Jurassic Park Episode 1: Where is Jeff Goldblum?

By Shamus
on Dec 23, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

It’s the holidays, so all the rules have been thrown out the window! We’re playing a crappy licensed Telltale game! Chris is our player this timeInasmuch as anyone can “play” this game. Maybe it’s more correct to say he’s in charge of suggesting things for the game to do to itself?! Pushing up Roses is with us! And Josh is mostly sober! It’s chaos!

Following the example set by this game, I’ve decided to translate all of this for the benefit of the Spanish-speakers in the audience.

En español:

It’s las vacaciones, so all the rules have been thrown out the window! We’re playing a crappy licencia Telltale game! Chris is our player this timeEl taco.! Pushing up Roses is with us! And Josh is mostly sobrio! Es un caos!

We’ll return to The Last of Us once the holidays are over. Or when we come to our senses. Whichever comes first.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] Inasmuch as anyone can “play” this game. Maybe it’s more correct to say he’s in charge of suggesting things for the game to do to itself?

[2] El taco.



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From the Archives:

  1. Valthek says:

    I kept expecting someone to shout ‘Utinni’ during that introductory chase sequence. I was a little disappointed.

  2. Fizban says:

    Well I did manage to watch the episode, but man am I tired of people complaining about this game. I loved it, it was basically what I’d always wanted: not a top down shooter or platformer with dinosaurs but basically playing through a Jurassic Park movie (even further removed from the source and predicably worse but watchable). Derpy quicktime minigames are derpy but I got into them, hell the way I’d focus on little bits like the digging scene in the Lost World movie fits perfectly. I haven’t played any other games that use these “controls” but from what I hear it’s not that much different so what gives? Hacking through leaves and getting your knife stuck in a trunk if you miss makes sense to me. Complaining about someone limping when they’re clearly injured when you guys complain about people running full-tilt with gaping wounds in other games, I dunno.

    Maybe it’s just me being touchy cause I liked it, but I wonder if maybe the Spoiler Warning crew just jumped on the hate-train? Or more innocently just can’t stand going back to an older game when they played the later (telltale games) first, but either way I usually expect more from you guys.

    • Thomas says:

      That scene is super slow and poorly paced (as a watcher). Sure she’s limping but you can use film techniques to show a limping scene and have it feel desperate and fast. They didn’t quite hit the mark and it made it feel like a stroll.

      It also made me realise that QTE events need to have the same sort of pacing as the button presses. If you have the player frantically stabbing at buttons, but the action is quite small and leisurely, it just feels kind of wrong. Like when you have to hit ‘up’ to save yourself! …and she steps calmly over a branch. Not even a jump.

      Also take the bit where the car is about to run her over. In the first shot the car is moving normally, fairly slowly and in a straight line (which makes her I’m going to get run over face look silly). And then the next shot they cut to it’s suddenly careering wildly and travelling much faster.

      More experienced developers would either be able to animate that seen so it feels more natural, or they’d realise they didn’t have the skill to animate it and they’d write it so something entirely different happens.

      I can believe the game is quite fun to enjoy, but at the moment it does look like a development studio in it’s teenage years.

      • aldowyn says:

        As a random bit of trivia, this remains the only game I’ve ever actually written a review with a score attached, when I was doing a short stint at a small enthusiast site. I gave it a 7, and I was essentially working off the 6-10 scale. It’s got a few fun bits, but it was a little *too* ridiculous, some of the QTEs were crazy hard and I don’t usually have trouble with QTEs.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I feel the same about the Back to the Future game. Thought it was good. Was what I wanted, a chance to play through a sequel to Back to the Future.

      Then again, that game doesn’t seem to catch as much flack.

      Also, given how often they reference Homestar Runner, they really ought to give Strongbad’s Cool Game for Attractive People a try.

      • Chris says:

        My relationship with the BTTF game is even more complicated than JP. I’m a big JP nerd but I love Back to the Future. And I’d argue it’s a step up from this, but only a bit.

        The problem with the JP game is that it’s basically Heavy Rain on a budget; a dimestore God of War boss fight QTE. The reason Heavy Rain and GoW can try to pull that stuff off is that they have the money to make those goofy button presses at least feel cinematic or epic. Here we have a button press minigame for “chopping your way through a forest” before we’ve spent any time with these characters and it’s the worst of both worlds: it has neither the character-driven, plot focused nature of later Telltale games nor the lush pomp and circumstance of bigger QTE games. It’s controlling a person we don’t know doing boring things like touching a fence through a ridiculous interface that asks us to “mash A” to close our grip around it. And if you think that sounds like a weird way to make a game about dinosaurs… you’d be right.

        In contrast, BTTF’s big problem is just that it can’t quite land the humor and it’s riddled with plotholes when put next to the canon. I’d argue that until Tales from the Borderlands, Telltale never landed comedic timing quite right. Sam and Max and Monkey Island’s strength was the wacky writing and line delivery more than the actual timing, but BTTF couldn’t get that wacky. So it was all about the back-and-forth between characters, like Marty interacting with a young Doc Brown or pretending he’s a gangster to a group of moonshiners. And in that context, timing is critical – or the response one character has to another would seem artificial and weird. And that game was soaked in that sort of conversational weirdness where the camera lingers a little too long on the person who said something before cutting to the person responding and the conversation feels jilted and fake instead of funny. That said, as a puzzle based adventure game it was fantastic, lovingly done, and is undeniably the best Back to the Future game ever made. Yes, even better than the fun-but-weird Japanese SNES one. I have a super soft spot in my heart for Telltale’s BTTF game, but I also acknowledge that it’s 90% my love of those characters and that universe and the care with which they sculpted a new adventure for them that makes me feel that way. It also might be that it’s way closer mechanically to a bridge between Sam and Max and The Walking Dead than JP is.

        • Vermander says:

          It’s been a while since I read the book, but I remember him also keeping a secret grenade laucher of some kind, which he uses to kill two of the raptors. Book Muldoon was more of a badass than movie Muldoon.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I pretty much feel like you do about the Back to the Future game. So much of the movie relies on the energy and the tight pacing and you don’t get that in this game. But sounds like we both wanted some more BTTF and forgave its flaws for providing it.

          The thing you mention about (what I assume is the engine) wrecking the timing is a huge pet peeve of mine. Bad timing seems to bug me more than most people so its a relief to hear its not just me.

          Bioware is positively awful about that. If a joke relies on quick back and forth, it will die on delivery in a Bioware game and its a real headscratcher to me that the writers don’t get that by now. Lair of the Shadow Broker pulled it off but I’m convinced that only worked because they knew Liara would with you and so recorded her interactions with you as a single audio file instead of breaking it up like they normally seem to do.

          Citadel was the worst though. It didn’t help that so many of the jokes were so cheesy but the ones that could have worked really suffered from the way their engine kills the timing. But maybe thats just me. Just for reference, I think Mel Brooks movies tend to have sluggish timing as well.

          Related. Have you seen the card game with Varric in Dragon Age Inquisition?

          There’s a scene where the players each take turns laughing at a humorous anecdote. Really. One at a time each with a close up shot on their face. Clearly the engine is having to do a check to see which people are at the game and playing their laugh files in order but its just terrible. They should have done some mixed crowd laugh and an overhead shot. It would still be clear that they’re cheating if you look closely but would have been far less jarring.

    • silentStatic says:

      I am afraid you are out of luck.

      Chris is apparently the only one who has played the game, and the rest of the cast is watching a blurred version, which makes goofy things look even worse.
      They are also too busy looking for things to riff on (since they are going in knowing this is a bad/mediocre game from a company whose products they otherwise enjoyed), to pay attention to details that might explain why person x is doing y.

      • Rutskarn says:

        I think you’ve got a skewed idea of how we do this show.

        Most basically, we don’t actually see the game through much blur these days. The stream we have hooked up is actually quite nice on my end, about on the order of a full-screened YouTube video. And this footage *still* looks like janky, awkward, horribly paced fuckin’ garbage when it’s supposed to be gripping heart-pounding stuff.

        More critically, of course we came into this apprehensive. This game got terrible reviews. I would suggest this is CORRELATED with the fact that we all think it’s complete shit so far, but I find the idea that it’s caused our opinion rather presumptuous.

        The most honest moments in this Let’s Play, and the most damning, are not the parts where I make a Jawa joke to pass a few moments between quicktime events we can talk about. I’d do that in a good or a bad game; that kind of “looking for things to riff about” is just superficial fluff. The most honest and damning moments are the several occasions during this week where we’ll all burst out laughing simultaneously–not because we’ve all happened to pick the same nit at the same moment, but because the game is transparently and self-evidently not good at what it does.

        The characters are boring. The dialogue is leaden. The action is awkward. This game does nothing right, and suggesting we’re not giving it a fair shake is giving the thing far too much credit.

        • Fizan says:

          Presumptuous indeed. I guess what I was really hoping for was something like Chris said about the Back to the Future game above: even if Telltale’s Jurassc Park is a pretty crap game I still think it’s the best Jurassic Park game that’s not some other game with a fancy paint job. But it sounds like Chris is the only JP fan here so that desire was unrealistic.

        • “The most honest and damning moments are the several occasions during this week where we’ll all burst out laughing simultaneously”

          Since I think your audio still comes out a second or two behind the video, you can add the fact that some of us were also laughing at those scenes before the laugh track came up on the audio stream.

          I do this routine every so often where I invite a conversation partner to play a quick impromptu role playing game with me as the Dungeon Master, and I make a big deal of pantomiming rolling for successfully putting one foot in front of another (“critical success! your character’s right foot flings out in front and you do an impromptu splits!”), successfully grabbing a doorknob, etc, before finally terminating in the player experiencing a critical failure to have their heart beat. (Playing it as exactly as hammy as that sounds is important. I’ve had good reactions amongst nerds with this routine.) That video of the woman repeatedly trying to get up and failing, only to try and fail again, was the most realistic depiction of my RPG in video form I have ever seen.

          That’s… not a compliment.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Maybe it’s just me being touchy cause I liked it, but I wonder if maybe the Spoiler Warning crew just jumped on the hate-train?”

      Nope,its just you.

      Go back and rewatch the walking dead,and in the beginning you will see that the cast is still saying negative things about forced quick time events and puzzle segments.While that game is good,it didnt become really great until it focused on the dialogue above everything else.The game of thrones embraced that even more,and its glorious for that.No one plays the walking dead so that they can mash Q in order to escape the zombies grip,they play it so that they can decide what to tell to which of the survivors,to decide who gets to eat and who goes hungry,to decide who lives and who dies.

      And all of that is missing from this game.It doesnt have the humor of sam and max and monkey island,it doesnt have the drama and the weight of the walking dead and wolf among us,it only has the quick time events.And hey,theres nothing wrong with liking qtes,but even if thats what you like,there are games that did it way better.

      • Rutskarn says:

        Daemian nailed it. I was pretty open to this game, but so far, I’ve yet to see one thing it’s done right.

        The quicktime events are poorly timed, poorly animated, and poorly framed so that dramatic actions feel awkward and awkward actions look hilarious. The characters aren’t; we spend half our time as Costa Rican lady without every really learning who she is or what she’s about. The dialogue is one-directional, boring, and there’s far too much of it to communicate the simple information they’re working from. The puzzles are dull and range into moon logic–the “rolling the can” thing is a good example.

        See, The Walking Dead still had plenty of these sins, and they are still plenty noticeable. The puzzles were distracting and pointless. Some of the QTE sequences were really contrived. Some of the choices transparently weren’t. But beside these elements was a great story well told, and that’s what we took away from it, even while we took potshots at its missteps over the course of our very long LP.

        Later titles have gotten better–The Wolf Among Us had more interesting puzzles and really good QTE sequences, and might just be their best game gameplay-wise so far–WHILE ALSO having a really good story and characters.

        So far this game has ranged from awkward to basically competent, but one thing has remained constant: it’s been boring.

        I had no special love for zombies or the comic series, but The Walking Dead won me over in the first five minutes. I have no special love for dinosaurs or Jurassic Park. This game is losing me fast.

        • Gruhunchously says:

          Also worth considering- how the two games handle their source material. I was able to be hooked by the intro of The Walking Dead without knowing anything substantial about either the comic or the TV show. The story was strong enough on its own that even the explicit connections to the other media (Glenn, Lily, ect.) felt like natural extensions.

          By contrast, if this intro is anything to go by, if I knew nothing about Jurassic Park, I would be completely stumped as to who these people were and what they were doing. And it’s not like Park With Dinosaurs! is a significantly harder base concept to grasp than Zombie Apocalypse!

        • WILL says:

          I don’t know, man, there’s dinosaurs in it, that’s at least one plus.

  3. Thomas says:

    Clearly in Jurassic Park 4 they must have genetically modified Velociraptors to have headlamps for eyes. Oh the humanity!

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Have you seen the trailer for Jurassic World?

      One of the plot points is that the island features its first ever hybrid dinosaur.

      And I’m slapping my forehead because it was a major plot point in the first movie that they spliced in amphibian dna to fill in gaps in dna sequences. Hence why the dinosaurs could spontaneously change gender (spoiler warning for a 21 year old movie.) They’re ALL hybrids.

      Plus, why on earth would you mix a dinosaur with another dinosaur? What would they have to gain from creating a dinosaur that never existed? The whole point of this is to resurrect the past. Were they disappointed by the lack of dragons maybe?

      • Chuck says:

        For Science!

        In the book, at least, Dr. Wu expresses an interest in playing around with the DNA for the fun of it (and the fact that as an amusement park, they do have some leeway with their product, ie, the dinos. Remember in the book Hammond is more business oriented and less genial.)

        Since in this movie Wu’s not dead (unlike awesome rpg raptor killer Muldoon) he gets his chance.

      • Eruanno says:

        Now that you mention it, dragons are pretty cool…

      • I’ve maintained that if you can’t tell your franchise has been in a downward spiral after a velociraptor gets defeated by gymnastics, you should really re-think your script if realistic-looking dinos aren’t enough to draw in crowds: You have to invent a dino-Godzilla.

        • Thomas says:

          It’s such a Sharknado style move. I really hate the idea of a Jurassic Park that’s not even got a ‘true’ dinosaur as a villain.

          They’re frigging dinosuars. You don’t need to spice this stuff up

          • Agreed. I think they should have just taken the leap and gone with the promise of the first show of the dinos getting off the island, and not in yet another Godzilla homage that resulted in a T-Rex comically eating a dog.

            A dinosaur apocalypse movie would’ve been awesome. It’s the same way I wish the Alien franchise had gone, having the Xenomorphs get to Earth (as they did in the Dark Horse comic books and even a coin-op video game).

      • Fizan says:

        Considering how upset some people are over the lack of feathers in the new movie, I think it would be funny if it turned out that was actually the plot twist: the old dinosaurs without feathers that people are bored of are actually the hybrids as we already know, and the park workers are lying. The terrifying “hybrid” is actually the purest dino they’ve managed to make and then it wrecks them in all it’s feathered glory.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Glowing-eye dinosaurs actually do make sense for zoo animals. Not only do they make them easier to spot for tourists and employees but they add to the ambience.

      It’s not like the JP dinosaurs resemble the real-life thing anyway; when Crichton wrote his book 23 years ago there was still some debate about whether or not dinosaurs had feathers. Today, the debate is more if there were any dinosaurs that did not have feathers.

      • Thomas says:

        Hopefully though, there was never a debate about whether dinosaur eyes radiated light

        • ehlijen says:

          No, the only questions is how powerful their eye lasers were exactly. Obviously not powerful enough to melt asteroids, but that’s all we know so far. Though for park safety, they’d have obviously genetically engineered the power down somewhat.

  4. Kian says:

    As a native Spanish speaker, I’m impressed by the quality of the translation. Spot on.

  5. newdarkcloud says:

    I can only make one conclusion as to why the lady character slips randomly into Spanish.

    They are both speaking Spanish, and the Animus’s translation program is glitching out. Because of that, we can assume that the world of Assassin’s Creed and the world of Jurassic Park are the same world.

    There are all sorts of implications here. Perhaps InGen are secretly Templars and someone was sent by the Assassins to stop them.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Isn’t it funny how whenever this happens in movies its always words the audience is likely to recognize and thus the words that the mostly english speaking foreigner is most likely to know the english for?

  6. Vermander says:

    Dissapointed that only one person even knows what a dilophosaurus is. Dinosaurs are one of my favorite things to “nerd out” about.

    One thing that always annoyed me about the movies is that they were made when Speilberg entered his stridently anti-gun phase, so almost no one who is walking around in the middle of a bunch of enormous, dangerous predators is armed and when they do have a gun they seem to drop it or break it before they have a chance to fire it. Real life game wardens in Africa usually have a high powered rifle (a real one, not a traquilizer gun) on their trucks just in case.

    • Chris says:

      The books actually made a point of why it was so hard to get guns on the island: Hammond’s ideology of a happy family fun park combined with the insurance company’s worries about having dinosaurs AND tons of army equipment on the island overrode Muldoon’s desire for proper weapons for handling the animals. So when Muldoon threatened to quit if he didn’t get some armaments the deal they reached was one rocket launcher and one big game tranquilizer rifle. Of course, Muldoon preps the RPG when the power’s cut and leaves it in the one jeep that Nedry decides to crash in the jungle somewhere, leaving them without much of a way to handle the larger carnivores.

      • hborrgg says:

        Um, that sounds like a bit of a leap between “No guns” and “sure, you can have an RPG launcher.”

        Maybe instead give them something that isn’t going to kill 12 tourists if it misses?

        • Chris says:

          Muldoon was a bit of a realist when it came to animals and being a game warden – the important thing in his mind was having control over the dinosaurs and there’s not much you can do to control the actions of a 30 ton animal. From the book:

          Raptors were at least as intelligent as chimpanzees. And, like chimpanzees, they had agile hands that enabled them to open doors and manipulate objects. They could escape with ease. And when, as Muldoon had feared, one of them finally escaped, it killed two construction workers and maimed a third before being recaptured. After that episode, the visitor lodge had been reworked with heavy barred gates, a high perimeter fence, and tempered-glass windows. And the raptor holding pen was rebuilt with electronic sensors to warn of another impending escape.
          Muldoon wanted guns as well. And he wanted shoulder-mounted LAW-missile launchers. Hunters knew how difficult it was to bring down a four-ton African elephant-and some of the dinosaurs weighed ten times as much. Management was horrified, insisting there be no guns on the island. When Muldoon threatened to quit, and to take his story to the press, a compromise was reached. In the end, two specially built laser-guided missile launchers were kept in a locked room in the basement. Only Muldoon had the keys to the room.

  7. SlothfulCobra says:

    I was wondering a lot about this game lately. I know it’s some kind of prototype for what walking dead turned out as. There’s no zombies either, which is a big plus in my book. It’s a shame to hear that it’s bad. I guess Telltale was still having trouble finding its legs at this point.

    You know what Telltale’s next licensed game is going to be? Minecraft. I really can’t wait to see how that’s going to turn out.

  8. Ithilanor says:

    Wow, this game is amazingly awful. Terrible animation, wooden dialog, characters without any personality whatsoever…it’s kind of stunning that the peoplemwho made The Walking Dead also made this.

  9. Heregoesnothing says:

    Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m just racist, but machete girl sounds exactly like Catwoman from Marlow Briggs.

    • Otters34 says:

      Catwoman vs Jurassic Park!

      Marlow Briggs and the Dinosaurs of Doom!(hey, if he went back in time once…)

      And now you mention it, they do have a similar way of talking, though that may be the “Superfriends” accent thing Rutskarn lambasted.

  10. Tizzy says:

    Hey, I was an adult when Jurassic Park came out, too…

    … not that you could have told if you were in the theater with me at the time.

  11. aldowyn says:

    … I saw chris playing this on Steam and assumed he was making an errant signal on Telltale’s stuff. Seems I was wrong!

  12. I don’t suppose the “getting up scene” was thought out well enough to consider perhaps the need for different “AHHHH!” sound effects?

    I guess they figured you were hitting the same patch of ground/rocks, so you’d cry out in the same way when in pain.

  13. Josh needs to play Jurassic Park: Trespasser.

    For those who don’t recall, that was the JP FPS where you were, in theory, a female protagonist with a rubber arm (you aimed with the mouse, but your single arm “realistically” swung with your movements) whose life meter was a tattoo on your breast.

    If you looked at the game in 3rd person, you were a floating arm attached to a floating set of breasts. It was kind of disturbing.

    • ehlijen says:

      I wish the guys who remade Tomb Raider would also remake that game.

      A note though, you had to cheat to get into third person mode. That combined with the physics engine’s ambitions being far ahead of the hardware at the time (in addition to a badly coded graphics engine) makes me understand why they didn’t model the rest of the player character. Of course, they shouldn’t have modelled the breasts either :(

    • Spammy says:

      Research Indicates made a fantastic LP where he goes through the game in a very informative style. Not so much the Jimquisition “This is trash the developers should feel bad” kind of style but a very laid back, almost documentary-like attitude. Especially aided by the introduction he made and the post-mortems he found to link to and reference.

      But no seriously Trespasser was a game that promised the sun, moon, and stars when their tech could barely get to orbit. And it was filled with weird design decisions. If I recall right the physics model they chose meant things could sometimes vibrate and slide off one another because the models were intersecting. Dinosaurs animated by moving their core and having their legs move to fill in the gap, creating this stuttering marionette walk.

      And if you thought that any given game that Spoiler Warning has covered had too many enemies, hoo boy Trespasser will beat them.

    • John says:

      One of the developers for Trespasser was Austin Grossman, who it turns out is actually a really good novelist. His second novel, You, is about game development and the history of video games (among other things). I think Shamus would appreciate the parts where other developers gripe about Carmack and ID forcing them to do everything in 3D now.

  14. Man, having played the SNES JP vid’ja game recently, the intro/outro really hits home just how good and excessively 90’s the soundtrack for that game was.

  15. Steve C says:

    Now I remember! I’ve seen this game advertised before!

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,if all the dinosaurs are female,why are the triceratops fighting?Isnt it usually the males of the species that fight to establish dominance,not the females?

    • Chris says:

      Well, on the tour, the film said they used frog DNA to fill in the gene sequence gaps. They mutated the dinosaur genetic code and blended it with that of a frog’s. Now, Some west African frogs have been known to spontaneously have lady fights in a single sex environment. Life found a way to get girl-on-girl Triceratops mud wrestling without pay-per-view.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        So does this universe operate by spiderman rules and theyve used a special mutated frog that has all the traits of all the frogs,or have they accidentally used this one type of frog that both has cat fights AND can self replicate without the help of a male?

      • Here’s another Triceratops controversy for you: They might just be the juvenile form of another dinosaur, Torosaurus.

        If true, this might be worse for some dino-philes than finding out Velociraptors likely had feathers. :)

        • Chris says:

          I’ve never understood why some people get so bent out of shape about evidence painting dinosaurs in new light. Bronotosaurus isn’t a thing: turns out it’s the same as an apotosaurus! Also despite decades of toys and movies suggesting otherwise we now think T-rex doesn’t walk upright but instead walks horizontally to balance himself! Also, despite his tremendously intimidating size the shape of his teeth, huge olfactory chambers, and the scrawny arms suggest he may have been a scavenger instead of a mighty hunter! Velociraptors (and other Dromaeosaurids) may have been covered in feathers! And now Trikes might just be juvenile Torosaurs! For some reason or another, though, people get… attached emotionally to the ideas that science eventually disproves. And I’m not sure why. And I don’t think it’s a dinosaur thing, either! Like when Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet instead of a full-on planet and people were outraged on behalf of a small chunk of lifeless rock literally billions of miles away.

          I just love hearing the latest theories and research, especially in a conversational tone – it’s one of the reasons I love reading Crichton’s books in general. Where Tolkien would go off about whatever grand history this rock or forest had, Crichton’s books always had scientists talking about whatever their expertise was for several pages and I loved it.

          That said, I also don’t get the hardcore science nerds trying to get JP to “modernize” its dinosaurs in the face of new research. JP’s never been all that scientific – the size of these animals is generally overstated, with “vecociraptors” that are six feet tall and Stegosaurs that are the size of a house. But beyond that – it’s sort of already canon? Like, “We did some research and it turns out your fictional dinosaur movie is wrong, change it” rubs me the wrong way. It sort of feels like someone saying, “We did some tests and it turns out acid can’t be used for blood. Time to rewrite your Alien movie, Ridley Scott.”

          • “Crichton’s books always had scientists talking about whatever their expertise was for several pages and I loved it.”

            Well, not so much at the end of his career when he had a great many axes to grind.

            I felt his books started taking a downturn in quality after “Prey,” since it read like a novelized movie script. Even with Jurassic Park, I got the impression he had a bit of a hate-on for kids, especially little girls, since the one with Dr. Grant kept screaming and attracting danger over and over and over…

            • Thomas says:

              Michael Crichton is one of those writers whose at his best when he’s not trying to be super serious about things. He Dan Brown’s a lot of his science (and maths -_-), but it’s cool because it makes for a fun and entertaining read. It’s less cool when he really wants to convince you all the climatologists are wrong about global warming.

            • Chris says:

              Yeah, I basically stopped with new Crichton books after Timeline was a nonsensical disaster. Not enough science, history, OR plot to hold its own.

              Still, my favorite rant I love to bore people with (and I can go on for entirely too long about) is how The Lost World (the novel) is this wonderful response to both the film and the “Why don’t we just genetically engineer some dinosaurs!?” response the first novel got.

              Like how Dodgeson dies at the hands of the T-Rex because “They can’t see you if you don’t move” and it’s this wonderful middle finger to the movies. Or how many failed/stillborn clones you’d have to go through just to reach one viable specimen. Or the issues with running a zoo on an island. Or how pack mentality is generally learned, not genetic, so cloning velociraptors and expecting them to inherently know how to act as a pack might be misguided. And that calls into question the entire notion of studying cloned animals as an apples to apples approach to science.

              The Lost World is this wonderful teardown of his own work like he was uncomfortable with how people saw it as at all accurate, and then Speilberg turned that into 1/3 of a good movie and then T-Rex Takes San Diego/Poor Man’s Campy Kaiju for the last 1/3.

          • Spammy says:

            The dinosaur nerd in me wants to mention that the T-Rex feeding debate isn’t resolved and start listing points even though I’m pretty darn sure that the debate is exactly what you don’t want to start in this comment thread. People getting attached to these ideas is kind of strange, yeah.

            • Vermander says:

              Well lions and grizzly bears are also “scavengers”. In T-Rex’s case it probably meant that he let something smaller and faster actually kill the prey, then took it from them by force once they had done all the hard work.

              • guy says:

                There’s evidence of partially-healed bite wounds from T-rexes in various fossils, indicating they attacked live prey that sometimes escaped. Current theory is that they hunted but would not pass up a free meal if they found carrion, which is common in modern apex predators.

          • ehlijen says:

            After several thousand reflex measurements, it turns out Han Solo simply couldn’t have drawn faster than Greedy could have shot. Please fix, George!

            Yes, I agree. Especially in scifi such as JP, writers just sometimes make wrong predictions or base info on scientific knowledge that will change later. If it bothers anyone, the makers should put a commentary track explaining the change in knowledge on the next DVD, but leave the movie as it is. It might not be as important as a history book, but we don’t go editing those all the time either. Having a record of what we thought was true, and maybe why, can be as valuable as recording a new truth when we find it.

            As for whether or not dinos should have feathers in future JP movies…that’s up to whatever the art department can make look better, I say.

            Also, yay! Dinonerds! (I’ve been neglecting my dino trivia for the last decade, but I used to be one, too)

          • whitehelm says:

            It’s also silly because the “errors” are really easy to explain. The frog DNA caused them.

            • Otters34 says:

              “FROG DNA DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!”
              I agree that would be a good way to excuse errors in details, but think that’s also a probable reaction to that handwave. Some problems are just really messy to solve without creating more.

          • Um Trikes? :P

            Also the Pluto thing is a tad unfair.
            With Pluto somebody decided that “Ah, let’s just reclassify it and force people to redo their solar system mechanical models and school books”.
            As to the T-Rex stuff that is basically scientist going “Oops! We we where wrong!”

            A T-Rex walking upright or not is something it actually did or did not.
            But Pluto being a planet or not a planet, that’s not something that “changed”, Pluto has always been erm Pluto, no change.

            So you need a different analogy than Pluto, if it turns out Pluto is square then that would be a “change”.

            I can’t recall the reason for the Pluto thing, I think it’s due to scientists discovering a lot of other pluto sized (now called Plutoids right?) objects in our system so either they add to add tons (literally) of new planets to our solar system or remove one.

            What I do’t get is why they did not simply keep Pluto’s designation as a planet with the addendum “Pluto is for historical reasons called a Planet and the 9th planet in the Sol System, though technically it’s classified as a Plutoid.”
            That would have avoided having to re-write the history/teaching books and change the models etc. But still avoided adding a ton of new planets, and allowed those to be classed as Plutoids.
            And “historical reasons” could have a footmark referring to the discovery of Pluto etc. Problem solved.

            Sometimes weird choice are made and they do not always make sense.

            But when it comes to science itself the main concept of science is questioning everything, confirming or disproving theories of others, creating test parameters so others can repeat or recreate a test on their own, improving upon the work of others and most importantly rejoice when something is proved false as that means you know where to look next in your search for knowledge.
            In science a failure is as significant as a success, each have equal value and each brings more understanding, and science always keeps evolving.

            So when science proves that this thing you knew was wrong all along I’m pretty happy about it as I know that from now on I’m not wrong any more if I ever talk or write about that thing.
            People that dislike science proving previous things as wrong (or our knowledge of them) probably has issue with change itself or progress in general.

            People love patterns I guess an knowledge is part of that, and they dislike their pattern changing, humans even see (or hear) patterns where there are none at all.

            • spleentioteuthis says:

              It wasn’t just that they discovered a lot of Pluto-sized objects around the solar system, it was that they found them in the same orbit as Pluto when the updated definition of planet requires a planet to have cleared its orbit of any similarly sized objects or captured them as moons of its own.

              Kind of messy in its effect regardless of the specifics, but I always thought being as unequivocal and clear as possible about Pluto’s “demotion” would be the least messy solution in the long term.

              • Asimech says:

                Yeah. It’s really annoying when a teacher goes “it’s considered part of X but it’s really a Y despite no other Y being considered a part of X because of historical reasons” just because no-one wanted to start calling it a Y back in the day so even decades later teachers can’t just say “it’s a Y” saving time and avoiding pointless confusion.

                And in the intervening time it’s a lot faster to go “it’s not part of X, the textbook is outdated” than it is to explain that “it’s no longer an X, but a Y yet it’s still a part of X”. In my experience students accept and get over “yeah, it changed” a lot faster than “yeah, it’s complicated for no real reason”. Partially because latter usually gives them more things to memorise for the test.

        • krellen says:

          But feathered Velociraptors are even cooler.

          They’re about 20% cooler.

  17. Exasperation says:

    So, was anyone else kind of hoping that the grab-the-electric-fence scene would have a Mass Effect renegade option style prompt allowing you to fake being electrocuted?

  18. Spammy says:

    Since everyone’s going on about bad old licensed Telltale games, does anyone remember the good old licensed Telltale game, Strong Bad’s Cool Game four Attractive People? Because I remember that game. I loved the crap out of that game.

  19. stupiddice says:

    Did I miss something, or did the ledge the woman fell of of in the prologue come out of nowhere? It looked like she was running forwards, saw the raptors, ran back a few feet, and then fell off.

  20. Holy shit that animation is so stilted and the QTEs make it even worse, Telltale improved in the animation & QTE blending in the recent games, they still has issues I’ve seen but damn, in this game it looks really jarring.

  21. Since Pushing Up Roses seems to be a Jeff Goldbloom fan take a look at this: Last Week Tonight: Civil Forfeiture John Oliver’s show. (16 minutes)

    And for those who like seeing Goldbloom be well, Goldbloom, here are the outtakes or B-roll that was not used.

    If you are impatient and don’t want to watch the whole thing then start at the 14:00 mark instead to see just the skit.

    It’s also a shame they canceled the Law and Order series, Goldbloom was pretty good in that too.

  22. ET says:

    So, is Roses the…good, not-chaotic, non-cannibal Mumbles? All this cheerful attitude and not-swearing is putting me in some kind of good mood. Bah humbug, I say! :P

    • Maybe they’re the same person but with a split personality?

    • Viktor says:

      So…the only thing they have in common is being female? I’d say Roses is closest to Josh in personality ATM. I don’t get the Mumbles comparison at all.

      I like Roses so far, by the way. She doesn’t make my ideal SW cast yet, but she’s a good voice for the show.

      • ET says:

        Their voices sound very similar to me. Like, I legit thought Mumbles was playing a joke for a minute before I noticed the more subtle differences in pitch, tone, etc. Was always horrible in band class…this might be why. ^^;

        • Lachlan the Mad says:

          I can’t really tell their voices apart either. I blame the fact that I’m not familiar enough with American voices; they both have roughly the same accent, so I hear the same voice.

  23. tzeneth says:

    Man it was so weird to hear that music and then mistakingly get excited that you were going back to the very old Jurassic Park game. Oh well, this will be entertaining with the other people here.

  24. McNutcase says:

    I’m disappointed nobody’s pointed out the massive error in electric fence testing there. For the record, you test with the right hand (unless you have dextrocardia), and you test by making a fist and touching the fence with the BACK of your hand. Why, you ask? Because if it’s on, and you test by grabbing it like she did, welcome to extra-crispy as your muscles spasm hard enough to lock you onto the fence. It takes removal of the power or removal of your hand to get you loose, and either way it’ll take enough time that you’ll be literally cooked before it’s done. Whereas if you use the back of your hand, those very same spasms will have you falling away from the fence. It’ll hurt, but you’re fairly likely to survive.

    • ehlijen says:

      The correct way to test a fence is to grab it with both hands and then to scream no matter what happens, scaring all around you.*

      Bonus points if its a wooden picket fence.

      *SATIRE/JOKE/BAD ADVICE! (Just to be clear)

    • Richard says:

      That scene screamed at me as well.
      I thought everybody knew you only ever use the back of your hand if you absolutely have to check if something is live without a proper tester.

      And if you do have a real tester, after you’ve tested it, you touch it with the back of your hand to confirm before grabbing it.

      Also you don’t believe anybody if they tell you it’s off.
      Always check for yourself before touching it.

      (Also, a multimeter is the wrong tool. It’s too easy to test in the wrong mode or with blown probes. And a Radio Shack/Maplins multimeter is absolutely the wrong tool as they don’t have shielded and fused probes… Sorry, TMI)

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