When my nephew got his 3DS on pre-order, he didn't have many games, so, in return for playing rights, I bought him what I thought sounded like a pretty exciting game - Combat of The Giants: Dinosaurs. It certainly wasn't cheap at £32.99 from Game (it's also available online).
The game is made by Ubisoft which I thought was a pretty reputable software house. Basically, it's a poor version of Mortal Kombat, with dinosaurs rather than people as the main characters. There isn't an option to play multiplayer which is disappointing given the 3DS' wi-fi capability, but it does allow you to trade items wirelessly, and uses the Street Pass capability of the 3DS to allow you to play other users dinosaurs.
In terms of the 3D, it's visually very attractive indeed - it makes great use of the 3D capability with the character building modes and in the fight games themselves - no complaints there, and this is where the bulk of the money's been spent, you feel.
Gameplay wise unfortunately it doesn't deliver. Whereas a game like Mortal Kombat back in it's day was simple yet effective, Combat of the Giants: Dinosaurs is just simplistic. Because you can't play a friend, there is a huge wealth of gameplay / competitiveness wasted, and no real desire on that level to play. Once you have mastered the basic moves of the dinosaurs and beaten a few opponents, that's you pretty much done, as it doesn't get any harder and there are no achievements as such to unlock or trophies / time trial type mini games to add an extra level to the game.
The sound and controls are passable; the sound certainly doesn't blow you away but it is in keeping with the game, and it is effective in the attempt it makes to bring the dinosaurs further to life. The controls also are OK; the dinosaurs can feel a bit cumbersome to move around using the control pad, but overall, they are easy to get used to and certainly given that the game is quite easy, don't seem to affect it in any way.
There are zero extras with this game, which seriously affect your ability to play it - you can't have a quick game on the bus or play competing games with a friend on a turn by turn basis as every game is different. It therefore lacks the x factor which simple games like Tetris had back in the 80s - it lacks the 'I need to pick this up and play it NOW!'. I could quite easily never play Combat of the Giants: Dinosaurs ever again and not miss it.
All in all I can't recommend this game, as it has no longevity. I'm sure lots of games will make good use of the 3D capability of the 3DS and that's good, but not when it is at the expense of the gameplay. There is just nothing that this game has to offer in terms of originality, addictability, or real quality, and no way I can justify it's £30 plus price tag. If it was on sale for £15 odd maybe I could give it a bit more slack as a game for children with an interest in dinosaurs. But overall.. I really wish I hadn't bought it, and I'll be making sure to buy 3DS games in the future based on reviews, not the box art!
Of all the 3DS games I bought with the console the one I have probably played least of all and that I wish I had read reviews about was Combat of The Giants - Dinosaurs. This game has proven to be something of a bad purchase and I have only really put time into playing it as I wanted to make the most of my 3DS purchase.
The game does not hide anything in the title. This is a beat em up title focusing on dinosaurs as the main characters. Now I cannot remember a decent title with the creatures in and also the fact that the majority of beat em ups these days are poor, as well as this being a rushed port of a DS title...I should have known better.
The gameplay is too basic, too undemanding and boring and one of the most repetitive titles I have played in a long time. With no multiplayer either its all limited in value and once you start winning you wont stop and the challenge is just not there. The combat as you would expect is as basic as it gets. The main mode just repeats itself with different classes and in all there is little fun.
The game is so simple and easy though that it will not challenge any gamer. Easy games get boring fast as the point of playing the game is reduced as you know you will win. By the end of the main modes you tire of winning and even the finale is no challenge. This ruins a beat em up for me and I assume any other gamer as mashing the buttons over and over, pulling off moves time and time again gets mundane as you don't have to up your game or change tactics as it other fighting titles.
The only bit I had fun with is the way in which you customise the dinosaurs to suit your tastes. You unlock more skins and colours etc through the game and if you enjoy making your own mark on titles there is a little fun to be had here. But not worth the price tag at all the game will have probably bored you too much for you to bother with this element.
How about the 3D? Well as you walk between fights and find battles it does look nice but very rarely, again a sign of being rushed. Only at odd times does the 3D show through but in general you will forget you are actually playing a 3D title. Its all rushed for launch and being a port means the 3D has had little effort placed into it. Poor all round.
Has to be one of the worst titles I had played on the 3DS or any system and one best avoided.