CADILLACS AND DINOSAURS: THE SECOND CATACLYSM / Rocket Science / Sega CD


The first Cadillacs and Dinosaurs game was a fun arcade beat-em-up from Capcom. This second (and final) tilt at the license is an FMV-based game handled by the obscure developer Rocket Science, who almost exclusively did games for the Sega CD in the 1990s. They're a pretty unremarkable developer except for the fact that one of their staff programmers was one Elon Musty Nuts, apparently slumming it with the vidya before he became a supergenius. He apparently worked on this game, but I have no idea how much of it you can blame on him.


This one isn't a beat-em-up. It's a rail shooter with an engine that uses FMV looping backgrounds overlaid with hand-drawn animation. The first 2/3 of the game has you driving through a jungle dodging dinos as well as more mundane environmental hazards, and the final 1/3 puts you in a mine cart riding through some secret subterranean base. The jungle portion is a third-person view where you can only steer the car left and right, while also simultaneously free-aiming a reticule that can be used to shoot apart the more flimsy rocks and branches and such in your path. The mine cart thing is a fully first-person view where you just worry about shootin' stuff.


A lot of comic art is used to tell the story around and in between the levels, along with voice acting. I don't know if the art is original work by comic artist Mark Schulz but it is done in a very similar style, with voice-overs accompanying a series of still panels. If I had to guess I would say the story bits were done by Schulz or someone closely copying his style, while the in-game animations and death sequence FMV bits were adapted from the CBS Kids cartoon of the mid-90s.


Whatever the case, the art is likely what fans will appreciate the most, because the gameplay is pretty shit. Rocket Science really emphasized looks over everything else here. It's a surprisingly good-looking game all throughout, even with the typical grainy Sega CD video used for the backgrounds. It's just no fun to play, however. The car clunks back and forth across the screen, and the reticule is slow to drag around. Both are barely adequate to get through the game's assortment of debris and dinos, which do not appear to have been plotted around the engine and controls all that well.


To be honest with you, I quit about 15 minutes into the initial jungle sequence after running into the same asshole brontosaurus who sticks his head into a really tight space at the last possible second four times in a row. I'm usually not one to advocate watching games on YouTube ... but this is one of the few exceptions that is really better to just watch on YouTube. You can just enjoy the art, which is really the only thing going here, without having to worry about clunking through the mess of environmental hazards and constant insta-death traps.


Videos :

* Gameplay Video












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