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Item - Dinosaur Dilemma

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(British edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 7
Author: Bosco, Clyde (pseudonym used by Ginns, Russell)
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Dates: November, 1991 (American edition)
November 5, 1992 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742051 / 9780671742058 (American edition)
0749713089 / 9780749713089 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (61 sections)
Number of Endings: 11
User Summary: Mario and Luigi are on vacation on Dinosaur Island, but they can't have peace for long....
Demian's Thoughts:

This is the first book to reflect the release of Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo, and it thus has a focus on the then-new character of Yoshi. The writing isn't as enjoyable as that of Clyde Bosco's earlier works, but the gameplay is more tightly structured. It's possible to explore various areas in a non-linear fashion, but only the correct order will yield all the items needed for victory. The book is slightly forgiving in that it is sometimes possible to go back and try again without being killed, but the ultimate solution to the book is rather arbitrary, and the vast majority of the puzzles are simplistic and meaningless. Although in some ways this book seems like a sign of progress in Bosco's game design skills, it is nonetheless inferior to the rest of his output.

My High Score - 2600

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Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 1/10]
[Recommended? NO]

Promising as it may sound and seem at first glance, upon further examination "Dinosaur Dilemma" is a book that willingly takes its ideas, toys with them and arranges the extremely varied results in an inconsistent yet sometimes rewarding way. As elementary as the other "Nintendo Adventure Books" were, this gamebook bears very little resemblance to the source material and, quite rightfully, equally leaves Mario fans dumbfounded at the mockery that is this "adventure". Coiled and compact, the puzzles are on the more difficult end, just as the narrative itself - varied as it is - carries with it a certain kind of tension and difficulty despite its aloof beginning. Indeed, the almost exhaustive compactness quickly elaborates upon the inconsistent "production values" to the story; occasionally brilliant, many of the routes happen to be flawed logically and poorly-embedded within the rest of the story. Perhaps the worst-offending ending of this kind in the series appears at one point, in which Mario, bringing apples to "Yoshi", is ambushed and seems to be automatically defeated by Monty Moles (which aren't that tough to defeat and apparently eat him alive?). There are several REAL misses such as that one, though the weaknesses too often outweigh the book's creative moments, of which there are a few surprises.

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, save as perhaps a historical timepiece to know once existed, part of the yet woefully inconsistent period in which it was written and published, catalogued not only in Nintendo's legacy but in that of child-oriented gamebooks as a whole. Really, though, with an underwhelming adventure like this... the not-so-creative series is begging for a GAME OVER. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Users Who Own This Item: Arkadia, B0N0V0X, dave2002a, Dirk Omnivore, drereichdude (American version), duckhugger, EarlOfDrumer, egokun, Erikwinslow, Fireguard, jdreller, katzcollection (British edition), kinderstef, mlvoss, ntar (American Pringles edition), Radical347, Ryuran333, Sheridan77, Treguard, waktool (UK 1st)
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