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gun survivor is easily one of my favourite older series, it's all so unique and cool and it has a real identity to it despite all the games playing and looking vastly different, a lot of them don't even have the same dev team, but they all feel gun survivor and this especially rings true of dino stalker, a game that doesn't even have anything to do with resident evil because it's actually a canonical sequel to dino crisis 2! in japan it's even called gun survivor 3: dino crisis but they tried to eschew the title in the west by just calling it dino stalker, i guess most people just didn't like gun survivor much at the time.

it absolutely is a gun survivor game through and through, it has that "rail shooter with no rails" vibes of the first survivor and dead aim but this time it's a lot more linier and streamlined, even a little more action focused, i've seen it compared to uncharted and this absolutely fits, you don't really explore levels as much as the other games and most are just a straight shot to the end with a on rails setpiece or two thrown in, it's big on action and not downtime, but you do still walk around and you can find more enemies for a better score, plus health, lives and weapons! so it does pay to do a little exploring. all the weapons you find are all super fun and useful too so you will want to, you have magnums, flamethrowers, future guns that chain lightning and other stuff and even multiple varieties of rocket launcher, the kind of stuff you want, like, it wouldn't be a resi-related game without blowing up the final boss with a rocket launcher and you have that here, except instead of blowing up a BOW with one you're lighting up a genetically modified T-rex with a rocket launcher in an active volcano, video games are kinda cool like that sometimes, anyway you can cycle between them on the fly as you have them, it uses a system where R1 is shoot and you have 3 modes you can switch between, a standard gun which can actually have upgraded ammo with the right powerup, it's your goto you'll mostly be using, your special weapon that can change depending on whatever you have, each one has its own little bullet logo and the futuristic ones even have a meter instead of bullets, it's a cute tough and then you also have a sniping mode that i didn't get a ton of use out of, it does more damage but it's very hard to control and the dinos are too fast for it without a light gun and i don't have one of those, but anyway the syetem works well and it even has a cool voice synthesis sound to tell you when switching, it reminds me a lot of the one from lain, you can also pick weapons up from crates scattered around the levels, though not every level has them and sometimes they can even be trapped which is cool, though it only ever happened to me twice in the jungle level and then never again. cool stuff just permiates the rest of the game, sniping terrodactyls while falling from the sky, trying to keep a raging t-rex at bey while driving through a neon-lit mall (which is one of the best looking levels and setpieces on the system) and shooting barrels thrown at you by a triceratops and that's barely even 3 sections of 2 levels, there's so much variety here in its hourlong runtime that its ridiculous, it has that arcade feel to it of just throwing as much cool stuff at you as they could think of and giving you a good time, but not a long time.

there's a wide variety of dinos too, some only show up once or twice like the water dinos and the various bosses, they're all really cool! the bosses are a total highlight, from the t-rexes, the carnosaurs that you have to fight in pairs and even a smart dino later on that can control other dinos, there's a lot to see here so you never really get board fighting them, they're even a little scary too, i remember the jungle level has a little high grass area where they can jumpscare you, it got me! it was even a little reminiciant of the lost world arcade game, especially with the sound effects. the game gives you the tools to take the fright off a little though because you have a little motion sensor thingy on the bottom of the screen that helps you see where they are, which given the controls can be a little stiff for turning, is nice and helps make the game easier, which is a nice bonus, i think it can add to the tension in its own way though because you always know when they're nearby. inbetween levels there's even a story here, more of one than GS2 had at least, it's not as funny as survivors but it's got some real cheesy low budget charm, MIKE WIRED is a fun protag out of time, a WW2 pilot taken out of the war into HYPERSPACE WITH DINOSAURS to fight them and save people, it's actually a full DC2 sequel like i mentioned, basically being that games real climax and helping wrap it up, you even have paula and some other DC characters popping up and its nice to see them again, the cutscenes are a little skungy too, bad models with funny facial expressions and some real ugly moments, but it all ads to the charm of it, it's a silly B-movie plot and i think this is exactly what you want from it, like you fight dinos in a volcano, this isn't trying to be anything else.

it's also really pretty, i think it might even be one of my favourite looking ps2 games, it's got a really aliased look which i love, lots of sharp jaggies, it fits the jungle really well and makes some levels look really dense, i mentioned before that the levels have a lot of variety and it's true for looks, jungles, rivers with some great looking water, cities and deserts and even the volcano i keep talking about, it's all really cool looking, tons of charm and there's some cool easter eggs in the city if you keep your eye out, just a few resident evil references, all these environments are dectructable too, the trees in the forrest, rocks on a river and even bones in a desert, you can destroy them for free stuff, it's a lot of detail for a game like this and i appreciate it, it all just ads up to what i think is an amazing looking game, especially with the lighting in certain levels like the city and the jungle, the jungle has this amazing fog layer throughout it and a cool high grass segment that was so tense, worth playing through for those two levels along i think. the game also had some art done for it by shinkiro of CVS fame and it looks amazing, you can see it on the box art for the game as well as in the manual and it looks great! just thought that was worth a mention. it sounds amazing too! the sounds baked into the UI like the voice all sound really cool (i need to find out what program that is so i can use it) and the OST by hiroshi-nakajima and tomoko matsumoto (whoa are credited for sound but i don't know who did what exactly) is really good, it has some returning tracks from 2 like the save room theme but most of it is original, a lot of them use the wildlife sounds to really good effect and they're just catchy, may even be one of the best capcom osts on the ps2, there's some cool boss themes, a power stoney theme in the water level and some really nice ambient tracks in the jungle and the track "different worlds" sounds very masafumi takeda, give the OST a listen if you can, it's all on youtube!

like i said earlier it's also super short, it's basically an arcade game, but it does have multiple difficulties and an unlockable mode that gives you unlimited time and ammo (there's a timer system that never really came much into play for me but you can extend it by shooting crystals dropped or destroying uneeded items by shooting them) so you have reason to replay if you want it. sadly there isn't much like it these days if you want a followup, dino crisis is dead, as is the gun survivor game, each only got one more game to them, with DC getting the actually really great DC3 and GS getting, maybe the best game in the series and one of the best RE games ever, dead aim.the director, eiro shirahama went on to do a lot of work for platnum, games like korra and wonderful 101, plus a personal favourite of mine in anarchy reigns, he would even direct the next game in the GS series, dead aim! the games studio, capcom studio 3 would only live a few more years, making things like resident evil 0, megaman command mission and clock tower 3, all classics, but the studio died in 2004 shortly after command missions launch, also involved was TOSE, a shadow company who've done far too much to mention, from final fantasy and resi to deadrising and a nendoroid game, they've done a lot and are still making games, being involved with last years crisis core remake!

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