February 27, 2007 - Welcome to IGN's weekly countdown of the exceptional, fascinating, and absurd: something we like to call Top 10 Tuesday. Every week we'll feature the top ten games, characters, fashion statements or whatever else we can think of that in some way relates to gaming and its history. And just because it's called Top 10 Tuesday doesn't mean it's always going to be a list of the best -- we like to razz on stuff as much as we like to praise it. From counting down the best consoles ever to revealing the worst use of fish heads in a videogame, this is where it's at.
This week's topic: Prehistoric Gaming. February 28 marks the 10-year anniversary of Turok's release on N64. In honor of the great dinosaur hunter's videogame birth, we've assembled a list of some of the best games featuring prehistoric elements. We focused on titles where dinosaurs and/or a prehistoric setting were central to the entire game. That's why Tomb Raider's memorable run-in with a T-Rex and Chrono Trigger's flashback to dino-days didn't make the cut. What we discovered in our search was that there aren't nearly enough games with dinosaurs and that more often then not, when there's a dino around, ninja can't be far behind.
Dino City If you never got a chance to play Dino City on the SNES, we feel bad for you. The game slipped onto our list at the bottom position, but don't let that fool you: Its addictive combination of timed platforming, stylized levels, quirky bosses, and caveman stomping enticed us all when the game was released. Dino City placed players in control or two human children, Timmy and Jamie, and their dinosaur companions, Rex and Tops, as they jumped and punched their way through levels filled with angry cavemen and unfriendly wildlife. What better way to kill time when trapped in a fictional world of prehistoric peril?
Dino Crisis 2 Dino Crisis 2 shifted the original game's focus from survival horror to straight up action with terrific results. This sequel was much less frustrating, with more weapons and ammo, so players could cut right to the chase and get to the good stuff: shooting the crap out of some dinosaurs. These reptiles hate our way of life. They need to be dealt with in the American way -- send a hot lady to spray their walnut-sized brains all over the place.
Joe & Mac:
Caveman Ninja Something that every discerning dinosaur lover knows is that dinosaurs and ninja go together like PopTarts and butter. No game better exemplifies this idea than Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja. Joe & Mac rises above other classic Data East action titles primarily because its protagonists are cavemen (and quite possibly ninja). The game features plenty of Paleolithic boss battles and enemies, although the real draw is the game's buxom beauties, whom you liberate at the end of every level. Joe & Mac proves that more games need to revolve around rescuing prehistoric poontang.
Tail of the Sun Long before Peter Molyneux teased gamers with B.C., ArtDink released an underappreciated prehistoric sandbox game. You play as a simple caveman, placed in an enormous world fraught with danger. Your goal is to evolve your tribe so they can survive and become the dominant species. Your focus is on collecting mammoth tusks and building a tower to the sun. A leisurely title, Tail of the Sun encouraged exploration and required non-traditional puzzle solving to succeed. Though Tail of the Sun is light on dinosaurs -- instead relying on monkeys, boars, and aliens to challenge your caveman -- it gave gamers a great sense of life in prehistoric times.
Dinosaurs for Hire Based on Tom Mason's tongue-in-check comic book series, Dinosaurs for Hire is one of the lost gems of the Sega Genesis. A trio of dinos act as a sort of prehistoric A-Team, taking on missions for those willing to toss them a wad of cash. The team is made up of Archie, a machinegun-toting T-Rex, Lorenzo, a triceratops who wears Hawaiian t-shirts, and Reese, a stegosaurus who hefts a pulse cannon. Imagine streets of rage with dinosaurs and you can pretty much get the gist of Dinosaurs for Hire. Oh, and throw in ninja. Lots and lots of ninja.