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Sim Coaster Review
P233, 32MB RAM, 400MB HDD, 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Jan 29, 01 (released)
|» All About Sim Coaster on ActionTrip|
Remember when you were a kid and you were too scared to try out the roller coasters? And then when you finally get the guts to go through with it, you just can't get enough and you want to take the ride a hundred more times. Well, Sim Coaster is kinda like that - only you don't get to throw up afterwards. To put it simply, Sim Coaster is for people who enjoy creating their own park and facing the responsibilities that come with park managing. However, I think that even those of you who find this sort of game idea tedious, you should definitely consider playing it first, before you jump to hasty conclusions.
Sim Coaster is a new construction simulation that was developed by the good ol' creative team at Bullfrog. When we think back to the time of Amiga 500 and PC 486 games, we can recall Bullfrog as being one of the most resourceful and competent developers. Their titles all became gaming legends: Populous 1&2, Syndicate, Theme Park, Magic Carpet 1&2, Syndicate Wars, Dungeon Keeper, etc. Each of these games brought something revolutionary to the game industry. So, what we have before us now is yet another masterpiece that gives you, yet another opportunity to organize an amusement park, only this time with more enhanced visuals and gameplay features.
The basic story is simple: Mr. Maybury, the President of Sim Coaster, finds you trustworthy and has decides to give you the opportunity of proving that you can manage the park with utmost care. Starting as the park's corporate executive, you've been given the position of Assistant Manager and you'll have a task to expand the park and look after it as well as you can. If you should fail by any chance, the nasty, lustful, and corrupted Board of Directors will step in and take over the park. While your main goal is not to allow this to happen, you'll also need to watch over tons of other things that are going on simultaneously in your park. This means taking care of every detail, from the finances to the basic satisfaction of every single customer.
The park is divided into three main entertainment zones: Land of Invention, Polar Zone, and Arabian Nights. Each zone has its specific rides, shops and sideshows.
Ok, where to begin? I think I should start this time with presenting the downsides of this one. Normally, anybody enjoys riding roller coasters (even in a PC game), however, many aspects will arise once your little park develops into a huge 'cotton-candy' empire. The annoying part occurs once you realize how much effort and time is necessary for, say, boosting the popularity of a certain ride. Micro-managing this seemingly easy task is simply exhausting and even if you manage to set all the parameters up to highest efficiency, it will sometimes prove to be not good enough. Now, if you realize this is but one of a thousand tasks you'll find the game too knotty. Then again, if you prefer that sort of gameplay concept, this factor won't be a great vexation.
On the other hand, if you're a more down-to-earth player, this may give you splitting headaches every now and then. This, of course, depends on personal taste as there are players who like to be caught in whirlpool of micro-managing features and many of these gamers requested improvements in the previous games (which is basically why the developers focused this much on micro-management Sim Coaster in the first place). I guess what I'm getting at here is that the game will be too hard for most players at some point. Building a huge park is easy enough, but maintaining its well-earned reputation and financial status is the most intricate part of the game. Some would say that this is realistic enough and that it represents a significant improvement after Theme Park. Nevertheless, I think that some of the objectives require more attention and devotion than an ordinary player can provide.
Furthermore, the Interface doesn't seem ideal for the enormous amount of duties you need to perform. The complex micro-management system this game has requires a practical UI for completing the tasks successfully. To set an example: you need to water your plants cause they became increasingly thirsty from the last months dry period, meaning you'll need to call for a gardener. But, what happens if this gardener wishes a wage increase? Or if possibly another ten employees demand the same thing at that exact moment? The difficulty of attending to all of these matters greatly increases thanks to the unpractical interface. In short, it takes too much time to go through all the menus and options just to fix these more than frequent occurrences.
The notion of creating and managing a successful amusement park still works, lots of new rides and similar features, improved graphics, realistic sound;
Well not to nit pick, it all adds up to too much micro-management, and the clumsy interface.