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Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review
developer: Chris Sawyer
PII 300, 64MB RAM, 8MB Video Card, 120MB HD
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Oct 15, 02 (released)
|» All About Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 on ActionTrip|
I haven't been to an amusement park in ages, let alone enjoyed a roller coaster ride, which is why I was so happy to get Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, the sequel of a very successful management simulation. I would personally love to own an amusement park with all those toys, but as that is far from possible, this game is a decent substitute.
Behold, the gates to Zveki's mighty Rollercoaster Kingdom!
The only thing missing is a few garbage cans.
All of you who did play RCT (and additional missions) over the last three years are bound to love RCT 2. Infogrames claims that this is a new game and not an expansion pack. Whatever the case, your missions in this game will be quite similar to those in the original game. Apart from the old tasks, you will be able to construct SixFlags parks on original locations, or select and play any of the original solutions. Enough to keep you busy.
I have to admit that the game is as catchy as the first part. As soon as you get the terrain you cannot stop thinking about how to make the park as spectacular and appealing as possible. The game successfully presents the atmosphere of a real amusement park. Some of the detail I barely noticed in real parks like the benches, flowers and paths that connect the rides mean a lot here, and you will have to make everything as tidy and as functional as possible. After some time, you will start planting at least two garbage bins next to every kiosk and bench, and even this may be insufficient in some scenarios.
Do you know what attracts the most attention in an amusement park (well, apart from the elegant beautiful young girls whose parts of bodies defy gravity)? Yup it's roller coasters! They are usually the most popular rides in theme parks, and their quality and design directly influences the number of visitors. A park will definitely go bust without the coasters, but you will also need other things to entertain your visitors. When building a coaster, you can either select one from a large number of pre-designed ones (some of which are extremely expensive) or design your own. This is where you let your imagination go, of course, still having in mind all the applicable laws of physics. I had this trip about making a coaster that would make everyone sick after the first ride, and I did it! The cleaners had a lot of work afterwards though... terrain relief can give you a lot of trouble, and will sometimes be a real pain in the ass. The terrain can be flattened, but due to the lack of "undo" option, you better be sure about what you want to do before you start doing it. The hardest thing in the game is creating a SixFlags park on an authentic location - it will require a lot of time and precise planning. I think that some things could have been automated (like digging the tunnels), as this wouldn't change the spirit of the game but it would make things easier for less experienced players. One thing that has been simplified is raising structures above the ground level. This is now performed using the Shift key. Builing the behemoths is far from easy, but once you go on a test ride, you will be happy you did it...
The interface didn't change, everything is still accessible, but some things will still require you to click a lot. Once you get the hang of things this won't bother you a lot as the game is slow anyway. I loved the option to start any scenario without having to complete others first, but it is not advisable to take the hardest scenarios without some practice. All rides in your park will tend to break, and while you manage to find a mechanic to repair it, all the people will move to another ride causing you to lose money. The same goes for the cleaners too, as they tend to get lost and neglect their cleaning duties.
I always wanted to have one of these in the den.
Oh boy, Zveki must've had a few when he designed this one...
To make the visitors happily spend their money (which is your basic goal) you have to take care of all aspects of a project of this magnitude. One of the good ways to find out what your visitors think is to check the opinions of those who just left your park, and then react appropriately, though I have to say I got a bit annoyed by "I want to go on something more thrilling than..." or "I feel sick". Visitors will tend to flock around the best ride, and I simply loved ridiculously increasing the price for that ride and watching the crowd disperse (though I don't think I would do that in real life). There are a lot of possible ways to successfully lead the park, but if you neglect some of the aspects, things will rapidly go wrong, and sorting the mess out will be way harder than tending to everything properly in the first place (just like in real life).
The graphics didn't change much, making the game fairly undemanding on any modern computer. The colors look relatively poor, and the camera still cannot be moved in 3D; this is one of the worst flaws of the game as it actually affects gameplay. I am aware that this makes the game functional even on really low-end systems, but all gamers with better machines won't be too happy with this decision. The terrains are a bit richer, and there are numerous possibilities to further improve the surroundings. The trains move realistically and in coherence with all laws of physics. All in all, the graphics still resemble RCT (which is not much of a compliment considering the fact that it appeared three years ago), but this element is not the crucial one in this game anyway.
The game comes with a lot of music, and you can assign a tune to each of your coaster tracks. These tunes combined with the screams of the visitors will create a realistic theme-park atmosphere. The sound effects are mostly good.
Those of you who don't find the existing scenarios challenging enough, the game ships with a scenario editor which is not overly easy to use, but substantially increases the replay value nevertheless. Oh, and one more thing; I cannot remember when I last played a game that didn't even bother to ask me where I want to install it and went directly for "C:\". I really hated this, especially as I didn't have too much space on C drive to begin with.
Titles like this always had an audience, which guarantees success for Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 as well. The basic idea of the original game has been expanded by introducing more new possibilities (coaster and scenario editors, new coasters, etc.), while still retaining all of the original's good ... and bad features.
8.2 Very Good
A lot of variations, coaster and scenario editor, replay value;
Outdated graphics; this game could REALLY use a 3D camera.
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