Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D review

The Combat of Giants series of games is one that has typically failed to impress. This can be attributed to lack of polish, ambition, and general effort on the parts of developers. The most recent title, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D continues this proud tradition of not-even-aiming-for-mediocrity as the worst game in the 3DS launch lineup, and probably one of the worst games the handheld will ever see.

We’re going to start off with what little good we have to say. The game actually looks fairly decent. The dinosaur models and environments are well-realized and well-animated. They help to display the graphical power the 3DS has over its predecessor. The 3D element is actually used fairly well and the distant scenery looks pretty good. If a game were only its aesthetics, it’d be doing okay so far.

The main problem with the game is there’s little gameplay to be had, and what little there is is uninteresting and same-y throughout. You control a dinosaur of your choosing from one of four groups: Predators, Hunters, Defenders and Chargers, which include the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptors, Stegosaurus and Triceratops, respectively. Each dinosaur group plays the same as all the others in any combat scenario – same controls, attack speed, dodge speed, everything. So your choice of faction and dinosaur is officially going to have zero impact on your game.

Above: Mr. T-Rex is mad that he’s in a terrible game

The battles run on a three button system – attack, dodge, or push (push attacks can ring-out your opponent), and sometimes you can net a token for a powerful, instant-hit attack. Once you win battles, you’ll be awarded with some equipment for your dinosaur to make it more powerful – a new horn, claw, stuff like that. There’s no rationale to the equipment system, however. You have three equip slots, into which you can equip any three items in any slots. Currently, we have three horns equipped on a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The T-Rex, you must note, had no horns in real life. Take THAT, historical accuracy!

This simplicity in design might be okay if there were a challenge, but the game is laughably easy. Losing a battle gives you the option to retry that battle at no penalty. Losing usually requires active effort at failing, though. Before an enemy attacks, they’ll flash bright red. At this point, just keep hitting dodge until the attack is over, then mash the attack button. Do this until you win. The next level might have foes that are only vulnerable to push attacks, but don’t worry – the game goes out of its way to remind you what the enemy’s weakness is before each battle starts. There is zero challenge in this system, and you’re going to get bored almost instantly. You can pick up bones throughout the levels to unlock new dinosaur skins and facts (which the developers have the unmitigated gall to call ‘fun facts’), but there’s little entertainment to be had there once you’ve already made a goofy looking T-Rex. Your reward for clearing all the levels with each group is a final confrontation with the Allosaurus, which we imagine is as tense and exciting as a quilting bee.

This game might be worth a few bucks on your iPhone, but not forty bucks on your 3DS. This title is so easy, uncomplicated, and unexciting that we can’t recommend it for anyone. This game is so bad that if you gave it to a child to play, they might well develop a dislike for dinosaurs for the rest of their life. It’s cheaply made, unambitious, and a clear attempt to cash in by being a launch title – the worst kind of game.

Apr 5, 2011

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