotte

    I’ll have to give it a play. I’ve never actually played it before.

  • https://?u=TheFinalHighlander David Mcmurdo

    Well written review as usual. Sounds like a game that had a lot of love lavished on it from its makers and I can understand why such a game would have such a high place in your affections. I like the sound of how that capsule works, sounds like a text book case of being innovative within limited means.

  • Shami

    hey thanks for the review…. it was quite good……….

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